If I were to ask you, “How would you define the word miracle,” what would you say? As we read Scripture, there appears to be an obvious answer. In the Old Testament, we see God creating the heavens and the earth out of nothing, parting the Red Sea, providing manna and water, and securing military victories for his people against insurmountable odds. In the New Testament, Jesus heals the sick, casts out the demonic, feeds 5,000 plus people, walks on water and raises the dead. Of course, the greatest miracle is Jesus being raised from the dead.
In light of this, we might be asking ourselves, “Why doesn’t God dramatically intervene in today’s world?” Perhaps he still does. Though we may not observe the blatantly miraculous in our well-ordered, rational American culture, this doesn’t mean that it is not occurring in regions around the globe where Jesus is being introduced by missionaries; perhaps for the first time. Don’t take my word. Do some digging yourself. Read websites and inquire of missionaries on the “front lines” concerning what they are experiencing.
Having said this, I would like to broaden our understanding of the word miracle. Perhaps in our culture God is intentionally choosing to work less dramatically and more behind the scenes. Of course, when we are in the midst of trying times, it is difficult (if not impossible) for us to objectively observe God’s hand at work orchestrating circumstances and events – both past and present – into a crescendo that accomplishes his will and purpose. It is only in retrospect that we can identify God’s fingerprints at critical crossroads. It is only in retrospect we can observe that maybe God did not work dramatically because he desired us to partner with him to bring resolution, maturing us and increasing our faith in the process. If my theory is correct – that the miraculous also includes the stealth movement of God – is this not as great a miracle as the overtly dramatic supernatural event? We might even make an argument that stealth is the greater miracle. A supernatural event might be compared to pushing the <em>easy</em> button. Stealth orchestration “requires more effort and forethought” by God. Whatever the case, we must trust that God, in his infinite wisdom, knows what he is doing. Deuteronomy 7:9 encourages us with these words: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.”
Keep the Faith,
Originally from Huntington Beach, CA, Tony received his Bachelor's degree in religion from USC and his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Talbot School of Theology. Tony loves spending time with his wife, Sheri, and their two sons and daughter (Bryce, Braden, and Brooke); cheering for the USC Trojan football team; and playing tennis.