Waiting for a miracle
Miracles happen; they do. Deny this and you end up denying reality.
Stop for a moment and consider what you might discover given a chance to interview even a few million people on this planet. May I suggest that you will hear one story after another that is very difficult to deny.
Meanwhile, many people in the Western world have a very strong belief system that will not allow them to accept the possibility of God’s occasional, let alone constant, intervention in human affairs. This doesn’t happen because it can’t happen – according to their system. And that’s too bad, because what you believe can have a way of distorting your vision and even closing your eyes.
While I have a lot of respect for some aspects of higher eduction, going to university or college isn’t necessarily the route to take if you want to discover what is really going on in the world. Sitting in a classroom reading books and writing essays has its place, but it amounts to placing yourself in a controlled environment. For you soon become preoccupied with certain things and unable to attend to others.
Sadly, staying in such a state for too long, say, for the amount of time it takes to get a degree or two, is a great way to become disconnected from reality. There are other ways to lose your grip, but this is one method that will work just fine.
Miracles happen. But they don’t always happen.
Farmers tend to raise cattle on land that simply isn’t suitable for growing crops. Doesn’t everybody know that? I guess I didn’t.
And although this illustration is a bit of an aside, the larger point remains: If you don’t believe in miracles, it may well be because you have spent far too much time living in an educational or cultural or media bubble of some sort and not near enough time out in the real world having a look around.
Miracles happen. But they don’t always happen. Consider two traumatic stories:
On December 14, 2012, one well-armed young man walked into a school filled with young kids in the USA and opened fire. In a matter of 10 minutes, Adam Lanza killed 20 students and 6 adults. On August 5, 2002, four men armed with AK-47 assault rifles arrived at a school in Pakistan and did the same. After the 15 minutes attack, 6 adults had died. This included: Abdul Rehman, Baber Pervaiz, Jave Masih, Manzoor Elahi, Mohd. Mukhtiar, and Mohd. Rafiq. A tragedy nonetheless.
The terrorists were not, however, trying to kill other Muslims or their own countrymen. The note left behind made it very clear that they were targeting Christian kids from the West. But no students at Muree Christian School died that day. Not a single one.
Look into the details, take the time, and you might be surprised at what you discover.
And yet, this isn’t to suggest that it always turns out well for Christian people. Life doesn’t work that way. Most every day, a church is attacked somewhere in the world and hundreds of people are oppressed, threatened, and even killed. Saeed Abedini was recently sentenced to 8 years in prison in Iran. But many other stories could be told. If you really want to feel depressed, look into what is going on in North Korea.
To be clear, this reflection about miracles is primarily intended for people who are already convinced they take place. But is it possible to be too convinced? Yes, in a way. For what starts out as an entirely appropriate and healthy conviction can drift towards a distorted and extreme position. There is a big difference between believing in an open system, that is, in a world where God is free to intervene, and presuming to know where and when and how this will happen.
Living in denial of the miraculous isn’t the answer. And neither is routinely waiting around for a miracle to take place.
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