We recently celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, several days before, I had come down with the flu and, after an overnight stay in the hospital, found myself flat on my back, barely able to walk to the bathroom. Worse yet, Timmy, our sixteen year old cat, disappeared. She hadn’t been doing well, rasping with every breath, barely drinking water or eating.
My wife was frantic, searching for Timmy late into the night, dismantling every room in the house in case Timmy was hiding, or caught behind some piece of furniture. Every closet was opened, as was every cabinet and dresser drawer. After three days, my wife lost all hope. She couldn’t believe Timmy could survive outside and there was no evidence our cat had accessed water inside the house.
Unfortunately, I was of no use at all. I was far too sick to get out of bed, much less look for Timmy, or buy a gift for Kathy. As an atmosphere of gloom and hopelessness settled over our home, everything seemed horrible. It was only then I reminded Yahweh I hadn’t been able to buy an anniversary gift. I asked the LORD to have mercy on me and give me a special gift for my wife. Asking Yahweh to translate our elderly kitty back home, or resurrect her if she had already died, I waited to see what He would do.
The next day, when Kathy went to feed the remaining cats, there was Timmy, resting comfortably in her own special bed! Yahweh had given me my anniversary present for Kathy! Timmy was doing as well as could be expected, being 112 years old in cat years. She was eating, drinking and breathing much better, never the worse for wear. Of course, Kathy was delighted.
But, inevitably, some have questioned whether Yahweh ever really gave me a special gift. Was it answered prayer or mere coincidence? Did the Living God who spread out the heavens like a curtain translate a wayward cat back to its owners or was Timmy hiding the entire time under some couch, creeping out at night to eat and drink, unbeknownst to Kathy and me?
Perhaps, it comes down to what we believe about God’s heart towards us. Do we really believe He has time for us? Is He consumed with the big issues of the universe, does He fill His time with geopolitical challenges, the course of history or bringing the gospel to the heathen?
Is it rational to believe Yahweh still fills the world with miracles? Does God deeply care about the moments of our individual lives? Is answered prayer little more than happenstance, natural process, and wishful thinking? CS Lewis wrote salvation works backwards through time, as well as forwards. If you choose to trust Messiah, it turns out every event of your entire life was always a path leading to salvation. Conversely, if you reject Messiah, your whole life will have been only a path leading straight to damnation.
Could this also be true of miracles? If so, when we expect to see His hand in every moment of our lives, and acknowledge Him in everything that comes our way, we will find there is not a moment of our lives He is not intimately involved with. However, if we look for a natural explanation for every miracle we encounter, if we choose to believe we are alone, adrift on a sea of chance and natural law, we will come to find Yahweh is nowhere to be found. Perhaps, in the end, God’s answer to the question of miracles may simply be, “Have it your way.”
“He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we ask or think according to the power that works within us.”