A frequent topic of discussion is “Do miracles still exist today?” I’ve struggled with this issue over the years. As a young person I was taught that miracles ceased with the end of the apostolic period and when the scriptures were complete. 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 is a scriptural reference often used to support this idea: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part,but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.”
Because of personal experiences in my life, and my view about personal prayer, I believe in miracles today. My guess is that you have had similar experiences. Certain positive events in life have no logical explanation. These experiences remind me of the story of the blind man in John 9.
Jesus heals a blind man. He has been blind since birth and this blind man now with sight amazes his neighbors. At first they thought it was someone else who looked like the blind man. But the man said, “No, I am the man.” He then explains that Jesus put mud in his eyes and told him to go to Siloam and wash and then he could see.
The Pharisees hear about the miracle and talk to him about how he is now able to see. He gives the same explanation. They do not believe him, so they go to his parents. Their response is basically “Ask him. He is an adult.” So the Pharisees go back to the seeing man the second time and repeat the question. Probably by this time with some frustration he simply says, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.”
In that one sentence I believe he gave me the explanation of what a miracle can be today. If something amazing happens in your life that cannot be explained by logic, common sense, or some expert knowledge, then you have experienced a miracle.
The most recent event that falls into this category for me happened in the middle of December of last year. My grandson and I were driving home from visiting my sister about 130 miles away. We were driving on double lanes of Highway 50 near Dillsboro, Indiana, at night with no highway lights. Total darkness. I was driving about 60 miles per hour in the right lane when suddenly I came upon the back of a box truck with no lights and barely moving. Instead of slamming into the back of the truck I swerved to the left and lost control of my car. I careened down the left lane I had swerved into and a ditch was waiting for me to the far left. I was no longer in control. I knew the end was not going to be pleasant. But somehow the car straightened out on the lane through no help from me. We were able to slow down and pull over to the side of the road. I still don’t know what happened to the truck.
I look back to the event and I cannot explain how we did not flip end over end at that rate of speed combined with jerking the steering wheel to avoid the truck. In fact, I have no memory of what was involved that got my car back under control. There is no logical explanation for why we did not wreck. So for me it was a miracle.
I think one of the reasons we spend time in prayer is that in many cases we are praying for a miracle, whether we realize it or not. Someone is in a situation where there is no expectation of a positive outcome and yet we are praying. We pray for God to heal or to work out a human relation problem that seems insurmountable. Some call it an answer to prayer when the impossible becomes possible. At any rate, you have seen a miracle. In many cases, you receive an answer to a prayer you didn’t even verbalize.
Probably my favorite Steve Martin movie is entitled “A Leap of Faith.” In it he plays the role of an itinerant tent preacher. He is a faith healer and, of course, takes up collections. He makes quite a production of performing miracles and has shills stationed in the audience who radio to him about vulnerable audience members. He wants someone who has a malady for which he can lay hands on them and talk them into feeling like their pain in the stomach or shoulder has gone away. He begins by running out on stage and shouting, “Are you ready for a miracle?”
I think this sentence is a positive way of looking at the future. What can I do to help someone with a problem? What can I do to help someone who is facing a seemingly impossible situation?
Pray—and expect a miracle.