Friday, February 09, 2007

Miracle Stories

The other day as I attended a worship service in one of the churches I serve,
a guest preacher, shared about the miracle of healing in her life.I have seen dramatic healing, so I have no doubt such miracles occur. But as I reflected, I realized how limited our view of miracles can be. The miraculous, life giving power of God is not limited to the dramatic removal of a dreaded disease. Nor in my experience is the removal or the continuation of such a disease determined by the amount of faith of the victim and/or their loved ones. Too often, there seems to be an equation, “faith x prayer = healing.” The theory goes, if you just have enough faith then the healing happens. I call it the vending machine approach. You put enough currency into the slot, pull the selected lever and out pops the miracle.

I have lots of problems with this approach. First, it suggests we have some control over God. That is, if we just insert the correct spiritual/faith currency then God will have to do what we want. My life experience tells me it doesn’t work this way. God is God. We are not. Seems to me this is important to remember.

Secondly, the corollary to the first belief implies if there is no miracle, as we sought, then the problem is ours. We simply do not have enough faith. If we’d had enough faith then God would have healed the loved one, performed that miracle. So it is our fault. This belief suffers from the same faulty reasoning as the first because it still places us in control of God. It has the added feature of assessing blame and assigning guilt to the person who sought the miracle.

Finally, for me, this approach to God’s power forgets the reality of mystery. Miracles and healing are a mystery. Mystery is a critical part of faith. Life is mysterious. We do not have it all figured out and that is a good thing.

Before I leave these musings, let me say that I believe in miracles. I’ve seen dramatic healing of body, mind, spirit and relationships which clearly involved the mysterious life giving power of God. I have experienced them in my own life and participated in them in my ministry.

Where do you find the miraculous in your life?

Where have you seen the incredible, life giving, healing power of God at work?

Are you open to mystery?

Grace & peace,


1 comment:

John Wesley said...

Dear and Gentle Reader,

I would like to invite you to visit my humbly journal, as I start my tenure upon this continent. I have been elucidated by your musings and wish to make your most courteous acquaintance whist in the Americas.

I am most curious about the manner in which clergy conduct themselves in the colonies, as I am a newly arrived pastor and do not wish to offend the faithful and the savages. So prithee hense to my journal and let us hold each other accountable in our mutual love of Christ.

I remain God's most humble servant,

John Wesley