My grandmother witnessed a dozen miracles in Colombia during her time as a missionary in one of its most dangerous cities, including healings, exorcisms, and a shining cross hovering over the correct road when she got lost.
The woman who homeschooled me told me she was driven home by an angel, survived a skull fracture that should’ve killed her, and watched via ultrasound as the cancerous mass on her ovary turn into a harmless growth.
When my old college roommate went in for surgery to remove a tumor bigger than a golf ball, the surgeon cut her open, saw that there was only a hole where the tumor had been mere hours ago and converted to Christianity that very day.
And when I was 13, the doctor putting a screw in my broken knee said I’d be in excruciating pain for the whole recovery period. He also said I wouldn’t be walking in time to attend summer camp to learn horseback-riding. Not only was my recovery completely painless, except for the first night, but I was walking and running in time for camp.
Miracles have been a prominent part of my life and the lives of people I love, but in today’s world, such frequent and obvious signs of God’s intervention seem to be the exception, not the rule. Why is that? Let’s explore some of the reasons we find in Scripture.
His First Miracle Is So Obvious That We Shouldn’t Need More
The first miracle God ever performed was creating the universe out of absolutely nothing. Since “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse proclaims His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1), proof of God’s presence in our lives is evident in the grass between our toes, the rumble and roar of thunderstorms, and a brilliant rainbow that follows afterward.
When we live directly inside one of God’s grandest miracles, why do we need more to know that He’s near?
Even in the Bible, God’s Miracles Were Really Spread-Out
God didn’t do miracles 24/7, even in biblical times. He only performed them when needed. There was a century-long stretch of God’s alleged “absence” between Enoch getting whisked away to Heaven (Genesis 5:24) and when God commanded Noah to build the Ark (Genesis 6:13). Additionally, 400 years passed between the completion of the Old Testament and the birth of Jesus.
This tells us that God seemingly “going silent” isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Therefore, we can be rest assured that God’s silence didn’t and still doesn’t mean He isn’t there.
Unrepentant Sin Is a Barrier to Perceiving God
He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying,
“Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. (Mark 6:1-6).
In this passage, Jesus could only perform a few small miracles because the citizens of his hometown had no faith. Their unbelief was so great that even performing miracles in their presence wouldn’t soften their hearts.
In other words, God going quiet isn’t the problem; the problem is that sin makes us deaf.
We’re Called to Live by Faith, Not by Sight
My grandmother, my homeschool tutor, and my roommate are completely different women, but the three of them have one thing in common: Their unwavering faith in Jesus Christ. None of the miracles they witnessed or experienced happened before they were Christians; they happened long after their faith was established.
Most of us mistakenly believe that miracles lead to faith (and some of them can if God allows it), but it should actually go the other way around: Faith leads to miracles. If these women had never seen or lived through the miracles that they did, their faith would be just as strong as it is now because their faith isn’t founded on miracles. It’s founded on Jesus.
It’s hard to believe in what we can’t see, but God doesn’t leave His children blind and alone. God sent His Son to guide us through this life and to promise us that one day, our faith will become sight.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/francescoch
Sonya Downing is a novelist, freelance writer, and content editor with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing. Her freelance work has been published in Focus on the Family’s teen girl magazine Brio, The Evangelical Church Library Association, and The Secret Place quarterly magazine. She has also blogged for IlluminateYA Publishing and edited for Mountain Brook Ink. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.