You cannot have Christianity without miracles.
You can have a watchmaker God who winds up the world and leaves it ticking slowly down to its entropy-determined increasing chaos. But you cannot have the God of the Bible. He has an annoying habit of breaking into his nice orderly world and upsetting the nice orderly way we expect things to proceed. Making things “out of nothing”, flooding the world, causing elderly women and young virgins to conceive and give birth. Parting Oceans and Rivers, healing the sick, raising the dead, the list never stops.
The simple fact is that the God of the bible is one who seems to like causing surprises.
Perhaps believers and nonbelievers are united in this one thing- a desire for this hidden God to do more of these miracle things. Without being ungrateful for the miracles small and large I have seen I know that I long to see his amazing creative power at work more. What atheist if confronted with a miracle would have any excuse left except his own stubborn insistence on living his own way – but that’s another story…..
And yet, somehow the God of the bible also seems to like to hide away his miracles. A baby born miraculously to reign over the universe doesn’t arrive with his own blog, or live on web cam but instead hidden in a stable in an obscure village. It seems to me that the God of the bible sometimes likes to make it slightly harder for us- to cause us to reach out for him, to long for him, to search for and yes to wait for him. In this age of instant everything it is perhaps not surprising we have forgotten how to wait. But God desires for us to wanthim- do you really want him if he is real?
But as I keep being reminded this year, God has a tendency to take delight in doing less than we expected in a year and more than we expected in a decade. If you are seeking God for a miracle, be patient. O, and remember, when it comes it might not look quite like the miracle you are waiting for – you see, as I already said he loves to surprise us. I wonder what surprises he has in store for you just around the corner…….