Why Not Now?

An unbeliever says to you: “If God performed miracles then, why won’t He perform them now?  If I could only see a miracle, I would believe in God?”

I say to the unbeliever, maybe He does.

I am going to spend this post telling about my observation of responses to a man telling about being spiritually moved. He will remain nameless.  He is a good man, a sensitive man but someone who does not realize that other people just don’t understand very subjective spiritual experiences.

He went before a group and spoke of his recent spiritual experience, the fact that he was called to step forward in a church and when he went forward, the Holy Spirit came upon him and filled him with a sense of being cleansed, a sense of being thrilled and fulfilled.

I listened to him and was excited for him but I did not show my excitement. I was in awe of what he was saying but I kept it hid. I began to focus on the other people in the group listening to him talk and they did not know what to say.  Finally they did say something but it was not that supportive and eventually we began to leave and as we did, a woman came up and talked about how she differed in her spiritual experience at the aforementioned church and she elaborated on an issue that was negative about the church where this man’s experience happened. To me that was not supportive at all.

What was going on here?

The man was taking something private and making it public.

Jesus performed miracles and after many of them He said to person directly affected not to tell anyone. Skeptics may think that was a tactic to stir curiosity among the masses but I am not sure.  I think Jesus knew that people would not understand.

Just last Saturday in Kalamazoo, Michigan another gun tragedy occurred as an Uber driver took a gun and killed several people in a random shooting spree. One of the victims was a fourteen year-old girl named Abigail Kopf, of Battle Creek, described by her parents as strong-willed, fun-loving and an athlete. She was spending a night out with one of the special people in her life, her pretend grandmother “Grandma Barb Hawthorne”. They said Abigail loved to spend time with Hawthorne, who had been a pretend grandmother to her since she was much younger. They had become partners to attend theater events and other gatherings.  “Grandma Barb” was one of the fatal shooting victims of the Kalamazoo Uber driver.

Abigail sustained very serious injuries and when she was rushed to the hospital, she was pronounced dead. Her very distraught mother was at the bedside holding the hand of her deceased daughter when suddenly Abigail jerked her mother’s hand.  She was not dead at all.

What did the mother say about this? “My daughter is not dead. She is alive and she’s fighting for her life. She was vibrant and beautiful and she did not deserve this. But right now, my daughter is struggling.”   Asked about reports that Abigail was at first presumed dead until she squeezed her mother’s hand, the mother said that moment was “Breathtaking, you don’t expect it and suddenly it was there.”

She stopped short of saying it was a miracle…but was it?

Maybe this was enough to make Abigail’s mother believe in miracles. I am not sure.  In Luke we hear that just having the word of God should be enough to convince us to believe.  Someone being raised from the dead should not be necessary and even that probably won’t work.  “And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.  Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.   In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom.   And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’   But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’  And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’  But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’  But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’  But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” [Luke 16: 20-31].

So I go back to my title of this post. Why not now?

Would miracles today work? Maybe they are happening all the time.

Maybe Luke is right. We should not need them but if they are happening…

Maybe we just miss them.

Maybe we just don’t even see them.

 

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