What God did on My Summer Vacation

“You need to get to the hospital. Your dad fell.”

Three weeks ago, those words altered my August, finishing off a summer that will go in the record books as my worst.

It had already been the hardest summer of my adulthood. I’m working on a book I’ve dreamed of writing, but it’s the hardest one I’ve ever tackled. We’re slammed at my day job. Short-staffed, but no shortage of families in crisis.

(Add mine to the list.) Continue Reading →

Why Don’t More Miracles Happen?

Why don’t we see more miracles?

Is that something you wonder about?

Have you ever thought that if God just performed more miracles then people would believe in Him? Have you ever prayed for a specific miracle in the hopes it would influence someone you love to see the truth of God’s existence?

The reasoning behind God’s tight hold on miracles lies in the lyrics of this Caedmon’s Call song, Shifting Sand:

I’ve begged you for some proof for my Thomas eyes to see; a slithering staff, a leprous hand and lions resting lazily; a glimpse of your back-side glory and this soaked altar going ablaze
But you know I’ve seen so much I explained it away.

Ask the parents of Gore Otteson.

I saw them interviewed on the Today show this week. Gore is a two-year-old who wandered from the family cabin in Colorado. Relatives found him 25 minutes later trapped under water beneath a log in an irrigation ditch. He was dead.

Twenty minutes of CPR before the ambulance arrived and thirty more minutes of efforts at the hospital before little Gore’s heart was restarted. The child was dead for an hour. No one held out much hope for survival, never mind the possibility that he would recover any brain function.

BUT

Gore is fine. He’s completely fine. Absolutely healed. A Lazarus boy.

And his parents credit God. From the moment he was pulled from the water, the prayers of the faithful surrounded the boy.

But in the TV interview, the mom stumbled a bit in her words when asked if they believe it was a miracle. Of course, she wanted to give credit to everyone involved in the rescue but yes, they do believe it was God.

I understand why she stumbled. We don’t like miracles any more. Especially the press. Especially the medical world. Especially academics.

I mean, we see them. We’re drawn to them. We’ll buy a ticket to one. But we know it’s a trick. We look for the mirror box, the secret latch, the hoax.

We’ll give God a headline show in Vegas in the theatre next to David Copperfield but then we all have to go back to work on Monday and face real life, right?

I have been healed by God.

From college through my twenties I suffered with systemic lupus. I was sick all the time. I lost eyesight in one eye for a week. I was on and off prednisone. I missed work. There was pain upon pain and days spent trapped in my bed. Hospital stays. A shortened life expectancy. Advice that it may not be safe to have children. Lupus.

People prayed for my healing but it didn’t happen. Some blamed me – must be hidden sin, an unwillingness to be healed. I accepted my lot from God. Offered it all to Him.

Then, when I was thirty-two, during a time of prayer, He healed me. He released me from lupus.

Since lupus goes into remission at times, the doctors and friends humored my announcement and waited for symptoms to reappear. Some are still waiting. I’ll be fifty next year. Seventeen years without symptoms is not remission. I’m healed.

But I stumble sometimes, like little Gore’s mom, when people ask me about it. I can feel the skepticism like the sweltering humidity of a laundromat, like the withering stare of the August sun at noon, like the gray metal of a gun barrel inches from my face.

God healed me but even saying it is hard sometimes under the scrutiny of those who want to kill and dissect anything that testifies to the truth of a world they cannot touch unless they submit to the God they resist.

The Pharisees asked for a miraculous sign and Jesus was pretty straightforward about his answer: “Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.” He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12: 38-40.

God is real even when the air is thick with doubt, even when the skeptics club your miracle over the head and drag it into the interrogation room under bright lights, even when they laugh at you for believing in God like His healing is a rabbit pulled from a hat.

God is still active in this world. Ask me. Ask Gore’s parents.

Have you seen a miracle? Proclaim it here without fear. Let us encourage one another!

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