Let me briefly share two personal stories with you.
I was 3 years old when my first brother was born. A few days later we learned he had a serious malfunction in one of his organs that would soon take away his life. A life-threatening surgery was necessary for his survival. In the midst of this turmoil my parents asked some friends and relatives to come to our house so we could pray together. We prayed asking God to intervene. On that same night my brother was healed and the surgery was no longer necessary. My brother is now 27 and very healthy. A miracle took place.
The second episode happened last year. To our great joy, my wife and I found out she was pregnant with our first child. However, five weeks into the pregnancy, Ana suddenly started suffering severe bleeding. We rushed to hospital and she was hospitalised immediately. Though the embryonic sac was still attached, her uterus was filled with blood and the doctors described the situation as a “natural abortion threat”. As the embryo was too young to have a heart beat, the only way to know if it was still alive was to make a two-day comparison of the amount of a specific hormone that grows exponentially during the beginning of any pregnancy. With many friends and family, we were praying for God to intervene. The doctor then brought us the first results: the amount of hormones was equivalent to a 2 or 3-day pregnancy. The conclusion was that the embryo was no longer alive and therefore curettage was necessary. By then the results of the second test wouldn’t matter, as the first hormone count was so low. The procedure was to take place on the following day and Ana signed its authorisation. However, we were not prepared to hear what the doctor said the next day and a thousand words cannot express our reaction. Holding the second test’s results in his hands the doctor said: “It’s now rightly equivalent to 5 or 6 weeks of pregnancy. We won’t do curettage, as the embryo might still be alive. I’ll let you go home and we’ll wait and see what happens.” Our son, Matteo, is now 10 months old and very healthy (you can see his picture below; just as cute as his father!). A miracle took place.
I think you’ll agree when I affirm that our human tendency is to look for natural explanations for these sorts of experiences. “Perhaps the medical diagnosis was incorrect” or “maybe the test results were wrong”, some of us might be thinking. Even if we don’t find scientific explanations, most of us will not even consider a divine cause behind the incident.
If the mind-set in the past was to attribute unknown explanations to divine activity, in today’s western world the mind-set is to never attribute divine activity to unknown explanations. For many people, it’s preferable to not give an explanation at all than consider the silly, naive and ridiculous possibility that God was actually involved.
I can only invite you to step back with me and ask why? Why have we become so committed to deny the existence of a God who intervenes in such notorious ways? Why have we decided, for instance in media or education, to leave no room for serious consideration of God’s involvement in the world? Could it be that the root of our scepticism is actually our unconfessed rebellion? Could it be that it’s not that we do not believe, but we actually do not want to believe?
It’s interesting how we see the same thing in so many people’s opinion of Jesus himself. Besides his extraordinary teaching, Jesus’ biographical books in the Bible describe 37 of his miracles and make reference to many others that were not registered. At the same time, most people in the western world today would recognise him as a great teacher but wouldn’t be willing to genuinely consider his miraculous life.
The Bible repeatedly demonstrates that divine supernatural activity is actually a natural phenomenon in the world. God is constantly active in his creation. As G.K. Chesterton, the renowned English writer, expressed: “The most wonderful thing about miracles is that they sometimes happen.” And also from the pages of the Bible emerge the awareness that God’s intervention is always motivated by love. In C.S. Lewis’ words: “Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”
It’s my opinion that embracing the reality of an originator behind the not so uncommon miracles infinitely adds to our existence. Why would we watch life in black and white and on mute when we could watch it full coloured with stereo sound? May I invite you to sincerely consider the reality of God’s intervention next time you read about, hear about or even experience a miracle yourself?