* Edited to add mike00000000001’s question and my response to him.
I was inspired to write this by a commenter on Got 10 Cents?, mike00000000001. I’m not sure what I make of “miracles”. There are some pretty amazing things that happen in this world that seemingly have no explanation. Or do they? The fact is if you don’t work in a field that is in the business of explaining them or if you’re not skeptical, but instead want to believe in the miraculous, you’re probably pretty susceptible to such fantastic stories.
mike00000000001: “What about odd events that don’t fit the norm? …..I mean odd events like those “miracles” you hear about. Or things that just seem to be against the odds….But if it is all chance . . . and the same will happen with or without our prayer . . AND Jesus already prayed for our salvation . . . then why pray at all?”
me: “Beating the odds implies that it does happen. In other words, let’s say you have cancer. Let’s say the doctor gives you a 20% survival rate. That means that on average 20% of the people who have your kind of cancer survive. It’s not unheard of. What about the other 80%? Does that mean “God” loves them less? They are undeserving of a miracle? Throw in the fact that of both the 20% who survive and the 80% who don’t there are both believers and unbelievers. Arbitrary outcomes. Does that sound indicative of miracles?”
My dear friends, “Miracle Man” and his wife, recently went through a year of serious turmoil. He’s self-employed in a field that required excellent vision. Without it he’s essentially out of a job. This is their story:
Miracle Man developed high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. He was on medication for such and in addition began taking fish oil supplements. Somewhere in the process of all of that it was determined he needed a stress test. They found what looked to be a blockage and scheduled a hearth catheterization. During the procedure they did indeed find a blockage and placed a stent. When he woke up he had extremely double vision and his eyes operated independently of one another. He had little to no control over his left eye. The hospital ran an MRI and a CT scan and determined that either during or sometime after the procedure a relatively rare phenomenon known as an ischemic stroke had occurred. They prescribed him various drugs and sent him home with an eye patch and an appointment to see an Opthamologist. The Opthamologist didn’t offer much hope of recovery and said that if he hadn’t already seen significant improvement that he would likely remain in that state. Not satisfied with that answer they scheduled an appointment with a Neurologist, which is what should have been done in the beginning. He offered them much more hope and told him he was looking at a recovery time of six months to a year. Much praying happened during this time. He has recovered to 95% vision and, of course, it was nothing short of a miracle.
That isn’t the end of the story, though. These are his words from his facebook posting:
May 25, 2010
“ May 26, 2010
May 31, 2010
“ June 9, 2010
June 16, 2010
” June 17, 2010
September 16, 2010
September 16, 2010
All of this, mind you, without the aid or benefit of a biopsy – just doctor’s experience and observation. Does that mean that he definitely had cancer? Probably not. He most likely did have an infection of some sort or a cyst. The body is an amazing machine, capable of healing itself from a myriad of ailments with no treatment whatsoever. Was this a miracle? Most likely not, but you could never convince him of that. I wouldn’t dare try. He’s given testimony at various churches about the power of prayer and the healing power of Jesus. He’s convinced of that fact. He doesn’t know how he was healed so it must be a miracle; a direct result of all the prayers and the laying on of hands.
Another friend and her husband have a daughter who was diagnosed with scoliosis. At first they thought she’d have to have surgery or wear what looked like an ancient torture device for a back brace. They called the deacons together and had a laying on of hands. When she went back to the doctor her scoliosis wasn’t nearly as pronounced as they had first thought and she wouldn’t need either of those treatments. Wow, it’s a miracle! She still has scoliosis.
What about you? Have you received a miracle? Have you seen a miracle? If you don’t believe in miracles what do you believe about the seemingly inexplicable?