We all have stories in our lives. Sometimes they are public and other people know about them, and sometimes our stories are private and we keep them to ourselves. How often is God doing things in our lives, and in other people’s lives, that no-one knows about? Sometimes we are aware of miracles, and sometimes not. Have you found that we often don’t want to talk about miraculous events? It’s too difficult to explain, or too disturbing to tell, or people may not believe us and we’ll seem foolish!
Christian writer Scott Peck talks about something called serendipity – events which seem to have no rational explanation, which defy logic, and which occur in odd circumstances. Scott writes about suffering from writer’s block and he couldn’t get past it. Just then a lady came to visit him. She was carrying a book, and something in that book answered his problem exactly! He was able to continue and finish his work. His answers came just when he needed them.
Perhaps this is seen as just coincidence? Maybe – but have you heard the saying that coincidence is an anonymous miracle from God?
Many years ago, there was a British express train racing through the night, its powerful headlamp shining into the blackness ahead. The train was carrying Queen Victoria. Suddenly the engineer saw a startling sight. Revealed in the beam of the engine’s headlights was a weird figure in a black cloak standing in the middle of the tracks, waving its arms. The engineer grabbed for the brakes and brought the train to a grinding halt. He and his fellow trainsmen climbed out to see what had stopped them. But they could find no trace of the strange figure. On a hunch, they walked a few yards further up the tracks. Suddenly they stopped and stared into the fog in horror. The bridge ahead had been washed out and had toppled into a swollen stream. If the engineer had not heeded the ghostly figure, the train would have plunged into torrential waters.
While the bridge and the tracks were being repaired, the crew made an intensive search for the strange flagman. But not until they got to London did they solve the mystery. At the base of the engine’s headlamp, the engineer discovered a huge dead moth. He looked at it a moment, then on impulse wet its wings and pasted it to the glass of the lamp. Climbing back into his cab, he switched on the lamp and saw the “flagman” in the beam. He knew the answer now: the moth had flown into the beam, seconds before the train was due to reach the washed-out bridge. In the fog, the moth appeared to be a phantom figure, waving its arms. When Queen Victoria was told of the strange happening she said, “I’m sure it was no accident. It was God’s way of protecting us.”
Was that just a coincidence? Was it serendipity? Or was it a miracle?
The Bible has many stories of miracles: we remember Daniel (sees the finger writing on the wall), Gideon (sets out his fleece to see if the dew comes upon it), Samuel (called mysteriously in the night), David the shepherd boy (kills the giant Goliath with just one stone from his sling) – were these just coincidence? Or Godly intervention?
In 1956 in East Africa, there were Mau Mau uprisings. A missionary Morris Plotts tells us this story. A band of roving Mau Mau warriors came to a village of Lauri, surrounded it, and killed every inhabitant including women and children. Three miles away was the Rift Valley School, a private school for missionary children away from their parents. The warriors came to the school with spears, clubs and torches. Through the fear and crying, the whole school went to prayer. The warriors began to advance, shouting, coming closer, when all of a sudden, they began to retreat, running into the jungle.
Later when the Mau Maus were on trial, their leader said: “We were on our way to attack and destroy all the people and the school, but as we came closer, all of a sudden, between us and the school there were many huge men, dressed in white with flaming swords, and we became afraid, and ran to hide!” A Godly army surrounding the school?
In 2 Kings, the city in which the prophet Elisha is residing is surrounded by a great invading Syrian army. Elisha’s servant is frightened and cries, “Master, what shall we do?” “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha tells him, and Elisha prays that the Lord will open the eyes of his servant, who then sees a great mighty army of horses and chariots of fire everywhere upon the mountain! The city is protected and surrounded by God’s army. (2 Kings 6: 17).
Just one week ago on June 7, 2020, The Upper Room daily devotional tells this story:
“In April of 1980, my family was caught in a deadly military overthrow of the government. As we took cover from the rapid fire of machine guns on our Liberian home, we recited Psalm 23 repeatedly. The soldiers shot at the house nonstop for 25 minutes. I knew that my family and I might perish, but I remained focused on my faith. The soldiers shot the back door down, and I heard the thud of their boots as they entered the house. They finally found us on the floor in the bedroom. I prayed quietly and asked God to save us. My faith was all I had. When it was all over, I knew how powerful faith in God and God’s word can be.
“Thirty-eight years later, I continue to reference this psalm to my children, my grandchildren, and the women whom I counsel in my work. Whenever I find myself facing a crisis, I turn to the fourth verse of Psalm 23. No matter how grave our problem, the Lord will keep us close and give us comfort.”
Maybe miracles have happened in your own life. I think it is good to share them. We witness to divine intervention, to God’s care and love for us, and God’s protection. It is God’s supernatural power and God’s might at work! We give God the glory. And the beautiful thing about a miracle is God saying to us: “Here I Am!”
Believe in miracles! They happen. Have faith in God, trust in God’s saving power, and ask God to deliver. Amen.