Monday, August 01, 2005

Do Miracles Happen?


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. (CS Lewis)

Today, I walked past a car and happen to notice two words “Miracles Happen”. Normally I would not give it any second thought. However, my frame of mind is more contemplative of the word miracles these past few days. Can miracles really happen? When was the last time I have personally experienced a miracle for myself? These are thoughts I pondered and even ask:
‘After having being a Christian for so many years, can I recall any specific incidence of miracles in my life that in some ways point to God’s grace upon my life?’

If I were to define miracles as those resembling ‘brimstones and thunder’, or magnificent instances of BIG, SHOWY cases like Elijah or Moses, I struggled to find one deserving mention. However, when I wait upon the Lord, that soft prompting began to open my senses to see the tiny miracles happening in my own life. CS Lewis’s very insightful quote on miracles is a case in point. Life in itself is a miracle. It is a miracle that I am pursuing theological studies, after expressing my desire to God many years ago (albeit in jest at that time). Miracles continue to show itself in my friends who God has brought alongside us, besides the distance, gives us the "so far, yet so close" feeling. [In contrast, back in Singapore, sometimes I felt the "so near yet so far" feeling]
It is a miracle that I found my wife, though imperfect in many ways, yet I find myself loving her more each day. My family, my circle of friends and my supportive Church group and members back in Singapore. It is a miracle that even though I see myself as insignificant, others still see me of some worth. It is a miracle that when I gave up things for God, I received much more in return. For example, despite giving away most of my well-loved books accumulated over 10 years, I have at my liberty, access to hundreds and thousands of books in the Vancouver and Regent libraries, without having the pressing pressure of buying. Believe it or not, my UBC library card alone allows me to borrow an unlimited number of books from the UBC libraries! [That means able to access the collection which includes four million books and journals, 4.9 million microforms, more than 1.5 million maps, videos and other multimedia materials and over 33, 500 subscriptions.]

Christ has revealed Himself to me early in my life. The more I think of the way He has gently guided me to faith, the more I want to love and serve Him. The greatest miracle of all, which I am experiencing day by day is the receiving of love from God through many aspects, more so when I realized I do not deserve it in the first place, save in Christ alone. Miracles happen? Yes, all the time, for love is the biggest miracle of them all!


1 comment:

PAK WAH said...

Three quick comments:
- whether miracles are possible is entirely a matter of presuppositions, whether I allow it in my ideology or presupposition. If I don't, I never interpret anything as miraclous and relegate it to the category called, "luck", or "fate", or "chance", which is largely undefined. As Jesus puts it, "Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." To this, Pilate answers unbelievingly, "What is truth?". The importance of belief in miracles as a pre-supposition, or faith, is well summarised by Augustine and Anslem "If you never believe, you will never understand", or "I believe, in order to understand."

- Secondly, while the emphasis that all things are 'miraclous' is biblical, for all things declare the glory of God, this affirmation may fall into a Schleiermacher notion of miraclous, which reduces biblical miracles to the status of ordinary things. For Schleiermacher, something is miraclous only according to one's mental interpretation. So, the resurrection is miraclous because it is one's interpretation of Jesus' dead and his impact on subsequent history. It need not require a physical historical literal resurrection

- Which brings us to the third point: There are miracles that break into history by the 'dynamis' of God, to demonstrate that He is with Us: the blind can see, the deaf can hear, the dead are raised and the people hear of the Gospel of the Kingdo of God, as Isaiah (the Prophet, :-) ) prophesised. These remain qualitatively different.

So, let us rejoice and be exceeedingly glad, that our Lord is risen.


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