We have asked this question a lot: God used to perform miracles all the time, right? How come he just stopped?
This is a reasonable question. There is a long list of miracles recorded in the Bible – crazy stories of water turning to wine, kiddos (a.k.a. children) being healed and raised from the dead, flaming bushes that don’t burn. All sorts of miraculous happenings that can’t be explained naturally.
But He doesn’t do all those insane fantastic stunts anymore. We don’t see donkeys talk, these days.
Does this mean God’s given up on us?
Or does it mean God doesn’t exist and never did?
Of course it doesn’t.
Let’s examine the Israelites’ faith during the Exodus, led by Moses. God did some great stuff for those people. He had Moses part the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22), He rained bread down on them from heaven (Exodus 16:14), He brought water out from a rock (Exodus 17:6). And what did the Israelites do? They disobeyed God when he gave them manna from heaven (Exodus 16:27-28), they demanded water from Moses and tempted God to give them water.
Why? Because they didn’t trust God. Because they weren’t satisfied with what they had already.
Here God had plagued the Egyptians with ten terrible, terrible things to get them freed; here He’d parted a whole sea just for them to cross it quickly; He’d given them food and provided them subsistence and health and life, He’d given them freedom, but they weren’t satisfied. Why not some water, God? We just want a little water. We’re suffering SO MUCH, here! Jeez, water water water! Me me me me me me ME! I want water. I want food. I want to be free.
God gave them all of it. But they just wanted more.
Do you really think we’d be any different?
We have instant everything. Instant noodles, instant messaging, instant cake, instant movies, instant meals, practically instant friends. We make things take as little time as possible because we’re lazy.
God isn’t going to give us instant miracles.
There’s too much instantness already. If God just performed miracles, we’d lose faith fast and look for something else.
The Israelites had everything they could ever need from God, but they weren’t happy.
We live disgustingly luxurious lives in the present day. It takes faith to realize God’s existence. It doesn’t take faith to see miracles happen.
Or does it?
God does really amazing things a lot of the time. When we pay attention, we see supernatural things happen a lot, often answered prayers. But so very many people just try to explain it away. Coincidence. Natural occurrence. There’s a scientific explanation, or no explanation at all, behind everything. Ever stop and think that maybe not everything has happened by science or reason? Ever stop and think that maybe we’re here for a reason, to fulfill a purpose, to stir something deep, deep inside of us?
Doing things fast doesn’t satisfy us. It just makes us disgusted with ourselves, makes us want more so that we might somehow justify ourselves. But that never happens. We keep searching, digging, wanting, wanting, wanting, envying, indulging ourselves in things that don’t last. Things that aren’t worth all the consequence.
If God performed miracles – if we didn’t ignore it altogether, or explain it away, it would just weaken our faith and make us want more, like the Israelites, like humans.
Seeing what God does takes faith. Faith doesn’t come easy, like IM’ing or fast food. It takes an inward struggle, a lifelong and daily dedication. But it’s well worth the struggle to find a treasure that never, ever goes away.
Faith is seeing things that not everybody gets to see – seeing the unseen. Feeling those ancient miracles inside your heart, stopping and listening to God’s voice in your head, hearing the unheard. Touched by the Intangible. Seen by the Unseen. Heard by the Unheard.
If God still did “miracles,” our story would be just as tragic as that of Exodus.
We would be people who are given everything they could possible want and still refuse to believe.
That is our story. That is how tragic our lives have become. How utterly sad.
It’s time to let it go and step into God’s arms – those arms that are only felt by faith.
Picture courtesy http://www.stardusttrailers.com.