I have mixed feelings about miracles. It’s not that I struggle to trust and believe in God’s omnipotence, and it’s not that I don’t believe he wants me to live a full life and has treasures in store for me—those parts are easier. What has been harder is understanding why God has allowed me to live with the unrelenting burden of chronic disease for 22 of my 35 years. Despite prayer from various fellow believers over the years, miraculous healing has not come.

Even though I have no doubt that God loves me, in my heart of hearts, I don’t believe I’m worthy of a miracle. Perhaps that whisper of self-doubt gets in the way. After all, when Jesus’s disciples couldn’t drive the demon out of the boy in Matthew 17 and asked why, Jesus said to them, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:20)

Is my faith, then, smaller than a mustard seed? Hmmm … I didn’t think it was, but why do some of my prayers go unanswered?

And so, it goes on, at times. These thoughts chase their own tails across the landscape of my mind, and I get … nowhere. What a jumble of faith, good desires, and a heartfelt request vs. human imperfection, self-doubt, and overanalyzing! Yikes!

I am so thankful that I can bring these thoughts, feelings, and questions to the Lord and seek his wisdom and perspective.

Through Craig Keener’s presentation on miracles, an article written by Greg Collins for The Newark Advocate, and spending time in God’s word and in prayer, I’ve been reminded of why Jesus performed miracles in the first place.

One reason was to restore the natural order of God’s creation: Revelation 21 reminds us that in this natural order, there is “no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” (Rev 21:4 NIV) Many of the miracles Jesus performed involved removing these worldly elements of brokenness.

Another reason was to glorify God: In John 11, when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, his first response was, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4 NIV)

Finally, we shouldn’t forget that Jesus often performed miracles out of spontaneous compassion when faced with human suffering and need: In Mark 1, when approached by a man suffering from leprosy, Jesus was “moved with compassion”, touched the man, and healed him. (Mark 1:41 NLT) And when two blind men expressed their desire for sight, Jesus “had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” (Matt 20:34 NIV)

All of these contexts give us glimpses of the kingdom to come; for that reason, every miracle is a gift to us all. Regardless of the direct recipient, we are all blessed by a miracle. I admit that I needed the reminder. Sometimes, when I become too focused on my challenges, I forget to celebrate with others, and I miss out on fellowship and on the encouragement, God blesses others brings.

So, instead of getting caught in a web of tail-chasing analysis, I invite you to join me in not only rejoicing in the blessings of others but also looking forward to the kingdom to come since we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7), we trust that God is working all things out for our good (Romans 8:28), and we know that God’s timing is perfect.

  • To watch the full presentation on Miracles by Craig Keener, follow this link.
  • Contact SATS to find out more about studying God’s word.
  • You’ll find Greg Robbins’s article, which discusses Jesus’s miracles here.

Short Bio: Carrie Milton is a veterinarian and language practitioner. After completing her Bachelor of Veterinary Science and working with a variety of animals for a number of years, she reawakened her love for the written word. Accredited by the Professional Editors’ Guild, she has tried her hand at everything from theses to fiction.