Miracles

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 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, Acts 19:11

 One of the topics that always seems to escape a lot of attention is miracles. Not just the ones that Jesus and Paul performed throughout their ministry, but miracles in the here and now. Things that have happened without any logical or rational explanation. I know people are often unwilling to ascribe some experience as a being a “miracle”.

Jesus healed the sick, the lame, and restored sight to the blind. He walked on water, changed water into wine and raised Lazarus from the dead. But when we are asked about our faith, we revert to theological analysis. We often point to the resurrection – the empty tomb – as evidence of Jesus deity, leaving all of his miracles in the dust.

In our world, we often think of remarkable experiences in terms of luck, although I have distanced myself from the word “luck” because it has the same root word from which we get “Lucifer”.    I guess I’ve always associated “luck” with the dark side ever since.

I have two stories to tell.  Both are personal, so I can say, without contradiction, that I didn’t get these from someone who told them, who got it from someone who told them. These are first person experiences.

One happened this week. I was finishing a 30-mile bike ride out in the country, and was hit from behind by a car doing 35 miles per hour. Now, that is an invitation to trauma, even for someone who is not 72.  All I can remember is the noise and impact and then lying in the road taking inventory of my body. Most things appeared to be working.

A volunteer fireman, who witnessed the accident, helped me up and over to the side of the road where I sat until the ambulance came. I felt a little woozy on my feet, so they took me to the Emergency Room where they observed me, took x-rays and a CAT scan to be sure that I wasn’t bleeding internally.

The EMS told me that he was amazed I wasn’t hurt more.  In his experience of cars striking persons on bikes, they don’t end well for the bike rider. He said the last collision was between a biker and a golf cart, and the biker ended up being airlifted to Chapel Hill with head injuries that required specialty treatment at a trauma center.

The ER doctor told me that anyone who is 72 and is hit by a car doing 35 must have something wrong with them, and he was committed to finding it.  All tests were negative. No broken bones, no internal bleeding.

After 5 hours, they released me and I walked out of the ER with nothing more than a couple of abrasions (one on my right knee that a Band-Aid could cover, and one on my left elbow).  Admittedly, I was a little sore from where the car struck me.

The other story occurred about 6 years ago when I had just been diagnosed with Prostate cancer.  I was attending a ministry dinner for the MentorLink board members and their spouses which precedes our board meetings the next day. I revealed my recent diagnosis, and the gathering put me in a wing chair to lay hands on me and pray.

Included in the group praying for me was Diana Green, a board member’s wife. She arrived at the dinner with a black ace bandage on her elbow.  She explained that she had damaged her funny bone in her elbow which she described as not very funny, and in fact, very painful. She couldn’t even hold a dinner plate with it, and her husband, Floyd, had to help her through the buffet line.

Wonderful prayers for healing and encouragement ensued.  When it was over, and everyone said “Amen”, Diana stood up, wiggled her hurt arm a couple of times, took of the bandage and exclaimed that it her elbow didn’t hurt anymore. She never had a problem with it again.

What do these two stories have in common?  Well, the latter one is the power of healing demonstrated through prayer. For the record, my treatment for prostate cancer went well, but it was not as remarkable as Diana’s healing.  I’ve known her for 35 years, and can attest that she isn’t one to make something like that up.

As for my accident, all I can say is that God protected me in a remarkable way. Put another way, He’s not done with me yet. Driving home from the ER, Sis said she had a premonition that I had an accident, and wasn’t sure whether she would be planning my funeral on the next day. The accident shook her to the core.

That puts the accident in perspective:  being able to walk out of the hospital with not much more than a couple of bruises and small abrasions is hard to explain after being hit by a car doing 35 mph.

Why am I writing about these two incidents? Well, for one thing, we often don’t share stories about our miracles, which is part of our testimony.  When someone comes up to you and is skeptical about your faith, we often think about saying something that is biblical that will keep them open to the gospel.

We quickly forget the miracles which happen to us and all around us.  Miracles demonstrate God’s power and intervention in our lives.  Why do I believe in God?  Well, for one thing, I know when God’s hand is on me.  Yesterday was one of those times when I was protected.  You don’t have to be a bible scholar to tell what God has done for you.

Our challenge is to remember the miracles in your life. Be sure to share them with others as a testimony of God’s goodness which is so undeserved. That’s what grace is all about.  One thing that has struck me is that God’s grace is there in every circumstance, even a bicycle accident.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  Share miracles in your lives with your mentees. It will be an encouragement to know that God is real and that He is in the miracle business today.

WORSHIP:  Listen to Chris Tomlin sing “Your Grace is Enough”:

COMMENT:  I would be delighted at comments on this or any other post. You can comment by clicking on the icon at the top of the page, or emailing me at otterpater@nc.rr.com.

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