I’ve heard and read about God working miracles for people, but I’ve never had anything miraculous happen to me. Does this mean God doesn’t consider me important? Is God ignoring me? Doesn’t He love me as much as other people that have special things happen to them?
Grace answers: You are most certainly important to God, and He is definitely not ignoring you. Your questions indicate that, in your reasoning, you have come to believe that God loves the people to whom He grants a miracle more than those to whom He does not. Perhaps, however, if you understood better what miracles are and why they are given, you might realize that it is not as you think, but rather, that when God grants a miracle, it is because He loves us all, and very much so.
A “miracle” is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as an event or action that appears to contradict known scientific laws and is hence thought to be due to supernatural causes, especially to an act of God. So, here we are speaking about two orders in the world the natural and the supernatural. But we must keep in mind that God is the creator of both (Gn 1:1).
Basically, then, this definition of a miracle would have us understand that in the natural order (the one that we can see, test, and understand), there are certain “laws” that govern the process of how things happen. There is, for example, the law of gravity that tells us that every time a ball is tossed up in the air, it will always come right back down. But what if you tossed it and it did not come back down? Instead, it just hung in the air? That, we would say, is an unexplained occurrence. We do not understand it. It is above the law of nature it is something “supernatural.”
In life, there are ordinary, everyday occurrences that we often take for granted and there are “extraordinary” occurrences those that cause one to gaze in wonder at the power of the inexplicable, as when someone is healed instantaneously of a certain incurable disease. These the Christian attributes to God. But is God only to be found in the extraordinary? Is He not the creator of the entire universe and everything in it? And why is it also that we have come to think that when something “supernatural” happens to someone, it means that God has singled out only that one person for a special favor?
The reality is that miracles happen because God wants to rouse the whole world awake. He wants to say, “I’m here!” So often, in the rush of our everyday life, we do not think about God’s presence. Even when a miracle does occur, often we fail to see that in it He is trying to reveal His greatest purpose our salvation. That is what He wants. Unfortunately, for many, it takes witnessing something supernatural before they will believe in God. So, a miracle is given. The Bible is filled with these stories. Miracles were granted in order to build up the kingdom of God. Jesus performed many miracles, and each one was so that the presence and power of God might be revealed and they would believe in Him.
You say you cannot think of anything great that God is doing in your life and you question how much He loves you because nothing miraculous has ever happened to you. Maybe you are not “seeing” the “miracles” signs of God’s presence all around you every day. Have you ever, for example, watched the sun rise in the morning and seen the miracle in that single event? Do you not know that the sun would not rise each morning if God did not will it? Or, for that matter, that every breath you take would not be possible if He did not allow it? He is present in every aspect of your life. And, yes, He is there in the bad times too. God did not create the world only to leave it on its own. He is always faithful and never abandons us. It is we who sometimes turn our back on Him.
God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die so that we might live. That was the greatest miracle ever. We must not make the mistake of looking for Him only in the extraordinary, but instead open our eyes and see Him in the everyday miracles of life. Rather than the gift, we should focus on the “Giver.” Then, we will know Him for Who He is that He is sovereign (in control of everything), awesome, faithful, just, merciful, and loving.
© Copyright 2004 Grace D. MacKinnon
For permission to reprint this article, or to have Grace speak at your event, contact Grace MacKinnon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grace MacKinnon holds an MA in theology and is a syndicated columnist and public speaker on Catholic doctrine. Her new book Dear Grace: Answers to Questions About the Faith is available in our online store. If you enjoy reading Grace’s column, you will certainly want to have this book, which is a collection of the first two years of “Dear Grace.” Faith questions may be sent to Grace via e-mail at: email@example.com. You may also visit her online at www.DearGrace.com.