God Still Does Miracles Here
Every time I meet a missionary working in the Middle East, Africa, South America, or East Asia, I ask whether they’re seeing miracles there. They always light up and say, “Yes! Often!” But does it ever happen here? Someone asked me recently if I’d ever experienced any miracles myself. My answer was a definite yes. Three very definite instances came immediately to mind.
For years in my late teens and early 20s I had chronic bronchitis. I’d be fine for periods of a couple months at a time, but if I caught a cold, I’d have a bad morning and evening cough every day for weeks. That’s “bad cough,” as in people around me wondering, “Should I call 911?” My doctor’s best treatment advice was to try not catch cold. Gee, thanks, Doc.
I was single at the time. One evening during one of these spells, my roommate asked if he could pray for me. He prayed, and right at that moment I felt the tickle in my throat go away. It stayed away for keeps. I haven’t had that problem since.
The Only Sunshine That Day Was a Sign To Us
I’ve been blessed with two direction-setting signs from God. I do not expect them on a regular basis, and I do not count on them to guide my daily decisions. Normally God wants us to grow in wisdom and make our decisions that way. But when they’ve happened I’ve been grateful.
The first one was in college. My roommate, John, and I were in charge of a Christian rally set to take place one day. We woke up that morning to a gray and rainy mid-Michigan morning. It was the kind of rain that you knew was just going to last and last. The weather report confirmed that.
It was a small rally we were planning, so we were going to use John’s stereo speakers and a mic for sound amplification. He didn’t much want to ruin his stereo for a rally no one would be coming to anyway. But we’d been planning this for weeks.
So we prayed. And while we prayed, one of us (I can’t remember which) nudged the other and pointed at the floor. There was a bright patch of sunlight shining on the carpet between us. “That must be a yes!” we decided. So we went ahead with it, and the rain stopped, just before we started loading the equipment out of the dorm.
The weather stayed dry all the way through, until I was walking up the steps to the dorm to bring the last piece of equipment back to our room. That’s when I felt a drop of rain on my neck. And that’s also when it started raining again for real.
I’m quite sure John and I were the only people in all Ingham County to see any real sunshine that day. That fact, plus the timing of the rain’s stopping and starting again, told us this was definitely of the Lord.
Why did He do that? I don’t know of any special results coming out of that rally, other than giving us a major boost in our faith. Maybe something great come out of that rally that I don’t know about it.
A Word Spoken in Prayer; A Position at The Stream
The second sign miracle came about when I was about to have my fourth foot surgery. I went to my son’s church one evening when they were hosting special healing prayers. This wasn’t some hyped-up revival-type event, just a quiet time set aside especially to encourage church members to pray for each other.
I’d never met the man and woman who prayed for me that night. They didn’t really know my son, either. So he had no knowledge from which to speak, other than the prayer request I communicated. I was hoping God would heal my foot and head off the surgery. He prayed for my foot; nothing happened. (We can ask God, and He answers sometimes, but it’s according to His schedule.)
But then the man said, “I’m not used this, but I think I’m hearing the Lord say I’m supposed to tell you something. He’s saying you’re about to have a job change. It’s going to be a major change of direction. It’ll be really good for you and your family, and it’s going to increase your platform considerably.”
My wife and I left there wondering, “Okay… what do we do with that?” That was Sunday evening. The next day at lunchtime I got a Facebook message from Jonathan Witt, then The Stream’s managing editor. He asked me, “If we created a position for you as senior editor for apologetics, would you be interested?”
And here I am. It took a while, though, as HR here at The Stream worked out some quirks in employment law for me to work remotely from Ohio. For me it felt like it took a long time; I was eager to get started. It was several weeks, in fact. That word given me in prayer that night kept me going during those impatient days.
For, as I’ve often put it, “I’ve never had anyone give me a word in prayer like that before. I’ve never had anyone else contact me out of the blue, offering to create a job for me. And I’ve really never had it all line up inside less than 24 hours!”
God Is At Work
Atheists say God doesn’t do miracles, because there is no God. Some Christians think God has ceased working and speaking in this way. I don’t see that in Scripture, for one thing. For another, all I can say is, it happened.
I don’t know how God chooses when and when not to do work that way. He didn’t heal my foot that night; in fact I’ve had a total of six foot surgeries now. Sometimes God says no to the healing, but adds, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (See 2 Cor. 12:1-9.)
Sometimes, though, He answers in power. God is still at work. Watch for Him!
Tom Gilson is a senior editor with The Stream, and the author of A Christian Mind: Thoughts on Life and Truth in Jesus Christ. Follow him on Twitter: @TomGilsonAuthor.