Apr 25, 2023
The late writer Christopher Hitchens was a skeptic who claimed that miracles are born from nightmarish ignorance, and that they often are simply 10th-hand reports from illiterate peasants. Wow. The flaw in his argument, of course, is that it isn't really an argument. It's simply a rant against God, and the fact is unexplainable miracles happen every day in our world, but Hitchen's views are shared widely by certain influential people in our time and their claims that miracles are impossible do tend to have an effect on how others think of miracles.
Another reason some have trouble really believing in miracles is because when one is needed, doubt and fear crowd out our belief. Remember, even the ancient Israelites who saw historic miracles almost on a daily basis sometimes complained that God had left them to die in the desert.
Man, our attention span’s short.
Maybe the most famous example of doubting a miracle is seen in the New Testament when one of the disciples of Jesus, Thomas, refuses to believe reports of his resurrection. John 20:25 says, “But he said to them, unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” The 18th-century philosopher David Hume thought that miracles violated the laws of nature. In fact, his views and others like him influenced many people in Europe and America in the next two centuries. So they believed that reason cannot believe in miracles.
Notice that doesn't mean they don't exist. The opinions of men too often influence people who haven't really thought this through. As the Christian writer Timothy McGrew has said, “Science properly understood will tell us the limits of nature, but it will never tell us that nothing lies beyond those limits.” In the case of Thomas, we could say that he didn't have enough information. Once he saw the risen Lord with his own eyes, he could believe.
For others, it's a matter of the heart. Perhaps you've been wounded and you're shutting God out. This can cause you not to see what's right in front of your face. So do this. Allow yourself one day to be open to the possibility of miracles. Scan the news. Listen to friends. Scroll through social media. It would be a miracle if you don't find a miracle.
Father God, you are good to us in big ways and in small ways. You make miracles happen in our lives. From healing to repaired relationships, we know that we can ask you for your good gifts and you will give them. Help us to be ambassadors for your miracle-working power. In Jesus’ name, amen.