In the current issue of Dallas Connection, the alumni publication from Dallas Seminary, Greg Hatteberg reflects on his wife Lisa's struggle with Multiple Sclerosis. I first met Greg and Lisa when I spoke at the DTS conference at Mt. Hermon several years ago. Before and after each service, Greg would wheel Lisa into a place in the aisle so she could hear the speakers. Then he would stay by her side after each service, chatting with whoever came by. In the article (not online) Greg talks about a time when a well-meaning but misguided man came up and told him that Lisa was going to be healed that very day. "God has told me, when you go home tonight, Lisa will run to the door when you get home, proclaiming she has been healed to the glory of God." Evidently Greg seemed somewhat unconvinced because the man said, "Don't you believe God can do it? Don't you believe in miracles?"
No one questions the power of God to work amazing miracles today. He's God. He can break into our world any time he chooses to do things that we cannot explain. It's not God's power that is at issue. And it's not our belief in miracles--past or present. The issue rests at a much deeper level--with the sovereign plan of God for our lives. The question is not, Do we believe in miracles? but What kind of miracles do we believe in? Sometimes our understanding of how God works is much too narrow. This was Greg's answer to the man who promised that Lisa would be healed that very day:
I believe with all my heart that God can heal Lisa. I pray that when I come home Lisa runs out to greet me. If she does, you will be the first one I'll call so we can praise God together. But if when I go home, Lisa is sitting in her reclining chair and says, "Did the seminar go well?" I just want you to know that another miracle happened today--the miracle of God's sustaining grace keeping her close to him for another day.
That strikes me as exactly the right biblical balance. We are fully justified in asking God to work miracles on behalf of our loved ones. I can think of some friends in desperate situations who need some miracles at this very moment. But God doesn't limit himself to our understanding of what our loved one need most. He is fully able to do spectacular miracles today just as he did in Bible times. But more often he gives strength to the weary and courage to the fainting and hope to those who feel like giving up. Greg and Lisa Hatteberg are living proof that God's miracles come in more than one variety, a truth they experience every day.
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