What is a Miracle, Really?
Guest Post by Angela Hunt, author of When God Happens
What are miracles, and why do they matter?
I recently decided to put together a book on miracles with friend and fellow author Bill Myers. When Bill and I put out the call for miracle stories, we received many stories about how God worked to answer prayers. To those who received these blessings, the events felt like miracles; and perhaps they were, because the contemporary definition of miracle is “a divine act by which God reveals himself to people.” By that definition, a beautiful sunrise could be a miracle if it causes the beholder to look up and marvel at the Creator.
The traditional definition of miracle, however, includes a qualification: a miracle is an act in which God transcends the normal order of things, that is, when He bends or breaks the Law of Nature.
A miracle is more than coincidence. A miracle is more than an odd, spooky occurrence. A miracle is more than God’s answering a prayer through the normal course of events.
Because we wanted these stories to speak to skeptics, we searched for stories that fit the more traditional definition of miracle. We wanted true stories told by those who experienced them. We wanted details about what God did, and most importantly, how He revealed himself to the viewer, and how the experience changed that person’s life.
Mary, a young girl in a small town, experienced a miracle when an angel appeared and told her she would soon bear a child—even though she was a virgin and had never been intimate with a man. That miracle not only affected Mary’s life, but the entire world.
The lame man begging by a pool experienced a miracle when Peter and John stopped and said they didn’t have money to give him, but by the power of Jesus Christ, they could give him the ability to walk. That man’s life changed in that instant, and so did the lives of all who witnessed the event.
Fast forward two thousand years. Cheri and Cody Clemmons’s lives were changed when they stopped to help accident victims on Highway Six in Texas. Unable to reach a man in a burning car, Cheri cried out for God’s help, and two strangers appeared to pull the man from the wreckage. Cheri’s and Cody’s lives were forever changed, and so was the survivor’s.
Dennis Hensley’s life changed the day the doctor told him his unborn daughter had died…and later, as his wife endured labor, the baby began to breathe.
Steve Taitt’s life changed the day he asked God for a sign…and the sign appeared in a newspaper classified ad.
Why are miracles important? Because they testify to the truth that God rules over His creation, and all things are under His control. Because He is all-powerful and the author of thousands of miracles, we can confidently place our lives in His hands.
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Have you been placing limitations on what you think God can do? Ask God to restore your trust in His power and ability to intervene in your circumstance.
"When God Happens," from Salem Books, is available online and wherever fine books are sold.