April 4, 2002 ē By Ed Wrather
One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peterís brother, said to Him, ĎThere is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?í Then Jesus said, ĎMake the people sit down.í Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. - John 6:8-11.
For years skeptics have been trying to throw doubt on the miracles recorded in the Bible. There have been attacks on everything from the crossing of the Red Sea to the virgin birth. It is somewhat surprising that these attacks have been largely unsuccessful. The Harris Poll of July 1998 found of adults in the United States 86% believe in the occurrence of miracles. 90% of Christians, and 66% of non-Christians believe in miracles. Why does faith in the miraculous persist? A Newsweek Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates in April of 2000 reveals the answer. When those surveyed were asked whether they personally had ever experienced or witnessed a miracle, 48% said they had. Amazing! Almost half the people in the United States say they have experienced or witnessed a miracle. No wonder the skeptics have had a hard time casting doubt on the miracles of the Bible.
Even the disciples of Jesus had a hard time believing in the miraculous. The disciples wanted to feed all of those people, but they could not even begin to buy enough food with the money, they had available. They probably thought it was reasonable to look among the people and see if there was enough food that had been brought that could be shared. They had no idea that Jesus could take a few loaves of barley and a couple of little fishes and feed thousands of people. They were still having a hard time believing even after the twelve baskets of fragments had been gathered up.
We may believe in miracles, but usually we believe that miracles happen more often in the lives of other people. It is when it comes to our own lives that we are the most skeptical of the miraculous. God can do it in other peopleís lives, but we have a hard time believing He can do it in our life. We pray for rain but we have a hard time carrying an umbrella around after we do. Do miracles still occur today? Yes, half the people in the USA believe they have experienced one or seen one.
Can something miraculous happen in your life? Possibly, but it may depend on your definition of a miracle. The fact that my heart continues to beat thousands of times every day sending life delivering blood through my veins and arteries is in the category of the miraculous for me. The truck that didnít run over me or the car I didnít run into is certainly miraculous when I consider how close, I have come to being in terrible accidents.
The fact is that miracles still happen when it is Godís will. If our prayers are in accordance with Godís will for our lives you can count on a miracle happening in your life. In 1 John 5:14-15 we are told, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.Ē So, go ahead and pray for the impossible, the impracticable, the fantastic, and the miraculous - itís okay to do so. God would have us to come to Him with confidence knowing that we can pour our hearts out to Him. If we happen to ask for the wrong thing, Heís not going to zap us with a lightning bolt. He wants us to know that He is still God, and He loves us. His door is always open waiting for us to enter in. I believe that is a miracle in itself. Look around today and it may be that you will see some miracles too.