The events of the past few days have somewhat dulled my senses. I’m trying to do the “pastor thing,” but I find myself in a bit of mental and emotional fog.
If I may briefly return to my thoughts on our Lord’s signs and wonders, I’ll simply say this: When we take up our Bibles and read the Book of Acts, it would hardly be right for us to categorically set artificial boundaries where God’s miraculous power is concerned. In my opinion, there is nothing in Scripture suggesting that God can’t do anything He wants to do in order to build Christ’s church and enlarge His own glory. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
I for one have no desire to secretly capitulate to a brand of cold determinism that leaves God uninterested in the cries of our heart. That’s not the Jesus I see in the Bible, the Christ who “had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Such human desperation seemed to be the most fertile soil for Christ’s miraculous intervention and healing.
While affirming that ours is a Savior of such amazing love and willingness to do the “impossible” on our behalf, we must also come to terms with the fact that the Christian experience trajectory post-Pentecost has taken a more natural (and explainable) course. That is not to say that miracles ever ceased entirely, but it is simply an observation that miracles are now more the exception than the rule.
We wanted a miracle for our friend Mason. We sought that miracle with all of the faith that was in us, knowing that our God could do it. I like what Wayne “Mac” McElroy says about “unanswered” prayer: “God isn’t saying ‘no’ to our prayers, but He’s saying, ‘I have a better idea.’” For now, I’m holding tightly to that perspective with both hands.
The English poet and hymnodist, William Cowper, penned these words in 1774:
“God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov’reign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.
Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.”
William Cowper faced many of his own emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical “dangers, toils, and snares” – to rob a few lyrics from his good friend, John Newton – but each trial served only to convince Cowper of the manifold mercies of God.
Such knowledge of God’s mercy, right when we need it, is nothing short of miraculous. I am still persuaded. God is good.
Take courage, my dear friends, for the clouds will soon break.