Our faith is founded on wonder! The Story isn’t the Story without the creation of the cosmos, Noah’s ark, Isaac’s birth, the ten plagues, the Red Sea deliverance, the manna in the wilderness, the spectacle at Mt. Sinai when the law was given (and that’s just two books into the Bible!). These things and others are not incidental items that we can choose to accept or reject according to their degree of popularity or acceptance by our culture. They are part of the very fabric of our faith.
But that’s more than okay with disciples because we understand the wonder of the Biblical witness (which would include but not be limited to miracles) is not something that burdens us down like so much unwanted baggage, it is part and parcel of God’s world intersecting with ours. And we are absolutely delighted and joyous to have this record of how He has interacted in our world. The miracles Elisha does in connection with the widow and later the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4), Naaman being cured of his leprosy (2 Kings 5), Jonah’s aquatic adventures, God using Peter to bring Dorcas back from the dead (Acts 9) or any of Jesus’ miracles—they all fill us with hope that radiates into the darkest corners of our lives.
In the end, it all boils down to whether or not you chose to believe in God. If you do, then logically speaking, there’s absolutely no reason to be surprised by anything found in Scripture in terms of God’s ability and power. While it’s true we are constantly amazed at His ways, it’s equally true that we’ve come to expect such things (in a healthy sense) in the way that you would with someone who is good. The more you get to know them and the layers are peeled away, you’re not surprised to find decisions, attitudes and behaviors which reflect their goodness. So it is with our Father who is the epitome of goodness. We’re not really surprised to find out that the God who loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, also knows the number of hairs on our head, takes care of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. We’re not surprised that He finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18) or throws a party when a sinner repents (Luke 15).
And while it’s true that disciples can’t always connect all of the dots or explain everything to everyone’s satisfaction (including our own), that does not make us any different that skeptics or unbelievers. As humans, we’re all subject to limitations. As humans, we all have to choose to put our faith in something or Someone. Disciples have made the choice to put their faith in God rather than the latest scientific understanding, sociological model or current belief system.
Our real challenge is not becoming dull to the wonder in God’s word and in the world around us. Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of his servant to God’s unseen army (2 Kings 6:17). Alexander MacLaren succinctly observed, “The manifestation, not the presence, of the angel guards was the miracle.” Read the story and think about that.
O Lord, open our eyes that we might see!