DRAMATIC AND TRAUMATIC MIRACLES
J. N. Manokaran
Recently, my smart mobile phone with touch screen fell and the screen developed a crack. I was upset, and worried how much it would cost to get it replaced. Is there anything impossible for our Lord? Every time I took it out from the pocket, I expected a miracle to happen. I harboured a secret desire to experience a dramatic miracle that restored my touch screen.
Kinds Of Miracles
Many times, as humans we desire God to intervene in our lives and do miracles and wonders, as He did in the past. Even today, we hear of God doing miracles in the lives of many. I know a 17-year old man, who was left to die, as medical professionals ruled out any possible treatment to save his life, who heard and saw the Lord Jesus speaking to him and giving him a new lease of life. Today he is married. Another girl, who was differently-abled and on wheel chair for more than two decades, experienced the Lord’s touch that healed her miraculously. Now she too is married and blessed with a child. These two miracles could be termed as dramatic miracles.
At the same time, there were times when God did not answer my own prayers and those of the others the way we expected Him to. Sometimes, exactly the opposite of what I desired happened: a paralysed person died soon after I prayed and the others started praying for him. I have termed such incidents as traumatic miracles.
Joseph must have prayed to God for justice when he was falsely accused in Potiphar's home, but ended up in prison. It was a temporary trauma for Joseph, nevertheless, but one that led to a dramatic miracle much later – Joseph becoming second only to the Pharaoh in Egypt.
The Book of Job is a wonderful account on the mystery of suffering. Job lost everything – assets, children, health and friends – except his wife and life. All the tragedies happened in quick succession. Job went through a traumatic miracle but at the end God rewarded him with a double portion of all he lost. He also played a high priestly role in praying for his foolish and miserable comforter friends.
Hebrews 11 – A Paradox
The ‘Hall of Fame’ in Hebrews 11 has two sets of names. One set of people enjoyed dramatic miracles while the other set endured traumatic miracles. "Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb.11:35-38). Our human nature would love to be in the first list and not in the second. However, God has different plans for different people.
Paul was passionate for our Lord and worked very hard. He wanted to be more effective, but something held him back. He describes it as a thorn in the flesh. He prayed three times for a dramatic miracle. However, God did not answer his prayer in the way he wanted. "Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness’ ” (2Cor.12:8,9). God gave him a traumatic miracle that sustained him through the sufferings he endured physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually because God’s abundant grace was upon him.
One who follows God just for dramatic miracles is not willing to take up the cross. The real challenge for a servant of God is to serve Him, rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ even through traumatic miracles.