By Lynn Jones
A mother was watching her four-year-old son playing outside in a small plastic pool that was half-filled with water. He was walking back and forth across the pool, making big splashes. Suddenly, the boy stopped, stepped out, and began scooping water out of the pool with a pail. “Why are you taking the water out of your pool?” asked the mother. The boy responded, “Because my teacher said that Jesus walked on water, and this water doesn’t work!”
I’ve never found any water that worked for me either. Of course, the problem is that we are not Jesus. He walked on the water, not to put on a religious sideshow, but to demonstrate to His disciples in an unforgettable way His power over the storm and His concern for them. Enabling people to walk on water is not the usual way God operates His universe.
The owner of a complicated model railroad usually operated it from a control box. On rare occasions, however, he stepped into the middle of the tracks to pick up an engine or some other car to reposition it. And sometimes God chooses to step into His universe and transcend the usual way He does things.
Jesus was God walking in the middle of His universe. He usually did things according to the natural laws of this world, but occasionally He chose to act apart from them. His miracles were “acted sermons.” They were “parables in concrete.” John called them “signs” pointing to great spiritual truths.
I have never had a problem believing in miracles. I accept the larger miracle of God’s creating everything, the whole universe. Undoubtedly the One who made it all in the beginning could do a minor miracle like walking on the water.
Another thing about miracles is that we are always amazed by the small miracles and usually miss the larger miracles of God. C. S. Lewis said that discerning the miracles of God is like looking at a map. On the map we generally see the names of the towns. These names are printed in smaller print and are easy to see. But sometimes we miss the names of regions or continents. These are printed in big letters and are spaced out over the map. We are not attuned to them and often overlook them.
So it is with the miracles of God. We see the small miracles like His multiplying the loaves and fishes, but we overlook the really big miracles like His taking some grains of wheat, producing bushels of grain, tons of flour, and millions of loaves of bread or a few fish eggs and over a period of time producing millions of fish. We overlook His artistry in painting our world with the turning leaves of fall.
The miracles of God surround us. May God give us eyes to see them.
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: email@example.com.