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“If I were you, I would go to God and present my case to him. He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles.” (Job 5:8-9)

On March 3, 1887, two ladies met and changed each other’s lives forever. The older of the two, Johanna Mansfield Sullivan, was born to illiterate and impoverished immigrants who migrated to the United States from Ireland during the Great Famine. At a very young age, she contracted a bacterial eye disease which over time made her nearly blind. Through a course of events, she was enrolled in the Perkins Institution for the Blind where she learned the manual alphabet in order to communicate with a classmate who was deaf and blind. Eventually several operations improved her weakened eyesight. She graduated at age 20 as the valedictorian of her class and became known simply as Anne Sullivan. Then she was introduced to a seven-year-old blind and deaf girl by the name of Helen Keller. Challenged to socialize her wild, stubborn student – she began to teach her using the manual alphabet she had learned at Perkins. One day a breakthrough occurred and Sullivan stated, “My heart is singing for joy this morning. A miracle has happened. The light of understanding has shown upon my little pupil’s mind, and behold, all things are changed!” It was the beginning of a 49-year relationship during which Sullivan evolved from teacher to governess and finally to companion and friend. Literary references and performance productions labeled her “the miracle worker” because of significant contributions to Helen Keller’s most accomplished life.

Believers in Christ know that there is only one true miracle worker; that is if we define miracle as a wonder or marvel that defies rational explanation surpassing all known human or natural powers. The Biblical accounts of Jesus miracles here on earth are evidenced in the healings of the ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19), a blind man named Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52), and a woman who had been afflicted for 12 years who reached out and touched His garment (Matthew 9:20-22). Everyone whom Jesus willed to be healed was healed. Sometimes He healed those who expressed their faith in Him, and He clearly stated it to be so. Other times in His great mercy, He healed those who had no faith and later drew them to Himself. We come to understand then that it is only by the power of Christ that miracles occur, not through the influence of our faith. Faith is only the instrument, not the power itself. St. Augustine concluded, “Miracles were necessary before the world believed, in order that it might believe.” Some say that miracles no longer exist since the message of Jesus and His apostles has already been confirmed in the Scriptures. The logical question which follows then . . . does God still perform miracles today?

To answer that, you just have to give attention to the March, 2015 story of Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, 25, who lost control of her car and landed in the icy Spanish Fork River in Utah. Fourteen hours later, first-responders found her 18-month-old daughter, Lily, in her car seat hanging upside down just above frigid river water. Prior to finding Lily, both police officers and firefighters report that they heard an adult voice yell “Help me!” All were emphatic it came from the vehicle. It looked as though no one could have survived, but the voice prompted three officers and firemen to lift the car. They determined that the plea for help could not have come from the young mother, who likely died from the impact. Authorities had no explanation as to how the girl survived hanging upside-down for those many hours in freezing temperatures in meager clothing with no food or water. Coincidence . . . left to chance, some might say? Little Lily made a full recovery and her survival could only be clarified by three words – “It’s a miracle.”

As long as people have faith in God, miracles are certainly possible, since it’s faith that ushers miracles into the world. After all – “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow” (Hebrews 13:8) and God is still on the throne. Likewise, we should not necessarily expect miracles to occur in the same way they did in Biblical accounts. There will be occasions in which He will use His Holy Spirit to work through us. The Apostle Paul stated so: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). And yet the greatest miracle of all continues to occur each time there is a spiritual transformation of a sinful heart through faith in Christ.

REFLECTION: Are you able to give an example of a modern-day miracle? Can you argue the fact that something which happens at exactly the right time is more of a divine alignment than a true miracle?


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