From time to time, atheists challenge me with the question, "If God exists, why don't miracles still happen today?" While I cannot answer the question entirely, I can offer this personal story of encountering a miracle in my own life.
My family was celebrating my son's birthday. The group that day was comprised of about 50 people. We had gathered at our family's house to celebrate the first year of our son, Aaron's life. The day was especially memorable to me for two reasons. The first was obviously experiencing such a joyous celebration. The second however was quite unexpected. I had the opportunity to witness God’s powerful touch, active to perform miracles. Here’s how the story went...
My wife (Sarah) had asked me to make a routine trip to the drug store. She wanted me to pick up a few last minute items before our party began. So I agreed and left the house with a short list of odds and ends. In my heart, I was looking forward to returning to the party as soon as possible.
However, as soon as I entered the drug store, I felt a strange inward voice chiding me: "Would you let me use you today to minister in my name, even if it inconveniences your schedule?" As soon as the thought passed through my mind, I immediately felt it was God. I felt conviction, and a strange new desire to loosen my plans on my day. It was as if God wanted me to allow him to interpose his higher agenda upon my schedule. So I half-heartedly agreed and gave prayerful permission for God to interrupt my routine party-errand.
As I walked into the drug store, I sought to keep my eyes pealed. I wanted to be sure to spot what God would direct me to do. As I did, I saw a man and a woman seated in two chairs. Just to their left was a sign which read: "Minute Clinic." Glancing back at the couple, I began to feel drawn to them. It was as if I could sense that God was seeking to touch them with his hand. I therefore began the conversation with a simple start-up line: “God bless you!” I said. I then moved on.
However, in doing so, I took note of the amazement in both of their faces. I could see that my comment had somehow gotten their attention. So I rounded the isle and returned to the place where they sat. Kneeling down to their eye level, I began my conversation.
"Greetings," I said as I locked eyes with them. “I can see that you are sitting here waiting to be seen by a doctor. You clearly are hoping to be admitted to the ‘Minute Clinic.’ But before you go in, may I ask, what’s wrong?”
The man answered my question with a heavy Spanish accent. His response was honest, sincere, and curiously free of skepticism. The man said, “I’ve got a swollen gland in my neck. And it’s really uncomfortable. So I’m hoping to see a doctor.”
As I listened to his response, I shot up a quick prayer. I said, “Jesus, please respond to this man’s need and glorify yourself.” I then looked at the man and answered him with the same warmness as before. With a smile on my face, I said to the couple: “Jesus can heal you of your ailment right now! Would you allow me to pray for you to that effect?”
“Sure," the man replied. “Prayer is always good.” The man then looked at his wife with a carefree smile on his face. I was amazed at his willingness so I touched the man’s shoulder. I said, “Then would you mind if I laid my hand upon your neck?” The man nodded. So I began. “Lord,” I said, “I ask that right now in Jesus’ name, you remove this sickness. Heal this man. And reveal yourself today.”
Almost immediately, I felt a strange tingling in my finger. It was definitely out of the ordinary. It was very noticeable. So I quickly reported what I felt. I said, “Friend, this is strange, but I can feel something happening in my hand. It's wild! Tell me, if you are feeling anything.”
The man quickly replied to my question. He was utterly amazed. “That’s impossible!” he shouted as he leapt from his chair. With a wide-eyed expression upon his face, he looked to his wife. He then repeated himself for emphasis. “That’s impossible! How did that happen? As soon as you touched my neck, I felt my gland shrink!” He rubbed his neck in utter shock and disbelief.
“Friend,” I said, “I think you have just had an encounter with the God. If you’ve never known it before, then I want to say to you today that God is the God of miracles and he really loves you.”
I then proceeded to explain how God comes into our lives to reshape our understanding. I urged him to recognize that the Spirit is absent from the lives of many professing Christians today. I then invited him to seek God personally and encouraged him to press in, asking for more of Jesus.
Needless to say, that day, I returned to my son’s party, rejoicing. I felt as though I was on cloud-nine. I don't understand why God doesn't heal all people. But in a very personal way, I can say, based on my personal story, God still performs miracles in response our prayers offered in Jesus' name.