(By definition, a miracle is something that cannot be explained through science - in fact, it is something that goes against known scientific laws)
Miracles Happen! And it's not just in biblical times. God is still very active in our time and age. He has not abandoned us.
There are tales a plenty you can find if you search online. A rainbow that shines through a window to shine upon a dying father's face, cancer that mysteriously disappears, people coming to Christ through dreams, terrible accidents where the victim walks away completely unharmed, the list goes on and are as varied as they are many. Our culture can be a cynical one, though, and it probably is true that there are some fake stories that abound among them. But I am convinced that miracles happen.
I have personally witnessed two accounts of miraculous healing of cancer - where the cancer was stage 4 and unresponsive to treatment, then the next test comes up negative - as in the cancer just disappeared. This happened on two separate occasions to two separate individuals. In both cases, the cancer came back eventually and took their lives, but the extra time provided was just enough of a reprieve for them to appreciate their families and say their goodbyes. I know this because one of the victims was my own grandmother. Although this could be argued against for being a miracle, the doctors continue to be baffled by these cases.
My Uncle, the pastor of the church I grew up in, would have died very young, if not for the hand of God - for all practical purposes, quite literally. As he tells it, it happened while he was working for his father in the oil business. it was dark and he was walking down a raised walkway on an oil rig. He was walking along when, he says it was like a physical hand came out and smacked him square on the chest, stopping him in his tracks. Stunned, for there was no one anywhere near him, no less in front of him, he happened to look down to see that the gangplank was broken and dropped off right in front of him. If he had finished that one step, he would have plummeted down the hole and had been skewered by PVC pipes and other such construction materials. He is convinced that God saved his life that night.
A great family friend, a very godly man - founder of an organization that helps the fatherless - tells a story of a close friend who was dying in the hospital. He was in the crowded waiting room, when a lady came in who was clearly in a lot of pain. He heard a quiet, small voice in his head say, "If you go pray for her, I will heal her." After much internal arguing, he decided it would be better to look a fool than to be at odds with God, so he stood up. As he stood up, the guy next to him grabbed his arm and asked, "You're going to go pray for that lady, aren't you." In his typical style, her replied, "Excuse me?" And the guy answered, "You see, God told me to go pray for her, and God said that if I don't then He will find someone else to do it for Him." So both of them got up together, went and prayed for the lady. He said it was like the pain just disappeared, immediately. The lady got up, canceled her appointment, and left the waiting room.
But those are second hand stories. I have a few stories of my own.
First two stories, I wouldn't call them miracles per se, but in this culture of naturalism, and naturalism only, they are stories that I look back on and smile, for God allowed me to see something that baffles all scientific knowledge (at least, from what I have studied and have tried to explain).
One summer, I was helping my father with the back yard and a new porch. We put small white rocks under the porch, and he wanted me to transport the extra rocks back over to the side of our driveway, which was about a distance of 60 yards (we had a long drive way). I was shoveling them into this metal trashcan and carrying it over load by load. The trashcan had two handles, each about half a foot wide in the shape of a rectangle with curved corners. It was attached by a solid sheet of metal that lapped over the inside of the handle, drilled into the trashcan by four screws - two above and two below. It was a hot, sunny summer day, but not over 85 degrees. Suddenly, on one of my trips to dump the rocks, with the trashcan half full (rocks are heavy!), one of my hands slipped, and the trashcan tipped half way. I quickly placed the other side down and released the handle on that side. The other handle was actually in my hand, to my surprise. I looked at the handle and found that it had retained it's shape. It wasn't bent in the least, nor did it show signs that it had been damaged in any way. I then looked at the trashcan where the sheet of metal had held the handle in. Amazed, I found that it, too, was undamaged and completely intact. No break, no tear, no cut, and all the screws were still present. It made no sense. How did the handle come loose if nothing broke? It hadn't bent, or shifted, or stretched... I researched it a bit, but found no answer. I asked some of the scientists I knew, but they had no definitive answer either. The only possibility that may have accounted for it would be a heat flash. There are times when metal has been known to snap out and back in to shape in a flash due to intense heat. That is a possible explanation, but I was handling the trashcan with bare hands. The heat necessary for the metal to snap like that would have certainly burned my hands. Perhaps it wouldn't be called a miracle, but God certainly showed me something pretty cool - mind-boggling and certainly scientifically implausible. I keep the handle as a reminder that not everything has a scientific explanation.
While I was living in Liberal, KS, something caught my attention when I came out of my apartment to go to work. My car was absolutely covered in fine morning dew. However, the dirt next to the walkway was dry, and I didn't notice any wetness to the grass, but more amazing than that observation was that out of EVERY car in the entire parking lot (over a dozen cars), my car was the ONLY car with any water on it at all. The parking lot was full of cars, including one on either side of mine. They were all completely dry, not even a hint of dew or residue of any water. Yet my car was covered from bumper to bumper. Quite incredible. Upon hearing it, my Uncle quipped, "Tomorrow, if your car is dry and the rest has dew on it, call me up!"
Those two were simple, fun stories, these next two are a bit more serious.
My first apartment, my dad had recently purchased the apartments as landlord. The previous tenants had vacated rather quickly, for they had been gangbangers. They had been growing weed in the ventilation and there were knife pot marks one every wall. After it had all been cleaned out and the walls fixed, I moved in with a family friend. Within the first few weeks, I awoke one night, my adrenaline pumping. I quickly found that I couldn't move. I was lying on my back, the covers tight over my chest, and it felt as if someone was under my bed, pulling down on the sheets with great force. The pressure was so high I had difficulty breathing. Thankfully, I had heard stories of things like this happening to others and it had been attributed to spiritual warfare. So I quickly prayed something akin to "Leave, in the name of Jesus Christ!" I don't remember the exact words, but what I do distinctly remember is I invoked the name of Jesus, and immediately, the pressure was gone. I could move again, and I sat up without a problem. I immediately got up, no one was in my room. No one was in my apartment. I prayed over the apartment, and never had anything remotely similar happen again in that apartment.
I had just been promoted to a Star scout. My boy's scout troop was small and went camping at least once a month. I loved it. In fact, this camping trip was to be the first camping trip that I would finally be allowed to sleep in a hammock! It was a privilege I had waited a long time for, and I was excited. We arrived late, the rest of the troupe was already there and had set up camp, the campfire was going, and people were getting ready to turn in. They camped in a wide open area, next to a long line of trees. The trees all lined up in a straight line intrigued me, for where better to string up a hammock than a long line of trees? So I started walking over there first, instead of heading toward the rest of the camp. I noticed that the scout master and an eagle scout were also over near the line of trees, so I decided to go talk to them, say hi, then check out the trees. On my way over there, about half way there I'd say, my feet stopped. I didn't tell them to stop. They didn't run into anything. It was very jarring, because my mind was saying walk, but my feet seemed to have a mind of their own. It was sudden, like when you trip over something you didn't see, except I didn't fall, I just stopped - like someone had poured pure lead into my boots. I looked down at my feet in confusion. They were still there. I lifted my left foot. It did as I told it to, and it lifted up off the ground. I set my left foot down, and raised my right foot. It did as I told it to as well. Still confused over what happened, but pleased my feet seemed to be fine, I looked up to see the scout master and the eagle scout heading my way. Still a bit scared from the incident, I decided to wait where I was until they passed, say hi, then walk on to the line of trees. The eagle scout passed by me without a word. The scout master walked by, but the only words he said to me were, "Don't go over there." Still confused, I had even less reason to argue with my scout master, so I went somewhere else and hung my hammock up for the night. The next morning, I walked over to the line of trees and found myself looking over the top of a sheer cliff, at least 60 feet down. The trees were lining the cliff like a barrier. I just know for a fact, if I had gone over there that night to check out those trees, I would have walked right off the edge of that cliff without even knowing it was there. I am absolutely confident that God saved my life that night.
This last story isn't a miracle, but it is an example of God still actively engaging his children. I am NOT a prophet! That is not my spiritual gift, but there was this one time... It was the last two days of Summit Ministries - a two week crash course (literally, it was like drinking from a fire hydrant!) on world view - coming from a biblical viewpoint. I had three roommates - the ladies man, the jock, and the Korean. The Ladies man was a typical teenager with raging hormones. He was slick, but he loved Jesus. The Jock was a baseball player who had been forced into coming by his parents. The Korean was from South Korea, understood English pretty well, but didn't speak "christianese" and had difficulty understanding the college level vernacular of some of the speakers. I found myself spending many nights during those two weeks discussing the days lectures with my roommates, mostly explaining what they meant. I loved it. However, after the first week, it was evident that the jock had a major idol in his life - baseball. One night, he confessed that his life goal was to go pro, make it to the hall of fame, and then die. In that direct order. I have never felt a calling to speak into someones life as strongly as I did that last week. I felt strongly that God wanted me to speak into his life and prophecy what was going to happen if he kept his idol. I was confused by it, and didn't understand how I could possibly presume to prophecy something like that, but the closer it got to the end of the event, the more uneasy and urgent the feeling became. So the night before the last day, I approached the jock. I asked him, if he could choose between baseball and God, which would he choose? He chose baseball. The ladies man tried to berate him, saying that wasn't right, but I told him it was okay, he was being honest, and I expected that answer. I then told the jock, I felt that God wanted me to tell him something. That he loved him, but if he continued to have this idol, one of three things would happen, either - (1) He will change your heart, so you no longer desire baseball over him, (2) He will physically take baseball away from you, perhaps by a physical injury, or (3) (the most scariest of all) He will give you over to what you want, but He will not be with you. The jock didn't get angry. He accepted what I said with a nod, then walked away, but he seemed a little sad. To this day, I don't know what happened to him, but the memory of God moving in my heart, and the memory of the sheer spiritual pressure to share that with this guy has forever remained with me.
Not everyone is privileged to have stories such as these - they can go their entire lives in service to Jesus and not feel like anything special or spectacular or miraculous happens, but that doesn't mean it hasn't or that it doesn't, or that it won't. It's easy for some people to think that God no longer does miracles like he did in the Bible because they haven't heard or seen it close to them. In fact, I once thought the same, before these things happened in my life. But long ago I learned that only God knows the impact our actions have on others. "I planted, Apollos watered," but only God produces the growth. He is still at work, and He is the same today as He always was, and will forever be.