This won’t be a long article, and I won’t try to reason through each statement with Scripture as I often tend to do in articles dealing with Christian faith.
This is about an existential question that every Christian experiences at some point: why does God act? Why doesn’t the God who acted before not act now? Why do some people experience more miracles than others?
Let me begin by answering all of these questions this way: ultimately, I don’t know. Only God will be able to answer all of our particular questions.
But I have a theory that I thought I would briefly share.
I have experienced many miracles. There have been times when things have happened to and in my life that no one on this earth will ever be able to tell me wasn’t God directly intervening on my behalf.
And I have also experienced moments when I felt like I was twisting in the wind.
One might begin to feel as if God is a switch with a faulty circuit: He might come on for you, He might not.
I’ll put the question this way: if God intervenes for me, why doesn’t He ALWAYS intervene? Why sometimes and not others? Why in certain situations but not in every situation?
At the macro level, God is sovereign. That means that God is ALWAYS working and ALWAYS in control. But sometimes God allows the universe to continue its natural cycle – He created a causal universe for a reason, after all – rather than entering in directly and intervening for His children.
But why? If He’s going to act on our behalf, why doesn’t He always act on our behalf?
What occurs to me is that God is like a parent: should a parent constantly intervene for his/her kid every single time in every single situation? Or would that not produce a spoiled kid with rather enormous issues? I dare say that kid would turn out to be soft, self-indulgent, refuse to ever take responsibility as everything would be daddy’s or mommy’s problem to fix, self-excusing, hypersensitive and narcissistic to the point of ridiculousness. Because everyone would supposed to be really, really nice to that child who would never grow up and always drop their own lives to help them to do everything they needed.
In February 2007, Yale clinicians identified in Adam Lanza what they believed were profound emotional disabilities and offered him treatment that they said could give him relief for the first time in his troubled life..
But Adam was angry and anxious, and he didn’t want to go. His mother, Nancy Lanza, constantly placating her son, was inclined to pull away from the treatment, prompting a psychiatric nurse to reach out to his father, Peter Lanza, in an urgent email.
“I told Adam he has a biological disorder that can be helped with medication. I told him what the medicines are and why they can work. I told him he’s living in a box right now and the box will only get smaller over time if he doesn’t get some treatment.”
Nancy Lanza rejected the Yale doctors’ plan. Adam was 14.
Six years later, Adam, now an emaciated recluse and fixated with mass killers, murdered his mother and massacred 20 children and six educators before turning a gun on himself at the elementary school he once attended in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown.
We have in God the One who created both male and female in His image (Genesis 1:27). The God who had man and woman within Himself in His image has all the attributes of perfect Father as well as perfect mother all in perfect balance. He will give us the nurturing care that we need; He will also give us the corrective discipline that we need. He will not allow us to become basket cases due to His excessive care or His excessive neglect.
Miracles and the withholding of miracles are part of that balanced care. God gives us what we need and not more. God gives us everything we need and not everything we want.
But there’s more: God CAN’T come to us every time and answer our prayers every time for another reason: because He wants us to have faith in Him through good times and through bad times. And if we always have faith in Him only through the good times because we’re never allowed to have bad times, where would our faith be?
In order to truly, fully learn to trust, I believe we need to go through difficult, hard times. And when we truly develop that “hard times” faith, what we’ll see is that God is in our situation with us, giving us just enough, being our daily Bread, as we hold on to Him in our adversity in a way that we could NEVER hold on to Him in our pleasure and in our pleasant places.
Then there’s those people whom God always does miracles for. What’s up with them?
Well, God has ALWAYS worked in the lives of particular people. Read the Bible: did God work more in Moses’ life than in the lives of all of his people? Of course. And the same with Noah and with Abraham and with David and on and on. You just see that throughout the Bible: God picks out certain people, and works through them to reach the rest of His people. He reaches out to people through people. And those people see things that other of His people don’t see.
It’s not that God loves those people more, or that those people are necessarily more spiritual. It is not those who are called who are special; it is always the God who called them who is special.
God doesn’t pick these people for who they are; often He picks them in SPITE of who they are. And then He molds them and refines them according to His plan for their lives.
Anyway, God gives me the miracles I need to keep trusting Him and following Him and believing in His provision. And He gives me other believers and their miracle stories to know that He’s working in the lives of ALL His people rather than just in mine. And I am not only able to receive the miracles I receive, but also the miracles that other Christians receive as I learn to trust my God and grow in that trust through good time and through bad times.