What is a Miracle?

According to the dictionary definition, a miracle is “an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.” In other words, something is only considered supernatural or miraculous when it cannot be explained by the “so-called” laws of nature—something that is extra-ordinary; supernatural.

However, I believe that we truly need to redefine the term miracle. Because, by this definition, the only happenings that are attributed to the divine agency are those that we interpret to go against the laws of nature. But the question that I would like to ask is, “what is ordinary about the things we call ‘natural’?”

What we refer to as natural are the daily occurrences of life—the operations of the sun, the moon, stars, the growing of plants, the flowing of the river, the rotation of the earth on its axis, the conception, development, and birth of a baby, the functions of the body and all other ‘natural’ occurrences of life.

Let’s get back to the question, “what is ordinary about these ‘natural’ occurrences?”

I believe that the dictionary definition of a miracle is based on neglect to recognize the awesome; miraculous working of God in the ‘ordinary’ things of life. In other words, we take God’s power for granted.

The Bible tells us that the operations of the earth reveal God’s omnipotence. “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” Romans 1:19–20 (ESV).

In other words, if our eyes are open, and we truly understand and appreciate the operations of God we are witnesses to miracles every day. In the blade of the grass, the rising of the sun, the growth of the plants, the blossoming of the flowers, the birth of a child; we should see miracles. We should clearly see that these should not be merely attributed to natural laws, but to the power of God.

In commenting on Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, Ellen G. White says,  “In feeding the five thousand, Jesus lifts the veil from the world of nature, and reveals the power that is constantly exercised for our good. In the production of earth’s harvests God is working a miracle every day.” (White 1898).

Therefore, I should not wait for the so-called “supernatural” occurrences in my life to see a miracle. I should see miracles in my life every day. If I truly recognize the power of God, I should say, “I am a miracle.”

The idea that the world runs naturally, based on scientific laws, without God’s intervention, is based on a Deistic worldview that sees God as a mere grandfather who created the world, but is very distant from it and has no involvement in the world.

We need to review and modify our world view to reflect a bible-based definition of a miracle so that we do not end up taking God’s power for granted.

 

References:

White, E. G. (1898). The Desire of Ages (Pacific Press Publishing Association) pages 367–368

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