I remember the first time I heard about a ‘miracle’ that fascinated me. I had heard all about people who had been healed and demons chased away before, so I knew God could do that. But for me it ended there. The miracles that is. In healing, speaking in tongues, raising people from dead, etc.
Until our CU patron whose father was a pastor( I’ve just added that for dramatic effect), told us a ‘miracle’ that had happened to them. What qualifies to be a miracle by the way? Anyway, this guy had been traveling with his siblings in a personal car. Heading to Nairobi. On the way, their car ran out of fuel. And there was no petrol station around. So they prayed that God moves their car with no fuel to Nairobi. And as you already imagined, God answered their prayer. Their car stopped right under those post written ” Welcome to Nairobi”.
The reason why that incident amazed me was because of how personal it was. The God I had heard of before that, did things for public show, for example healing people in crusades, and making people speak in tongues when praying(obviously in the middle of a church service). But that incident was seen only by those present. And two, it felt personal. Like in a crusade, if people get healed, the ones watching get their faith strengthened, right? Plus healing is a solution to a torturing problem. Surely, running out of fuel is not that much of a pressing problem, is it now? Even if you are late for a meeting, people will understand compared to sickness which leads to death in the absence of healing.
But that tale changed my point of view of God completely. I wanted and yearned to get personal with God. After all, I had now realized that people could. And I remember asking God for things I would have previously thought too small for Him. And he answered to precision. Yaani zile za He leaves no chance for you to blame chance, fate, nature or coincidence. There is a time I asked God for a certain GPA(thinking back, I should have asked for more). God gave the GPA I had asked for with a .5(point 5). If you are a scientist you know that 1 ranges between 0.5 to 1.5, while two is from 1.5 to 2.5. Yaani He was going to ensure that I got the exact thing I asked for regardless of which point of view I looked at it from.
And that has been basically what my walk with God entails. A relationship. Not the ones where a guy surprises you with a Bugatti as a birthday present but where each morning he makes breakfast for you. I have seen God in over a thousand little things. Praying for a mat, praying that a friend who is angry with me will get ‘un-angry’, praying for what dress to wear, for a date, for a safe journey, for money, for my hairline, for my periods, for my assignments. Things that you can’t tell people because they are so kawaida/so normal. Nothing out of the ordinary. Yet God has been faithful in all those little personal things.
Which brings me to something that I wanted to write about. Miracles. And our fixation with them. I’ve just read about Wandia Njoya’s battle with cancer. And she says that one of things she least enjoyed about it, were those people who came to pray for her, by calling God to come prove Himself by healing her. The God she served didn’t have to do anything to prove He is God or loving or caring or strong. She reminded me of a conversation I had had with friends from church. A lady asked, ” Have you ever had a moment when you knew the Holy Spirit was there? “. And people stated narrating tales of how the Holy Spirit had manifested Himself miraculously through various things which I won’t go into details. My answer was simple, ” He is always with me,”. But clearly that was not the answer needed. Not when we are talking of extraordinary occurrences with the Holy Spirit.
Which brings me to ask, when Jesus said this generation was lucky, what does that mean to you? Like the people of the Old Testament had God. He spoke to them and directed them. In simple terms, the Israelites interacted with the same unchanging God we are interacting with now. Miracles, or should I say, big intense miracles, were a common occurrence back then. I don’t think there is a generation that didn’t experience God’s miracles in the Old Testament. And there were things to be done for the people to be forgiven sins by God. So just as we are forgiven now, the Israelites could do what they had been told to do, to be forgiven.
I think Jesus meant many things by saying that we are lucky. And one of those things is the Holy Spirit. A helper. The Holy Spirit was not there in the Old Testament( at least not in the way Jesus meant by a helper). He comes into the picture after Jesus comes. And what did Jesus do? When I read the gospels, one thing perplexes me. Jesus talks so much about our relationship with each other. And with God. On earth. Its like He came to not only give us Salvation but to also guide us on how we should live here on earth.
For the longest time ever, I wondered how Jesus was man and yet never sinned. Like at all. I couldn’t imagine not sinning. How now? Until I realised that Jesus had something unique, He had the Holy Spirit. He had a helper.
Which leads to the question, what is the Holy Spirit helping you in? The bible says He will teach you all these things( this was Jesus talking) and remind you what Jesus had taught. He will also comfort you and intercede for you according to God’s will. In simple terms, you can’t be alive spiritually without the Holy Spirit. He is your constant guide. That voice that keeps on guiding you back to God even when you don’t feel like praying. The one that will help you live the kind of life Jesus kept on talking about. You can’t be Christ like without the help of the Holy Spirit. Flesh can only be defeated by the Spirit.
So how does all this relate to miracles? When we say we want to be like Christ, do we mean, abandon our various professions at thirty and become full time miracle working ministers? I think we mean emulate His character, attitudes, principles, values, relationship with God and such kind of things in our various professions and ways of life.
Which then means, that some people will be miracle workers as God has seen it best and some will be teachers and others doctors and others tax collectors and all other professions. What am driving at is this, God wants us to have a relationship with Him.
And as you know with relationships, they are all different. They are some who get partners that talk about them all the time, others never mention anything about each other but the joy on each other’s faces when they are together can’t go unnoticed, while other people do everything they can for their partners( wash clothes, cook, and anticipate any other need their partner might have), others buy for their partners the most flashy and expensive things to be seen by all while others serve each other equally.
My point, none of the above relationships is better than the other. Same with our relationship with God. None of us relates to God so much or so deeply that He decides to promote you to a small god. But all of our relationships with our father is different.
Which is why God will miraculously heal some but give enough strength for others to go through chemo etc. Which is why some people will have one or two life changing moment where God or the Holy Spirit miraculously manifested Himself to them but some will have a million kawaida experiences with God in their lifetime.
This is for that friend of mine who thinks she has a long way to go spiritually because she hasn’t had that kibig kimoment with God. It might be that she is looking for God in the Thunder while He has decided to show Himself to her through the still small voice which she has been ignoring.
Or to those Christians praying for miraculous healing and rebuking death at all times. Healing and life come from God. But God also owns us. He can decide to call us home anytime it suites Him. Pray for His will instead. I don’t think Jesus meant the opposite when He said, blessed are those who mourn..He knew we would mourn, and cry and get hungry and thirsty. Sometimes we act as if those things are demonic or devilish. Yet its part of life on earth. Embrace it and realize that if God didn’t expect you to experience all these ‘bad’ emotions we love rebuking, you wouldn’t be on earth in the first place.
This for those who get amazed by miraculous workings and doings. Miracles are from God. The same God who cares about the little things that affect you. As much as we appreciate big majestic happenings, let’s not forget that the tempest storm makes a good sailor. Imagine if each time, a sailor experienced troubles, God did miracles and landed her instantly on the land she was rowing to? Would she ever become a good sailor? And isn’t the fact that she is a good sailor, which means she has made it through various bad storms in the sea, not a miracle from God in itself?
I once heard a pastor say, that as Christians we love the story of deliverance soo much, the people who come to the pulpit to tell us how they were thugs, murderers etc, and God saved them( can I hear an amen?) , that we forget the story of Sustainance. Those people who were raised in church and have remained in God till now.
Let us not limit God to being great only when He does something we as humans consider great.Has it ever occurred to you that maybe it takes God the same amount of ‘strength’ or power to separate a sea and to create a single daisy flower? I know that seems incomprehensible to the human mind. Yet His ways are very far away from our ways. And our wisdom, His foolishness.
I hope the Holy Spirit abides in you every single hour of the day. That He helps you in your journey and life as God’s child. And may we learn to hold all the moments we have with Him dear to our hearts..not just the big events we call miracles.