June 23, 2021

How Do You Explain the Miracles?

doll header

One of the things that is interesting when you get to talking with Atheists is that you can quickly get taken into talking about technicalities and playing “on their turf.”  Now, I can appreciate the works of people like Vox Day, who can write a book eviscerating atheists with pure reason.  However, we do not need to resort to playing on their turf, because their turf does not represent reality.

Case in point

A medical missionary in a remote region of South Africa recounts an amazing story— a true miracle– something that I would like the Atheists to explain.

You see, the missionary worked in labor ward– a ward that had no electricity.  They would use hot water bottles to keep babies warm– and they had a premature baby that had just been born but had no water bottle.

The following noon, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave them various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained the problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also mentioned the two-year-old sister crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one 10-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. “Please, God, send us a hot water bottle today. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.” While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, “And while You are about it, would You please send a doll for her little sister so she’ll know You really love her?”

This put the missionary on the spot– she believed that God could do anything, but she did not think that this was possible.  How much like our own thoughts on prayer!  She was not sure what to say to the girl, for she believed it to be at least improbable, if not impossible.

A Package Arrives

The missionary believed that the only way that God could fulfill this request was a package would have to come from home.  That someone would have to pack a hot water bottle to ship to someone that lived on the Equator.   So, when someone called halfway through the afternoon to say there was a car in front of her door– well…

By the time I reached home, the car was gone, but there, on the veranda, was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears streaming down my face. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together they pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some forty pair of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box.

From the top, I lifted out brightly colored knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. There were bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and mixing flour that could make a batch of buns. Then I put my hand in again, and felt the … could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new rubber hot water bottle. I cried.

I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, “If God has sent us the bottle, He must have sent the doll too!” Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed doll. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she said, “Can I go over with you and give this doll to that little girl, so she will know that Jesus really loves her?” Of course, I replied.

What’s amazing about this story?  Besides the fact of the exact answer to prayer, there’s the whole matter of shipping.  You see:

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months! Packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in the doll for an African child, five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it that afternoon!

Do you get the impact here?  The timing?  The request?  Things like this do not happen by coincidence.

The problem for the Atheist, and the comfort to the Christian, is that supernatural things do happen.  Prayer does accomplish things.  Miraculous things have happened and continue to happen.  The question is are we going to be like Pharoah and harden our hearts or are we willing to see the power of God at work in our world today?

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5 thoughts on “How Do You Explain the Miracles?

  1. This is the 2nd post that I have ran across about prayer.  And I just happened to be studying about intercession, travailing in the spirit.
    Our greatest weapon in this world is prayer.  We must believe and have faith.

  2. I LOVE stories like this one! Definitely going to read this to my girls, thank you for sharing it here, MIn. Yes, I’d say it takes more faith to continue in atheism, than it does in Christianity.Really enjoyed your post on prayer as well. What you say is so true. Heaven forbid our prayer lives stagnate into rote words of obligation and nothing more. I used to always pray myself to sleep at night, but since starting blogging/writing, I’ve instead developed the habit of brainstorming. Recently I’ve steered myself back into the nightly praying and it’s like regaining that precious fellowship I hadn’t even realized I’d been missing. Sad but true.

    Mary’s last blog post..Homemade Chicken and Noodles

  3. coincidence.  is it also a miracle when the homeless guy wins the lottery?  when the governor has a prayer service and it rains the next week?  When the quarter back completes the hail mary pass when the game is tied with three seconds left on the clock?
    You can certainly believe these things to be miracles.  I’ll stick with pure coincidence, luck, skill, and chance as the reasons behind these occurances.  Tell me about the woman with endstage breast cancer who is suddenly cancer free and maybe we’ll have something to chat about.
    I’ve missed ya, Min.  Glad to have you poking sticks at atheists again.  Makes me feel love and welcomed (even though I’m not an atheist).

    Musicguy’s last blog post..Really?

  4. I wouldn’t say that it was a miracle if a homeless man winning the lottery is on par with this example, unless someone bought him a ticket, placed it in a box, had it sit for five months, and he only found it after asking for it.

    Same thing with the Governor and the prayer service. If the Governor asked for rain in the middle of a drought and in the next hour it rained…

    The quarterback could be the same thing, but much more trivial. And still, you have the length of time quotient.

    The problem with the atheist position and things like this is that it has to say “it was coincidence.” It cannot admit the improbable or the supernatural because it vehemently denies it. It’s one thing to be agnostic– I can understand that position. But there’s record or lame men being healed, the deaf and dumb hearing and speaking, the blind seeing, and men being raised from the dead and those too are rejected.

    Hence the analogy to Pharaoh. Moses walked in to Pharaoh’s court and told him to let the Jewish people free. When Pharaoh did not, God brought ten plagues upon him– each one attacking one of the gods of the Egyptians and each one of them successively worse. And yet Pharaoh didn’t believe. Early on it was because the magicians (their scientists of the day) could reproduce the wonder, but later on, as it got successively worse, they couldn’t (nor did they want to) duplicate the wonders.

    It’s not that there are not signs, Musicguy, and it’s not that these things do not happen today– it’s that they “can’t” happen today, or the faith that some people place in the idea that they are responsible to no one and created by no one will be shattered and they will have to come to grips with the reality that is all around us.

  5. I’d read this story before, but this is the first time I’ve read it since doing mission work in South Africa.  Brought tears to my eyes.  The faith of the South African kids is so pure, despite the evil things (abuse, rape, etc.) they’ve experienced since their infancy.

    AG’s last blog post..God is so good!

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