Jesus talked about miracles as if they’re supposed to be normal: “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12)
Apparently the miraculous is supposed to be a normal part of the life of a normal human being—a person utterly dependent on and consciously intertwined with the Spirit of God. Perhaps collaborating in the miraculous should be a part of our everyday life.
Maybe we’re missing things all around us that we can’t explain because they are ubiquitous. Like the introspective longing we feel at the song of crickets on a summer evening. Or the call of the angry ocean that is at once terrifying and awe-inspiring. None of these things can really be explained or even defined, but things like this happen to us all the time.
Maybe we’re missing the miraculous occurring everywhere. And maybe if we became aware we would understand how much we are collaborating in it—or working against it.
I watched the sunset on my porch this evening. Delicate wisps of charcoal and granite around the edges gave outline and shadow to the explosion of cobalt, lavender, and blood orange bursting across the sky. And it wasn’t as if earthbound nature wasn’t involved. The hills were an inferno, and the leaves were shimmering as if in worship. Every color harmonized with the others, and I found this remarkable. In nature, nothing contrasts harshly. Hints of Eden—the way things were meant to be.
The entire sunset was spellbinding, enthralling, and even miraculous. And that was only tonight. Miracles are everywhere if we only pay attention.
Jesus’ first recorded miracle was the changing of water into wine. It made for a great wedding celebration, but was it really just a one-off? After all, water is still being turned into wine. Maybe we’re just not paying attention to the constellation of miracles that collaborate to make it happen: Water miraculously falls from the sky, saturating the earth. The earth absorbs the water and enriches and miraculously nourishes the vine.
The vine feeds the grape as the sun collaborates by heating the earth, which not only supports life on this planet but also nourishes both vine and grape in miraculous ways. And the miracles continue at the cellular level, day and night, in the soil, the vine, and the grape. All of these miracles conspire to create a beautiful, robust grape that is then harvested and treated—humans continue to collaborate in the miracle through harvesting, fermenting, blending. At the end of it all, wine is bottled and savored. Water has become wine.
When we get down to it, it’s hard to find something that isn’t miraculous. It’s a miracle that we’re even here, no matter how you look at it. We’re living in the middle of a miracle at this very moment. And to simply become aware of it may be as easy as truly realizing our utter dependence on God for absolutely everything—and His good pleasure in giving it to us moment by miraculous moment. This is Jesus’ invitation: to fully exhale and fall face-first into what our normal should be like—the human and the divine conspiring to make us who we are and collaborating in the miraculous all around us.
You’ve been reading Sneezing Jesus: How God Redeems Our Humanity by Brian Hardin. Read chapter 1 here. Brian is the founder and voice of the Daily Audio Bible. Check out his work or get his book for a great deal at sneezingjesus.com