One one my wonderful friends and fellow blogger made a fantastic comment on my last post (click here) about suffering. She pointed out that "what most people wrestle with is not just the causation of the pain, but why does God allow suffering...[why doesn't He] miraculously intervene?" Excellent question! So this got me thinking and fortunately I like to think...well at least now that I'm older. ;D
My short answer was that God has to allow everything good and bad in order for us to truly be free. Free speech in this country means that we get to hear some really great stuff and some really horrible sometimes vulgar, hateful stuff. So because God is a loving God, He want us to be able to make our own choice in totally freedom. You cannot create something out of love for the purpose of control. Control is not love.
So then why doesn't an all powerful God step in and stop all the "bad" stuff from happening? Why doesn't He "miraculously intervene"? Well say God was to step in every time some thing "bad" was going to happen. Well we wouldn't be free. He would be in control of a world He gave us control over. And how would you define "bad"? "Bad" is subjective to each individual. As we know in this world a lot of people are answerable to their own moral compass not God's. For example...What if God decided He did not want to see another baby aborted. Now I agree with God, but there are others most defiantly don't. In fact they fight viciously for the right to do so. So can you image how pissed off some people would be if God stepped in and miraculously saved all the babies. They would be marching in the streets pissed off yelling they have a right to do what they choose. Do you see what I'm getting at?
Or look at it this way...My daughter is learning how to ride her bike. Now because I love her I want to protect her so i keep holding on as she rides. Sydney on the other hand keeps saying "let go, let go, I can do it myself!" So I let go. About ten feet later she hits a rock and falls off the bike. Now whose fault was it that she fell? Was it mine because I shouldn't have listened to her desire and kept holding on? Or was it Sydney because she shouldn't have tried to do it on her own? Am I an abusive parent for letting go of the bike? Or is Sydney rebellious for not heading my desire? It starts to get convoluted doesn't it. In the end no matter whose fault it is I go and gather my daughter up in my arms and comfort her.
Now could Sydney's bike accident been prevented by a miracle of God or divine intervention? Well believing in an all powerful God I say yes. So why did He let her fall? Well let's take a look at what the word miracle actually means in a biblical sense. I went to a fabulous online bible site that I have become well acquainted with in these last few weeks called "Blue Letter Bible". So I looked up the word "miracle" in the Greek/Hebrew dictionary. One definition was "sign or wonder" from the Hebrew word "mowpheth". The root word "yaphah" means "to beautify or be beautiful." In the new testament I found two words for miracle..."dynamis" meaning "to be able or to have power" and "semaino" meaning "to make known". I clicked back over to the old testament and found one other word used as "miracle" it was "owth" meaning "sign or mark" the root word "uwth" meaning "to consent or agree". EUREKA!!!
In order for their to be a miracle we have to give consent. In other words miracles happen when we give God consent to step over the freewill boundary. That is why prayer is so important and why God tells us to do it...regularly! When we pray or intercede we are giving God consent to change the way things might otherwise happened. So it is a miracle. Think of prayer and intercession on a corporate level and the power in the Spirit that that has to change things. What was suppose to happen didn't because we gave God permission to step in. In turn He doesn't compromise our freewill. Why do we need to give an all powerful God permission? Because WE have dominion over this earth given to us by the all powerful God.
Think in the bible what was often said when someone was miraculously healed. They we healed because of their faith. Or they were healed because they gave consent to be healed. Now I know this can get a little touchy for some people. I suffer from some not nice health problems myself! So I give consent and I am healed right? Well I don't think anything is that black and white. There are several other factors to keep in mind the biggest of which is the battle in the spirit realm. The enemy is constantly on the attack to destroy us emotionally and physically. I don't know that we will ever have all the answers we want; at least here on earth.
I do think it sheds some light on things though. It gives me hope that God did give us power to change things. None of those definitions for miracle were exclusive to God. Particularly the word for miracle in the new testament "dynamis" meaning "to have power". That is the power of the Spirit working through US to do miracles! The more we align our will with God by giving consent the more God can work for us and through us. I think this has to be a active choice daily. Even an active choice throughout the day. Giving God consent in all that we do! Will our lives be perfect and suffering free? No, we can not escape this fallen world until we go to heaven. But we can do our best while we are her to live in victory. And pray for victory and miracles for others.
Lastly I thought it was interesting that one of the other root words in the Hebrew text for miracle was "to beautify". Think about that for a moment. Any beauty that we have in this fallen, decaying world is a miracle of God. It is the grace of God, it is the goodness of God. He gives us "beauty for ashes...gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Now that is a miracle!