Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.
Science may describe, influence, and artificially replicate the function of lungs but science did not design our lungs nor their interaction with your body and mine in the miracle of life. The air we breathe was here before we were, whether your faith rests in the text of Genesis 1 or the explanation of a preferred scientific theory.
Our continuing interaction with air relies on other forms of life doing their part to oxygenate the air, and us continuing to breathe it back to them. It’s a unique synergy, not designed by humans but one we each experience; one subject to continuing scientific scrutiny.
The discoveries of science are in themselves miracles. Think about thinking!
If there is a difference in miracles, kind of like the difference between shallow breathing and deep breathing, the last twelve months have for me been a more noticeable than usual personal interaction with a variety of miracles, God, and science.
I’ve gained greater appreciation for the response John Wimber gave to a question about what he did when he had a headache. Wimber is reported by students in his seminary class to have said, “When I get a headache, I pray and I take some aspirin. Whichever one works first is fine with me.” He went on to explain his confidence God acts either directly in response to prayer or through His inspiration for aspirin.
Ah, the miracle of aspirin!
We best not discount the originating Source of remedy because of distraction by the immediate source of miracle.
I also believe in the power of prayer. And the miracle of answered prayer.
Barry Boucher notes, “God answers prayer according to His plan, not ours. When we say, ‘God, I don’t understand.’ He says, ‘I do.’”
A little over a year ago God impressed on me to write the daily 280-character social media post What or Who is a Christian, setting out a plain and orderly account of the main Christian beliefs agreed upon globally across Church denominations. I had no idea that 366-day study would encourage me through some tough family issues and a series of personal health trials.
Shortly after starting the venture, a blow to my left eye scratched and displaced an artificial lens installed during cataract surgery a decade ago. The day it was diagnosed a Bible school class prayed for me. We had no idea the route that would be taken to answer their prayer. Follow up was delayed when my optometrist twice rescheduled. Her second look disclosed evidence of a tear in the retina that might have been missed on the originally scheduled date. An urgent Friday afternoon referral resulted in surgery the following Monday. Eyesight in the eye was saved. Six months later my reading eye was ready for the scratched lens to be laser cleaned and eyesight was restored.
I had questions for God about the eye strain involved for over seven months of the daily study in doctrine. I also experienced His inspiring companionship each day in the effort.
I’m not sure God needed to hear my opinion, but He did.
A few weeks prior to the 2020 declaration of a pandemic I was diagnosed as a candidate for double hip replacement. Prayer followed, again trailed by delayed response. While I was waiting, a group of physiotherapists from Ottawa, limited in their capacity to see clients for several months, traveled to Denmark to learn about a new exercise therapy program. A longitudinal study had demonstrated GLA:D (Good Living with osteoArthritis: Denmark) had an extremely high diversion rate from hip and knee replacement surgery. In 2023 I was diverted to GLA:D. Two months in a small group led by a physiotherapist from that first Canadian cohort alleviated pain and strengthened the joints. It had been a long time since I walked without a limp. Now, I’m part of a Canadian longitudinal study.
I thanked God, noting life commitments did not leave me with time for surgery and recovery.
A week later, I was in the back of an ambulance headed for unanticipated gallbladder removal. It turns out I did have time for surgery and recovery, albeit lesser than hip replacement. (God listens, and has a sense of humour.)
Friends who knew, prayed. It made a difference.
Small miracle? The evening of my ambulance ride I had uncharacteristically prepared two days of What or Who is a Christian and Gloria was able to email it to me, so daily posts continued uninterrupted.
Over the last four decades I have been witness to experiences of direct answers to prayer and inspired medical intervention, from aspirin to surgery and controlled nuclear radiation. I know God is still mysteriously active in the world, in my life and yours, today.
Like a 1970s beauty pageant contestant, I pray for world peace. As readily, I pray healing for friends and acquaintances on a long list of people and things that cause me to lift thoughts and prayers heavenward.
Where does hope come from but Him who gives me breath, and you too?
I’ve prayed with and for friends, acquaintances, and strangers who have recovered health; and those who have not. I am inspired by friends who, like the three about to be thrown into the fiery furnace in Daniel 3, hold fast to their faith in God, certain God can heal but if not still certain God is real. That kind of faith is itself miraculous.
I believe in the miracle of life, the miracle of knowing Him who made life, and the miracles of every day, small and great.
If you inhale and exhale in the pattern of being human, surprise, so do you! Your life depends on it.