The Scriptures are full of them.
Five loaves and two fish feed five thousand people with thirteen baskets leftover, enough to put any post-Thanksgiving refrigerator to shame. A seven day Thanksgiving parade (complete with marching band, although lacking the Santa Claus and giant Snoopy) wins an impossible battle. A man is saved from death by... being eaten and regurgitated? Elijah rides to heaven on a chariot of fire, Moses parts the Red Sea and turns the Nile to blood. The blind see, the deaf hear, the mute speak, the lame leap, even the dead live again!
We love miracles. We love the wonder of them, the impossibility... stories of impossible recoveries, of last minute interventions, of providence, of protection, and of revelation. They thrill us, fascinate us, and renew in us again a hope and a joy that we thought had fizzled out years ago.
Especially at this time of year, with Thanksgiving just ahead and after it the countdown to Christmas, we like to think about and look for miracles. And why not? For Christmas is a time of miracles. Indeed, Christmas may be the most miraculous time of all, for at Christmas we celebrate love - that God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son. That Jesus Christ loved us enough to empty himself and to make himself one of us; to submit to death, even death on the cross. The incarnation is a miracle, make no mistake. One that flies in the face of a culture of transcendence, that forces us to step back and ask ourselves why God, the very thing we aspire to become, would instead become like one of us?
Yes, we love miracles. And yet... despite our love for miracles, it seems they're often in short supply. Oh, there's the Christmas story, I suppose, but that's rather commonplace. The manger is nice and all, but it's not all that flashy. The angels are good, but you can only get away with that for the last month of the year. Where are the healings? The signs and wonders? The great revelations? Oh, we still here about them, here and there. God is still a God of miracles, after all, and His Spirit is still at work in this world. And yet, it seems that miracles aren't as commonplace as we would like. It seems like many of our lives are lacking in miracles.
Some would say this is because of a lack of faith... but I wonder if that's really the case? Jesus Himself said it takes only a mustard seed of faith to uproot mountains. Perhaps the problem isn't our faith... perhaps the reason we don't see many miracles in our lives is because we are looking in the wrong place. Perhaps the reason we fail to see the miraculous every day is because we're so caught up in the search for glamour, in the quest for bright lights and pomp and circumstance, that we fail to see the seemingly mundane miracle that is all around us.
"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear much fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another." ~ John 15:9-17 (ESV)
While God is certainly capable of performing any kind of impressive miraculous sign, He most often carries out His work on this earth through the most mundane of means: ordinary people like you and me. But perhaps the reason He chooses to work so often through us is not because He has an aversion to miracles, or because He doesn't want us to have a faith that is reliant on miraculous signs... perhaps instead the reason He works through you and me is because He knows that when broken, messed up people like us can love one another as Christ loved us, that that is the greatest miracle of all.