"After the Fall" Series – That’s Incredible

"After the Fall" Series – That’s Incredible

Ever had a time in your life where you couldn’t explain what just happened?  A time where it seemed like someone was on your side?  Did you make comments like, “Wow?   That was luck” or, “What a coincidence!” to describe what just happened?  But, do you really believe in luck or coincidence?  Do you really think things just happen by chance?

Now, there are some in this world that truly believe that the only reason the universe exists today is because of a “Big Explosion.”  This explosion, called the “Big Bang Theory,” happened to cause all life as we know it to come into existence.

So we’re going to do a little experiment to test this theory.  Now, what is the chance, the probability, that when I put Lego blocks in a bag and shake them that all the pieces will come together to form a car?  Well, let’s see.  Nothing.  Maybe I was too specific.  Maybe I just need to shake it and see what the universe decides it wants the outcome to be.  Let’s try again.  Still nothing.   Maybe I’m not shaking hard enough; after all it was a “Big Bang” that was needed to make the universe come together.
I guess you were right.  The chance was zero.  I just thought I could make it happen if I just had a perfect scenario – if I picked all the correct variables to use at the right time.  That’s why I have such a hard time understanding how some can believe that life just happened by chance – that it was a coincidence – that it was just plain luck that all of us are here today.

Well, Craig DeMartino didn’t think, and neither did his friends and family, that his survival from a 100 foot fall from the face of a cliff at approximately 120 mph out in the middle of nowhere was luck or coincidence.
The questions we need to ask in respect to Craig’s story are these:
What would have happened if Steve, his climbing partner, hadn’t stayed calm?  What would have happened if Steve hadn’t brought his cell phone that day, which he normally didn’t do?   What would have happened if Steve couldn’t get service on his cell phone to dial 911?  What would have happened if there weren’t 3 park rangers working in the meadow below the cliff that day?   What would have happened if Craig hadn’t landed vertically on his feet?  What would have happened if a tree was not in the line of his fall to help reduce the force of his fall?  What would have happened if the two doctors at the hospital the day of his accident were not specialized surgeons?  What would have happened if they had not assisted in this case?

What if?  What if?  What if?  And if we truly want to answer these questions, we could probably say that Craig would be severely disabled or worse yet, dead.

So do you think that miracles, I mean the extraordinary ones, only happened in the Old Testament with events like: 
·         God parting the waters of the Red Sea so that the Israelites could cross on dry ground to escape from the Egyptians (Exodus 14:21-31),

·         like:  God keeping Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from burning in a fiery furnace (Daniel 3:19-30),
·         like:  God shutting the mouths of the lions so that Daniel would not be harmed (Daniel 6: 15-24),
·         like:  God allowing the widow’s oil and flour jars to never run dry during a time of drought (1 Kings 17:7-24),
·         or like:  God sending a large fish to swallow Jonah and vomit him onto the shore of Nineveh so that the Ninevites might be saved (Jonah 1:17-2:10

 

Do you think that miracles, I mean the big ones, only happened in the New Testament with events like:
·         Jesus feeding the four thousand men with only seven loaves of bread and a few fish (Mark 8: 1-13),
·         like:  Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding banquet (John 2:1-11),
·         like:  Jesus healing the blind, the lame, and the sick (throughout Gospels)
·         or like:  Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-12:19)?


So do you think miracles, the extraordinary ones, the big ones, only happened in the Bible?  I don’t think so.  I don’t think so.

Allan Holland tells his story.

Several years ago I had a stroke that left me paralyzed on my right side.  Back home on our farm I learned how to walk again, how to write, even how to drive our tractor.  I could control its throttle with my left hand, the brakes with my good foot, and turn the steering wheel with one arm.


And then one day something went awry.  While mowing the grass, I hit a concrete block.  The left wheel jumped, and I was knocked out of the driver’s seat, my right foot caught between the brake pedals and my body dangling over the side.  On and on the tractor went, my head bouncing six inches above the mower’s whirling blades.



“Mike, Mike,” I screamed for my son.  The tractor was heading for a barbed wire fence.  I’d either be crushed under the tires, or the wires would rip right through me.  But suddenly the motor stopped.  The wheels and blade stopped moving.  My paralyzed leg relaxed and I fell gently to the ground.



I lay there stunned.  Why had the tractor stopped?  It was in gear, the gas was locked in full throttle, and the tank was full.  My son and mother came to help me into the house.  “What stalled the engine?” I stammered.  They dressed my wounds, and my neighbors came to see if I was all right.  “I’m fine,” I replied, “but what stopped the tractor?”



Someone said it might have been the grass, someone else suggested a faulty ignition wire.  “Go look for yourself,” I said.  There was no grass clogging the mower blade.  And as far as the ignition, they could see for themselves.



I was saved fourteen years ago; when the tractor started up on the first try, I knew He was still my Savior…..and now my literal Savior.



Craig’s story is a modern day miracle.  Allan’s story is also.  Both stories go beyond what science and mathematics would define as natural.  To put it simply, both stories are supernatural, both are incredible and unexplainable.  Both stories clearly remind us that God is actively involved in His creation.

God has used miracles throughout time to show His powerand His compassion.  God has used miracles to get people’s attention with the intent that they would change their lives.  God has used miracles to help encourage and strengthen other people’s faith.



But even though miracles have always existed, and still do, some people will still refuse to believe in them and in the one who performs them.  Even in Jesus’ day, with all the miraculous things He did, people still didn’t believe; many claimed His power was not from God, but rather from the devil.



So, our Big Idea is:   God still performs miracles.

Why did He perform miracles then and why does He still perform them today?  He does them so that the world can see and believe in Him.



Now, God won’t perform a miracle every time we want a miracle.  I mean I prayed for my daughter’s Down Syndrome to go away and that her heart defect not need to be repaired via surgery.  Well, her Down Syndrome is still prevalent and it took the gifted hand of a pediatric heart surgeon to give her the repair she needed to thrive.  But, even though my prayer was not answered through the supernatural power of God, God still has given us a high functioning daughter whose heart was repaired so well, that no doctor can hear any murmurs.  I guess the miracle sometimes comes in how you look at your circumstances.



But as I said, God won’t perform a miracle every time we want a miracle.  Sometimes He heals a disease and other times He doesn’t.  Sometimes He spares a life from catastrophe and other times He doesn’t.  

Why?  Why won’t God answer every prayer with a miracle?  I know the answer is as simple as this:  God won’t perform miracles all the time because then people wouldn’t love Him for who He is, but rather would love Him for what He could do for them.  And God wants people to accept Him not for what He can do, but for what He has already done – providing a way for the forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of His Son.



But I hope you don’t believe miracles are for the past.  I hope you don’t believe that a miracle can never happen for you. I hope you believe that we as a church will always pray with the expectation of a miracle.  I hope though if you want to see God for who He is – if you want to see miracles, you must believe.  You fail to believe; chances are you won’t see a miracle.



So don’t underestimate the power of God to do a miracle in your life or in the life of someone you know.  You just never know when God will use you to tell a story That’s Incredible – a story of how He has miraculously worked in your life.

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