Hiding the Miracles

At Hungry Generation we put a lot of emphasis on the supernatural. But the natural inclination is to be respectable and downplay God’s power when it is too amazing for our comfort. Consided these verses:

Mark 16:8 (HCSB) So [the women] went out and started running from the tomb, because trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them. And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid.

When the women went to the tomb, Mark’s gospel records they saw angels and received a charge to tell the disciples. But then he records that they told no one; yet all the other accounts tell of how they did tell the disciples. John has the answer to this conundrum:

John 20:1-2 (HCSB) On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she ran to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put Him!”

They initially altered their story and didn’t tell the part about the angels or the message of resurrection. They were so afraid of being wrong that they hid the most important part: the miraculous.

But isn’t that exactly how we act today? The miraculous happens, and we’re so quick to downplay or omit it when we tell others. We’re sure they won’t believe us, and they might think we’re crazy. So out of fear we hide what really happened. We convince ourselves it might have been an illusion. We tell ourselves that we don’t want to brag about the miraculous. We fear people won’t believe if our story is too amazing. We try to preserve our credibility, so we tone down God’s power.

Almost every generation of the church has done this. We tone down the miraculous. We emphasize the “practical.” We emphasize the credible and ignore what might seem credulous. We do this, not to be honest reporters but to protect our reputations. We love to receive the praise of men, so we rob the praise only God deserves and tell a sanitized, respectable, mundane tale. And when our children have the audacity to tell the truth (because they aren’t quite as “respectable” as we are) we tone them down too. “Don’t emphasize healing so much!” “The important thing is salvations, not miracles.” “Only God does miracles. You don’t have that power.” We do this to preserve our own respectability, not really to protect them. We don’t want to be guilty of unreasonableness by association!

Perhaps you think you don’t have this problem. But how many times have you had the opportunity to pray for someone and have the audacity to expect a miracle and instead you walked on by or just prayed a safe little unbelieving prayer? I know I’ve done it too many times to count. When we have the opportunity to believe for the supernatural we often shrink back from it. Peter had to stand knocking at the door for a long time while the church denied the miracle they had been praying for (Acts 12:13-16). We are hard of heart and slow to believe in every way (Acts 7:51). We de-emphasize the supernatural and elevate the natural. Reason is the god of this age. Natural knowledge came from the wrong tree. Why do we deny life and miracles to hold on to something that cannot last?

At HungryGen many people follow us because they see the miraculous. But many (especially within the church) may sit back and criticize us for our “undignified” worship. I, for one, want to be done with this. I want to throw out all my human rules and my own respectability and, like David, become less and less dignified so that the Lord may receive His full glory (2 Sam 6:22). He must increase; I must decrease (John 3:30). God, forgive the pride in us that blocks people’s view of You. Give us grace to overcome our pride and let Your truth shine at all costs. In Jesus’ Name!