So, then, where does this leave us? Because the truth is that the only reason we have come to the conclusion that God works His miracles in quiet ways through men is because most of us have not seen the kind of water-into-wine, death-into-life miracles that were so common in the Gospels. It is our desperation to know that God is still at work that has driven us to accept less of Him.
For we would rather have a God too simple than a God too quiet.
Fair enough, perhaps, but the problem is not really with our God; the problem is with our expectation.
Today's Christians just expect a miracle. We expect God to do the things that we ask Him to do, whether or not they require miraculous intervention or something less. We expect that when we pray and tell Him to heal someone, He will. That when we pray and expect Him to deliver, He does. But a prayer with such expectation is no prayer at all.
The men and women who cried out to Jesus in the Gospels cried out with humble expectation. They knew that He could heal them, but they understood that it would take an act of the God of Creation - a miraculous act.
We cry out with indignant demand. We know that God can heal us, and we expect Him just to do so because that's what God does. That's the way that God works. The God that we hold in our minds and our hearts heals us; why is He not healing us?
It is a far different heart that stands on the side of the road and cries out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!" than the one that stands on the sidewalk and screams, "Lord of my bumper sticker, where in the world are you?"
You see, we are men and women today who seek God out for our own sake, holding on to all that we believe He has promised to us. But the men and women of the Gospels are those who sought God for His own sake, holding on to all that He promised about Himself.
It is no wonder we are not seeing miracles these days; we have come too simply to expect them, and we have forgotten what it requires - a reworking, a re-ordering of Creation itself - to make them happen. It doesn't occur to us what God is doing or why He has the power and authority to do it; we simply expect it of Him.
No wonder we are not seeing miracles.
The truth is that God has not lied to us. The God who says He is the same yesterday, today, and forever is the God who truly is, and He is still working miracles. He is still reworking, re-ordering, re-creating Creation in ways that, if we were really paying attention, would absolutely blow our minds. He is still stepping in, bearing mercy, breathing new life into this world with every single holy breath that He breathes, and most of us are missing it.
We're missing it because we live in expectation, not anticipation. Because we live in indignation, not humility. Because we hold on more to our crosses of fine gold and silver than onto the cross of wood and splinter that actually bore the body of our Christ.
Listen...we're on the edge right now of a season of miracles. We're there. For the next four weeks, the world will hold its breath, waiting on the birth of the Promised King. We are entering today the season of Advent, and there is no better time than this to recapture what we have lost of our miraculous God.
For He is about to do an incredible thing, an incredible thing indeed. The God of all Creation is about to re-order it once more, coming into it Himself as a man. As the same flesh and blood in which He created us. You want to see a miracle? It's coming.
...in swaddling clothes.
And we who wait, we who hope, we who long for this miracle must wait, hope, and long not with self-righteous expectation, but humble anticipation...
Come, miraculous Lord Jesus. Come.