David Hume, the Scottish philosopher had a great mind. Living in the 1700s, he argued against miracles. While not a Hume scholar, my lay understanding of his thesis was for there to be miracles, the Diety has to intervene in nature. He proposed that what has been repeated more times than not is the cycle of nature, not the miraculous, therefore, miracles either didn’t exist, or don’t today.
I must confess that entering history with so much opportunity and wealth tempts my mind to flirt with this philosophy. Were it not for Christ, I might fully accept it. But because of Christ, I reject it. I believe in the miracles.
In fact, not only do I believe the miracles of Christ’s day, but I believe the first miracle of Creation, the miracles of the Bible, the miracle of resurrection and the prophesied miracle of the return of Christ. I also believe all unexplained phenomena in between that glorifies God and serves humanity. I credit God’s miraculous nature, seen and unseen.
In my mind, I think it’s a shame that Hume missed the most profound rational proposition of all; that a mind created by God must be bent towards God in order to understand the unending study of natural law. This is why the miraculous stands out. If the miraculous were the norm, it would not be appreciated. Yet, I wonder if the miraculous is the norm.
The sun continues to rise as on its first morning. Law? Or God’s miraculous creativity?
Life continues to proliferate. Law? Or God’s miraculous love?
We’ve not suffered yet as Christ has to an exhaustion that keeps God’s work from being done on earth. Law? Or God’s miraculous empowerment through belief in Christ and doing work in His name.
I think it may be both. I believe God uses material phenomena to point to his unseen reality. To get lost in the mysteries of what is to come at the expense of observing and appreciating natural law makes me humanly poorer. To get lost on the temporal materials of this world at the expense of eternity makes my soul poorer.
God’s marriage of both tells his complete story.
Even a turtle, a creature that to one might be nothing more than a pawn in a game of squash the turtle, to myself was a life that must be given a chance to live. To want to live is a miracle. To want to worship screams miraculous in my soul when my rational mind argues otherwise. And yet, without the miraculous, the rational would have no purpose.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse… –Romans 1:20
I may not have all my theology systematically mapped out, or my thoughts formed from A to C, but this I know, Jesus loves me so. His gift is eternal life and an opportunity to walk planet earth and observe God’s creative hand, his redeeming love and his salvific plan. It points to the last miracle, the return of Christ. So when I look at the constructs of nature, I see God, and I see miracles all around, reminding me to continue working out my salvation with fear and trembling as to be counted among those who’ve chosen to be counted with the wisest of all, Jesus.