When Miracles Don’t Happen

It has been a difficult decade. There have been many sleepless nights. There have been many tears. I have prayed believing. I have prayed even though I didn’t believe. I have prayed when I didn’t feel like praying. My prayers have been whispered, spoken and shouted. They have been written down on my laptop, leather journals and scraps of paper. Often my prayers have been wordless. Having said all I could think of to say I left the words to the Holy Spirit who promises to “intercede for us with groanings too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26)

We are instructed to pray, and yet what is our response when we don’t see an answer? We want to hear about the miracles and the happy endings. We don’t want to hear about the financial struggles, the sexual abuse, people dying of cancer, prodigal children or broken families. The church speaks loudly in its silence. Like Job’s silent friends who sat and watched. (Job 2:11-15) When they finally did speak it was to blame Job for the trouble he was in. (Job 4 etc.)

We delight to look at Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. It is full of miracles. God doing great things through ordinary people because of their faith. The words “by faith” are used 19 times in that chapter. But there are others mentioned in verses 35-38 that we tend to ignore.  They were tortured, stoned, sawn in two, put to death etc. They were not living the miracle life. Their situation was more of a nightmare variety, but in verse 39 it says “all these, having gained approval through their faith…”

I was startled when I read Genesis 15 the other day. It records a conversation Abraham had with God. God was again repeating his covenant promises to Abraham. Then comes verse 13. God wanted Abraham to know something…to know for certain…

“Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.”

That doesn’t seem like the kind of thing anyone would want to know for certain. Yet, I believe that we need to know for certain that life will be hard. Things won’t always go as we planned. Sin will continue to corrupt this world and our lives. We need to prepare for the ugly in our life so we don’t loose our hope. Someday it will be different. Someday the trouble we have gone through will be over. The trouble is not an indication of our lack of faith. The trouble is not an indication that God is mad at us.

The good news is we have a God who promises to always be with us in the midst of that trouble. (Matt. 28:20; John 16:33) As we learn to cling to Him we understand His worth.  He is a God that walks through the darkest of nights with us. I believe that those dark nights reveal more to us about who He is than the perfect ordered life, we long for, ever could.

So the next time you hear people talking about the miracles in their life remember that God often does the most amazing miracles in the dark. Some of us will have to wait until we get to heaven to see the miracles revealed, that we so longed for on earth.


25 thoughts on “When Miracles Don’t Happen

  1. This is where Scripture speaks of the trying of our faith. We live,talk, confess Faith. The Just shall live thru their faith, is often quoted, by many, yet when the tests, trials come, as Simon or Thomas or John the Baptist, our faith may waver.
    Yet our Lord doesn’t seem to bare record thereof. Instead He says why do we doubt, you of little faith. Then He encourages,strengthening us, so that which is pure shall remain. This same faith works also thru God’s Love for us. He ne’er wrote Simon Peter off because of his weakness of faith, neither did He condemn Doubting Thomas.
    Man writes us off , should we show a lapse in our faith. But our Lord, is right there, nigh us, to lift us up & out of our, doubt. He rather strengthens us, so we’d remain standing.
    The Lord remains Faithful;toward us, despite our weaknesses. Like Paul we might be able to hear our Lord say, “My Grace is made perfect, sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect (perfected) in weakness.” (See 2Cor12:7-10 NKJ).
    In His Service
    Ian R Lottering
    Using ev’ry available means, for the furtherance, of God’s Kingdom!
    The whole Word for the whole world, & the whole world for the whole Word!
    2015 Jan 05


  2. Oh my,what an amazing truth has been revealed to you.He is God both in the thunder and the still small voice and as God reveals Himself to us in many ways.
    Thank you for your obedience in posting this. I will reblog this later over at my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Yet, I believe that we need to know for certain that life will be hard. Things won’t always go as we planned. Sin will continue to corrupt this world and our lives. We need to prepare for the ugly in our life so we don’t loose our hope. Someday it will be different. Someday the trouble we have gone through will be over.”

    Hi, Karen. Just came across your post. Thank you Levi for reblogging. We serve an awesome God, don’t we? I know that this truth is difficult to handle. And for me it goes much deeper than miracles not happening. The Christian walk is hard. It was never meant to be a walk in the park. We want and pray for all the goodness of God. We pray for miracles, as if God simply snaps His fingers and all is well. Even when we acknowledge that God is working, all the time, to acccomplish His perfect will. And sometimes, if not many times, what we get from God is more struggles, of all sorts, so we pray for His mercy and grace to accept His perfect will. And that’s not an easy thing to do when you have to watch your precious daughter slip away. It does not matter that she is slipping into the arms of her Creator. But’s it’s as you say …

    “The good news is we have a God who promises to always be with us in the midst of that trouble. (Matt. 28:20; John 16:33) As we learn to cling to Him we understand His worth.”

    It’s all about God! It’s about what He want’s to do for us, and through us. We concern ourselves with all the big and small battles and completely forget the war has already been won. At the foot of the cross, look up…it’s finished.
    You may be familiar with Rich Mullins, a CCM back in 90’s, he wrote “Hold Me Jesus”. It’s a beautiful prayer song…

    Hold Me Jesus (http://youtu.be/8gBGGX3yvMo)
    Well, sometimes my life
    Just don’t make sense at all
    When the mountains look so big
    And my faith just seems so small

    So hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
    You have been King of my glory
    Won’t You be my Prince of Peace

    And I wake up in the night and feel the dark
    It’s so hot inside my soul
    I swear there must be blisters on my heart

    Surrender don’t come natural to me
    I’d rather fight You for something
    I don’t really want
    Than to take what You give that I need
    And I’ve beat my head against so many walls
    Now I’m falling down, I’m falling on my knees

    That’s what we do. We fight God for what we want, instead of what He is doing for our good. And let’s face it, sometimes the things He does, seem downright cruel, but who are we to question the living God? Who can fathom the things of God? When was the last time we were able to bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?

    Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

    Job 38 – The Lord Reveals His Omnipotence to Job

    Apologies for the long post. I can get carried away. I just found your post very passionate. TY. Be Blessed!


    • I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. To watch someone we love die is beyond painful. Yes, I’m familiar with the song you mentioned. It is one of those songs that brings comfort, just like many of the Psalms do. More than half of the Psalms are lament Psalms. They allow us to be open and honest with the God who loves us more than we can imagine. Take care. Keep clinging.


  4. Thank you for sharing this excellent post Karen. This will definately go into my library as a riminder of the fact, when the trials arise, not to complain, but reather stand as the tree thats planted by the water of the river, in praise, knowing that I am still in God’s “WILL”, He is right here with me and despite the pain, darkness and confusion I am still in the best place in the whole wide world for me to be, and that’s in His “WILL”. Thanks again for this post and you now have a new follower.
    Thank you brother Levi for reblogging.


    Liked by 1 person

    • I love the passage you mentioned about the tree. It is one of my favorite word pictures. I do think we have permission to respectfully complain to God. He wants to be with us and walk through these things face to face with us. He so wants us to be honest with Him. Thank you for following. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Philippians 1:23-25
    But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith

    last December 24, 2014, my mom was buried. she died from kidney failure.. battled with dialysis for almost 5 months.

    i prayed. asked God for miracle.

    i then realize, that there are things far better than the ones in this world.
    this world is full of strife, war, fear, issues, endless problems.

    the most difficult decision i made in my life was when i have to sign a waiver to :
    “remove the supporting tubes and not resuscitate my mother”

    it was her wish.

    perhaps, we can only see the flesh, the miracles we are looking for are physical.. like money, healing, success, wealth, good family, great marriage..

    but the real miracle which is from dead, we were all risen to life in Christ.
    from death to life, isn’t it the greatest miracle of all?
    that we are going to heaven, which is far better. to be with Jesus

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. It is especially hard to loose someone at Christmas. To let her quietly slip away was the kind thing to do. I’ve had to deal with issues like that with both of my parents. Our job was to be there and make them as comfortable as possible. We left the date of their homegoing with God. Artificially extending someone’s life can cause them discomfort and pain. We pray and love them. I will be praying for you in the weeks and months ahead.


  6. Reblogged this on Fertiileground's Blog and commented:
    The Lord remains Faithful, e’en tho our faith is often at a record low. This is where Mark 11:21-23 comes in, when our \lord speaks of the God kind of Faith. Each of us has the same measure of faith. Just as we at times need physical exercise, often we may need to flex our faith muscles slightly more than usual.


  7. Pingback: When Miracles Don’t Happen – Windows of His Grace

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