Are you amazed? Josh is a teenager in our youth group at Evangel Baptist Church. This video was taken during our Compelled retreat a few weeks ago at Camp Burton, a little bit east of Cleveland.
It may have seemed like a miraculous event at first, but there’s a simple explanation: the tree had been knocked down during a storm just before we had arrived. I positioned the camera to keep as many of the upright trees out of the picture to give the appearance that our tree was standing tall in the fall sunlight. Also, Josh had sat so that it would look like he was sitting on the branch, when he was actually leaning on the tree trunk.
Perspective was the topic of my blog on November 15, and this is an unplanned follow-up to it from, well, another perspective. Everybody I’ve shown this video to were fooled, at least initially. Perspective has everything to do with what you believe. It’s how marketers sell their products. Elections are won and lost by it. And, I believe that miracles are deciphered by it.
I have a theory about miracles that I’d like your opinion on. God doesn’t do miracles for the heck of it. I believe that there is a message in every miracle he does. He doesn’t waste his almighty power on magic tricks that entertain us. In the first chapter of my book (click on the menu item above to read it for free), I make the point that God did many things to attract us to himself. This includes miracles and promises of miracles. Jesus had such a great following due in great part to his miracles. The Holy Spirit enabled the earliest Christians to speak in tongues as a means to attract a crowd that would hear Peter’s message in Acts 2. All of his miracles have a purpose.
If God has done a miracle in your life there must be a point to it. It’s got to be more than Jesus saying, “I am with you.” You already know that. Maybe, then, it’s his way to encourage you to do some stupid thing he’s called you to? Maybe it’s something else.
Anomalies like a statue of Mary crying and Jesus’ picture in a tortilla don’t do it for me (How did the guy in New Mexico know it was Jesus, anyway? It could be any number of people, like George Harrison from the 70s, perhaps?). There are people who use the appearance of miracles as advertisements for God’s validation of them, but it’s all about perspective. Like my positioning of the trees in the video, are there other things they’ve left out about their lives that would conflict with the impression they’d like to leave on the rest of us? And, what is the message God is giving through it?
Miracles do happen. They are precious and holy, and we need to treat them that way. With this in mind, what do you think God’s perspective is on a miracle for you or for someone else?