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Faith and Miracles Part IV: Expecting The Unexpected

from the October 16, 2012 eNews issue

Last week we began a review of a series on miracles, which is continued this week in the following three articles. God is still working in the lives of human beings!

In 1933, when education guru John Dewey and 33 others signed the Humanist Manifesto, they were casting off what they saw as the outdated chains of established religion. They were forming a religion of their own, one in which man made the ultimate determinations of good and bad, right and wrong.  While there have always been atheists and there have always been "religious" people who were ignorant of God's ways, the humanists made a religion of it.  They boldly proclaimed that they did not recognize God (or His laws) and took the position that they were capable of using their human reason and intellect to determine morality.

With a sweep of their wrists, the humanists dismissed thousands of years of human religious history and decided that they knew better. There is no God, they said. They assumed that all religion is merely the result of the cultural evolution of the human species. They embraced the view that all life on earth is the result of a continuous process of biological evolution.

Institutions of higher learning are now the churches of humanism, and while Westerners are permitted to keep their religions in the name of religious tolerance, those who actually believe that God is real and intervenes in human lives are no longer considered intellectually respectable. Even the Christians in Western culture are slow to expect miracles. It's too often (even unconsciously) assumed that God is far away and silent if He exists at all. If we want to see God do miracles, we need to believe God is both alive and willing to do the things we ask Him to do.

Expecting The Unexpected:
Hilary (Roberts) Jones reclined her seat on the passenger side of Brian Reed's car to relax as Brian started to drive over the mountains. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 1993, and Hilary, Brian and Hilary's friend Amy drove through the snowy night to get back to school at Northwest College in Kirkland, Washington. It was a dark, quiet drive, with snow beginning to fall as they drove down I-90 past Ellensburg. On the radio, they listened to Jack Hayford preach about expecting the unexpected – about expecting miracles. In the back seat, Amy took off her seatbelt to relax and get some sleep on the long drive over Snoqualmie Pass.

Hilary decided to get more relaxed as well.  She said, "I had just leaned my seat back when we hit a patch of ice and the car started to swerve. Then we hit the side of the road, and the car jumped and rolled. I yelled, 'Jesus please save us!' while the car rolled over." As the roof of the car caved in, Hilary's head swung up and cracked into it.

In the back seat, Amy didn't shout for help. She told us, "I just thought, 'Darn. We're going to go off the road. It's going to take a long time to get back to school, and I'm not going to get my sociology paper done.'" As soon as the car began to roll, though, Amy began to tumble in the back seat because she had no seatbelt on.

Supernatural Protection:
Hilary said, "While we were rolling, I pictured in my mind's eye two angels spinning around Amy as she flew up in the car. I think they kept her in the car because she could have easily gone through the back window. "

"That's what the police officer told me too," Amy said. "He asked Hilary if she was wearing her seatbelt, and she said, 'Yes.' He asked Brian if he was wearing his seatbelt, and he said, 'Yes.' Then he asked me, and I said, 'No, sir.' And he shouted, 'What! Don't you know you could have been flung from the vehicle! You could have been killed!' I …I do always wear my seatbelt now."

The car had come to a stop upright. The roof above Hilary's head had been badly crushed in, but because she had been reclined when the rollover took place, her head swung up into the dented roof rather than being directly smashed. Still, while Amy suffered no harm, Hilary's head and neck and back were painfully injured.

"I remember looking through the cracked windshield and feeling this huge despair and isolation," Hilary said. "And then God gave me peace all of a sudden. Unexplainable peace. I was praying in the spirit, and it was like I was speaking right to God and He was speaking to me, and He was just pouring peace into me.

"All Amy said during the accident was 'Ouch' because she'd hit her face against the ceiling. Brian wasn't hurt either. He had glass in his shoes, but he didn't have a single scratch on him."

Two young Central Washington University students took Hilary and Brian and Amy to the nearest hospital, then helped them get rides back home over the mountains to the Seattle area.

Supernatural Healing:
Hilary's neck and back continued to hurt her. "Back at school," she said, "I was in excruciating pain with my back. I had to take a pillow with me to class."

Amy remembers, "I would joke with her, and she'd say, 'Haha..owww… don't make me laugh' because she hurt so much."

Two days after the accident, Hilary wandered down to the cafeteria to eat, still in pain and hardly able to raise her head. She saw her friend and fellow Idahoan John Vincent, and went up to him. "I said, 'John, would you pray for me? My back really hurts.' John said, 'Sure!' So, he prayed for me, and as he prayed, I felt this tingle go through my back and up my spine, and the pain just went away. I told John, 'I don't feel any pain anymore.'"

For several minutes, Hilary walked around, testing it out, making sure that she was really healed. "Then I got excited and started telling everybody."

Amy recalled, "I was standing by the Pecota Center, and Hilary comes bouncing up to me. She said, 'Make me laugh,' and I said, 'What? Oh! You're healed?' She said, 'Yeah!' It was obvious that something big had happened, because that morning Hilary had been grumpily carrying her pillow everywhere, and now she was standing there all bubbly with a huge grin on her face.'"

Did Hilary's back bother her after that?  "No," she told us. "I was just fine."

People are mistaken when they believe God is no longer in the miracle business. We regularly hear of miracles experienced by normal people, people whom God has touched and protected in powerful ways. We're not done yet telling about them. God is still doing miracles, healing and protecting and speaking into human lives. What's more, Jesus promised that we would do greater things than he did because he went to the Father (John 14:2).  Let us continue to expect great things of God working through His Son in us.   


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