Believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. Mark 11:24
There are two passages of Scripture that continue to intrigue and amaze me, especially when I look at them side by side — the one cited above and this one from the 13th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. “He did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” These two quotes remind me that two things are necessary for a miracle: the power of God and our faith.
It continues to amaze me that so many in the church confuse beliefs with faith. One can have beliefs — fully assent to the truth of some doctrine — yet go through life without faith. Another can move mountains with faith the size of a mustard seed and yet be unaware of many cherished beliefs of the church.
I have seen some of the deepest faith in the lives of very simple people and an almost total lack of it in the lives of some of the smartest degree holders in theology.
What is faith? A belief that God exists? Hardly! Faith is the belief that God can be active in our lives if we trust that it can be so. Our faith, or lack of it, is what triggers miracles or prevents them.
It is not a religious book, but one of the books that has been so helpful to me in this regard is the book “The Art of Possibility” by Zander and Zander. It opens with a story about two shoe salesmen who were sent to Africa on sales trips. After a month, one sent a telegram back to the factory that read, “Bad news! They don’t wear shoes!” The other salesman also sent a telegram. His read, “Good news! They don’t wear shoes!”
The two biggest obstacles to seeing miracles happen in our own lives are (1) the discounting negative voices of people around us towards us and (2) the discounting negative voices in our own heads toward ourselves. Henry Ford was right, and Jesus seems to agree with him, “Those who think they can and those who think they can’t are both right.”
If we don’t experience miracles in our lives it could just be because we keep sabotaging their possibility by listening to the naysayers around us and inside us. The miracles I have witnessed were made possible by tuning out both of those voices and trusting God.
Maybe we do not experience miracles, not because they are impossible, but because it takes too much trust. Declaring situations, people and ourselves “hopeless” let’s us off the hook. People will understand if we do nothing if they are labeled “hopeless.”
When we think about miracles, often we think of Lourdes or Fatima and feel that we must run over there when, all the time, with our faith and God’s power, those miracles can be worked right here at home.
To read more from Father Knott, visit his blog: FatherKnott.com.