I’m one of those Christians who doesn’t really believe in miracles, or at least not supernatural miracles. I’m usually looking for a rational explanation to things and frequently roll my eyes when other Christians make claims of miracles and signs. I’ve never seen a demon cast out and I’ve never had a “vision” from God. I tend to look at how God has seemingly fine-tuned the world to work in amazing ways and try to reconcile science with my faith as a way of better understanding how God works. I believe that the Bible is God’s word, but that it was written in the language of its time and we need to be able to recognize the context and changes in scientific understanding that have since come about.
The other night I sat and watched Prince of Egypt with my children. As I was watching my brain went automatically to all the goofy documentaries I was shown in youth group about what could have actually caused the miracles and plagues. About the supposed land bridge that may or may not have been in the Red Sea and to my college professor’s explanation about translation and it actually being the “Reed Sea” that was crossed.
As I was thinking about these things a strange thought crossed my mind though. “Does it really matter? Are scientific or archaeological evidence really going to convince anyone it actually happened or is it just going to be preaching to the choir? If God is all powerful He could have done such miracles or He could have chosen to use the system of nature He’d already created. Was I there? Were you there?”
If we believe the Bible to be the Word of God, then we know the story happened. We have faith that God did what He says He did, regardless of how it may have been done. And if we believe the story then why are we so hung up on proving it that we keep missing the point of the whole darn thing?
Let’s remember that this is a story that God has given us to encourage us to have a little faith.
A friend of mine once told me that we Christians have a very strange faith and that we believe some very strange things, and that is totally ok. When Moses encountered the burning bush he was surely confused by how a bush could burn in such a way. Imagine his bewilderment when the bush started talking to him! Moses then immediately begins talking to said bush and even arguing with it.
We frequently look at the heroes of the Bible as if somehow they are these amazing people of faith who God chose for their unwavering commitment to Him. But most of the heroes of the Bible are fallible humans like the rest of us that God chose to work through. Moses had his doubts as much as any other person. We read in the book of Exodus that God told Moses to go to Egypt and that at least 5 times Moses tried to come up with an excuse not to do it even after watching his own staff turn into a serpent and his hand be covered in leprosy. We can probably imagine that at some point Moses may have tried to chalk the whole experience up to a hallucination caused by heat and dehydration. I have to wonder how many times Moses thought of turning back when on his way to Egypt. We even know that after leading the Hebrews out of Egypt that Moses continued to struggle with believing everything God told him, in spite of actually meeting God atop Mount Sinai.
It wasn’t because of Moses’ great faith that God used him to accomplish something amazing. It was because Moses was an imperfect person that God used him. To show that God doesn’t need us to be perfect and fearless in the face of the world. He just asks us to have a little faith and go, and through that He will do awesome things.
Matthew 17:20 says
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
You don’t need a lot of faith to follow God or do as He asks of you. In fact, there is nothing wrong with questioning the Bible. There is nothing wrong with wondering if the different miracles were actually natural occurrences or if the creation story is actually just a metaphorical telling of natural history. And when God calls us or puts a task before us there is nothing wrong with questioning it or doubting it.
What matters is that we have a little faith that God’s word is true and start going. What little faith we have God will use to do something awesome.
Even though Moses argued with God and tried his best to get out of it, God used what faith he had to make His glory known and bring an entire nation out of slavery. When we start questioning God or pretending like perhaps we’re not good enough or don’t have enough faith, let us remember that all we need is faith as small as a mustard seed. So long as we have something, God will take hold of it and do something amazing in spite of our doubts, arguments, and excuses.
Have a little faith, and go where God is asking you to go.