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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Susan Hanson

Thursday, November 26

Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered...
—Psalm 105:4-5

I had just finished telling the story of the feeding of the multitude when five-year-old Jon folded his arms, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “I doubt that.” New to teaching at the time, I was thoroughly taken aback.

What was the protocol for dealing with a recalcitrant child, especially when that child was the rector’s son? How would I ever regain even my small degree of authority--not to mention my pride—if I let this assault on my knowledge of the Bible go by?

Pretending to be unfazed, I replied, “That’s ok. You don’t have to think it happened just that way.” Seemingly satisfied with my response, Jon assumed a less defensive posture while the rest of us went on with our discussion. Unknown to him, I remained on my guard for months.

Thirty-plus years later, I can’t help wondering how Jon—now called Jonathan and a rector himself—explains the existence of miracles to his own children. 

Do they look at him with skepticism as he tells the story of the paraplegic being healed? Do they question his veracity when he talks about Jesus turning water into wine? Do they roll their eyes at the mere mention of five loaves of bread and two fish being enough to feed 5,000 men, "besides women and children"?

I certainly hope so.

I’m not sure what I think about miracles, though I’m still inclined to say, “You don’t have to think it happened just that way.”No doubt some of the miracles we read about will one day be explained—if they haven’t been already. Others, however, will remain mysteries. And that’s what we’re talking about here, mysteries.

How did Jesus feed the 5,000, cure the lepers, and raise his friend Lazarus from the dead? I honestly don’t know. But I do know that it’s no accident that most of the miracles recorded in the Bible focus on someone being fed, healed, or brought back to life. These are all the miraculous works of God, regardless of the details.

O God, when I look at the earth, when I look at my very life, help me to see your hand in everything that is and to recognize the daily miracles through which you heal and sustain us all.

These Signposts were originally published on in 2005.