And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, (Acts 19:11)
June 23, thirteen soccer players ages 11-16, along with their coach, journeyed into a cave in Thailand. They only intended to be inside for one hour when a monsoon flooded the cave entrance. When the families of the young boys found the team’s bikes and gear outside the cave, they immediately went to work to accomplish the impossible, save their children, all of them.
Vern Unsworth, a local cave hobbyist turned expert, was one of the first called in to help. He connected the community to a network of specialty British SEAL divers who flew in to assess the situation. Unsworth provided a map of the cave system and suggestions on where the boys would probably be.
In an interview on Friday, one of the divers, Rick Stanton, talked about the moment they found the boys alive. “When we departed,” he recounted, “all we could think about was how we were going to get them out.” They were focused, fortunate, and ultimately successful. Unsworth‘s hobby, and the SEAL team’s training became resources for an improbable rescue. So improbable that many have called it an act of God.
Unsworth summarized the outcome, “Just to get any of them out alive would have been a miracle. But to get 13 out of 13. . . won’t happen again.” He concluded by simply stating, “biggest miracle ever!”
“Miracle,” according to Miriam Webster, is “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.” C.S. Lewis was more succinct when he described miracles as “interference with Nature by supernatural power.”
Miracle is our attempt to explain in human language what cannot be understood on human terms. Miracle is a work of God, but it is a mistake to assume that God never involves human effort in the making of miracles. At the press conference on Friday, Rick Stanton addressed the team’s status as “heros.”
Are we heroes? No, we were just using a very unique skill set, which we normally use for our own interests and sometimes we are able to use that and give something back to the community.
Sometimes we are waiting around to “see God work.” We want to watch his power on full display as he invades our world and sets aside the laws of nature. But sometimes God uses the natural to accomplish the supernatural. Sometimes he uses fallen humans to lift up his name.
What miracle are you looking for? Where are you waiting to see God work? Sometimes, he alone must do the work, but frequently, he chooses to bless us with not just the opportunity to see a miracle but the opportunity to be a miracle. Pause to consider that God’s supernatural involvement may have already occurred. Maybe his work was to bless you with “a very unique skill set.” Maybe your hobby or your training is the miracle someone is waiting on.
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