Do Miracles Still Happen Today?

Do Miracles Still Happen Today?

In our postmodern scientific world, the general consensus is that miracles can be explained away by our vast knowledge of how things work. But there are some amazing occurences that still transcend the rational mind, especially when it comes to something you experience personally that has affected you in a profound way.

What is a miracle? The dictionary definition 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.” I agree.

I have personally received several miracles from God.

And I am nobody special. But nevertheless, God has been good to me. If you have a moment, I’d like to share a few of these miracles in hopes that you may be encouraged to believe for a miracle in your life. And maybe you have received some miracles too. If so, please share–I’d love to hear about them, and I’m sure others would too. I’m not talking about the Red Sea parting or walking on water, but just things in your life that you know was exceptional, out of the ordinary, and you treasure in your heart because it took you out your ordinary routine and lifted you up to the spiritual or divine (even if you don’t think in theological terms.)

Reflecting on Milwaukee

“Reflecting on Milwaukee:” Scene from Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Original 2.5″ x 3.5″ painting by Matt Philleo

Miracle#1: …and Step on it, Mister!

For me, the first that comes to mind was when I was in Milwaukee back in ’96. I was going to art school there at the time, and I was visiting a new friend on the north side of town. I had to get back to the downtown to the Greyhound bus terminal to hop on a bus back to Merrill. The only problem was both my friend and I didn’t drive, and I had very heavy luggage with me that would make it a slow walk to the terminal. I could maybe have made it on time by foot without the luggage, but with the luggage (before they had those handy wheels on the suitcases) that would have been impossible.

Yet, I tried my best to amble along. And I was getting tired in the heat and knew I would miss my bus. So I prayed for help (I wasn’t a believer at the time like I am now, but I would pull God out of my back pocket when I needed Him) As soon as I got done praying, a taxi cab rolled up to the stop sign in front of where I was walking! And this in a residential part of town! So I hailed the driver, and away I went to my destination, on time. Was that a coincidence? I think not.

Miracle #2: Solo I Can Hardly Hear You!

Prior to that, when I was up to sing a solo in a musical in high school (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) I caught laryngitis from my sister just a few days before the opening night. The doctor said I wouldn’t have a voice for a few weeks. My mom, however, was watching the 700 Club and the lady on there was praying for someone in the audience with a scratchy throat or blockage in their throat and that God was healing it. My mom said, “Matt, I want you to claim that healing in Jesus name.” Again, I wasn’t a believer like now, but I did it to humor my mom. I guess I had a shred of faith. I wondered if maybe I could be healed.

On opening night, I basically had to lip-sync the other parts in the musical, because my voice was like a frog getting a tonsilectomy. But when my solo came, I got my voice back in full! Nobody in the audience even knew I had laryngitis. Praise the Lord! He healed me, no doubt about it.

Miracle #3: The Scale Never Lies

I will share two more miracles. The next one occurred when I was 19, after coming home from art school. I had always been very skinny growing up. Even at this age, I was 140 lbs soaking wet at 6’3.” I was skinny enough to get my hand to completely wrap around my upper arm, like you would be able to do with your wrist. I hated it, because I often got teased for it and had a bad self-image. I would eat like a horse and still couldn’t put on any weight.

One day, after complaining about it, my mom urged me to instead pray to God to be healed. I said, “Mom, that’s like praying to a brick wall. But I will do it for you.” Oh, the things a mother can get her son to do!

So I went upstairs to my bedroom, prayed a quick prayer, and came downstairs. My mom said, “Matt, you look different. Your face looks fuller.” I thought, “Yeah, right,” but then I touched my face and indeed, it did feel like I had more flesh on my cheek.

I ran to the bathroom and hopped on the scale: 145 lbs! I had never weighed that much in my life! I could hardly believe it, especially since I obsessively weighed myself on an almost daily basis, and I knew this happened instantly.

Well, in about a week, I was up to 150. And then over the course of several months, I was up to about 175. Today, I’m at about 215, so maybe I need to go the other direction a little! But regardless, God healed me!

After all these things, you think I would have given my life to Jesus Christ, as my mom had been incessantly urging me to do for some time. But it took four more years. God was patient with me. I came to the Lord as I read John 17, and knew that Jesus wanted me to be with Him in heaven and see His glory. His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead made it all possible.

Old Iowa Farmhouse Original painting by Matt Philleo

Old Iowa Farmhouse Original 2.5″ x 3.5″ painting by Matt Philleo

Miracle #4: An Extra Push

The last miracle I’ll mention happened a few years ago, when I was returning from a visit to see my dad in Iowa while he was dying from cancer. My family and I were very strapped for cash, and we spent the last of our money on putting gas in the tank. According to my calculations, we had only enough gas to get us to the southern part of Wisconsin, maybe a little bit past Dubuque. I knew God would get us home, but I didn’t know how. I had visions in my mind of our car stranded on the side of the road with a good Samaritan stopping and helping us out.

Anyway, after putting the gas in, I prayed and started on the journey back home. I had an insatiable urge to look constantly at the gas gauge, but I felt it wouldn’t be trusting God and it would open a door to fear. So instead, I prayed, sang, did whatever to keep my mind occupied. (My wife was asleep, if I remember, so I couldn’t talk to her)

We made it through Dubuque. I just had to check the gauge. It said, “1/4 full.” That was a relief! But still, not enough gas to get home with nearly 200 miles to go. I prayed and kept on rolling through that meandering road, Hwy 61/27. Somewhere around Sparta, I looked again. (Sparta is about 70 miles from Eau Claire.) Still, “1/4 full”. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I thought. “Thank You, Lord!! I think we’re going to make it!”

We were still 70 miles from home with only a quarter tank of gas, but I was feeling pretty good at this point. I kept going, and we made it past Osseo, 20 miles from home. The tank read, “1/8.” I had no doubt God would get us home. When we finally pulled in the driveway, the gauge not only wasn’t on empty, it was still 1/8 full!

The next day, I did a calculation on the gas mileage we got, and it was somewhere close to 50 miles/gallon on a car that normally got 30-35! So I don’t know if God sent us a tailwind to push us along, had angels pushing our car, or just supernaturally charged our carburetor, but it was a miracle in my book! God was so faithful to get us home and had mercy on me, my wife, and my young children, where they could just stay sleeping in the car the whole time.

God is Still in the Miracle Working Business…Just For You.

I have to admit, I borrowed the above phrase from a Latino preacher who lives constantly from miracle to miracle. And it’s true. God loves you so much He will do just about anything to reach you and make you His child. The Bible says that God doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed or be lost, but He wants everyone to turn from their sin and trust in Him. He also thinks of ways to bring people who are estranged from Him into a relationship with Him, so that when they die, they will not be separated from Him forever, but rather enjoy fellowship with Him forever.

Miracles are one way God does that. Yes, ultimately it is the Word of God that gives us life. (That’s how I was changed into a new person.) However…

If the Bible could be compared to a restaurant, and the words on its pages like the food, then miracles are the signs you pass on the highway alerting you: “Food, next exit.”

Miracles draw our attention to God out of all the mundane activities in life, and scream to us that He really is real, and He is trying to get a hold of us. And when we start to look to Him, then He wants to tell us something: how much He loves us and how much He wants us to enjoy and respond to that amazing love.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER: Have you ever had a miracle happen to you or someone you know? How did it change your perspective on life?

"I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands."

Inscribed6a 500px

"Inscribed," Pencil on Paper, by Matt Philleo

One day, when I was discouraged I read a verse in the Bible, in Isaiah, 49:15-16, where it says, "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands." This verse brought such encouragement, that I created this original work of art to share the incredible love of God with others, including you!

Get a free 8 x 10 copy of this drawing that you can use to print, share, or as wallpaper!

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