There are three types of miracles. Miracles of healing, miracles of resurrection and miracles of nature. For me, miracles of nature are supernatural. Not that I am negating the value of the other types of miracles, but those of nature are more unique for they borrow from the elements of fire, earth, water and wind and resound with our human nature.
Two particular miracles stand out for our Gospel reading at Church tomorrow. Those miracles which are in focus are the feeding of the five thousand and Jesus walking on the water. The underlying message of this is that we need not to fear for God will provide for our physical and spiritual needs.
The feeding of the five thousand demonstrates God’s providence. Despite everything being pitted against us. God sees us through and gives us more than enough. So just to highlight the challenges in the situation. There were too many people. They were too far away from anyone or any village. They did not have enough money to buy food. It would be reminisce not to include that they were hungry. Now there was a thoughtful mother in the story who packed a lunch for her son. It consisted of five loaves of bread and two fish. Now Jesus possessed more faith than any other human being ever. He prayed to God and blessed the food and gave it out for distribution among the people. Now the people that were counted according to records were 5000 men excluding women and children. It was also recorded that after the people ate their full, they collected 12 baskets full of leftovers. This teaches us not to waste and to preserve our environment for the future generations to come.
God provides for us in such a way that we have more than enough. We are filled and there is extra that we can share with others. In all of this we must remember to show gratitude for both being filled and also for having the opportunity to share with others. We know what it feels like to have life working against us. God uses what we would deem to be the littlest and insignificant things to work in our lives and bless them. When God blesses it, this insignificant element turns out to work in our favour so much so that we can share it with others. We just have to have faith in God’s providence.
Speaking of faith, the second miracle of Jesus walking on the water is a demonstration of faith which needs to be examined biblically and realistically. I once watched a magician trying to prove that walking on water was an illusion. Needless to say, after his experiments he was unsuccessful. Thus proving that this was a supernatural feat with the element of water. Water sustains and supports us in life. We need water for survival. Yet this miracle shows water in a different perspective.
Now Jesus’ disciples were on a boat in the Sea of Tiberias while Jesus was in the mountain praying. The link between these two miracles is that after feeding the five thousand the people wanted to make him king, but Jesus withdrew to a quiet place to reflect. That is essential in our everyday lives. Not only is it important for us to be filled with our basal needs but we also need to be filled with our spiritual needs. We need to get away from the business of life to a quiet place and reflect to get closer to God.
If we don’t reflect on our lives, we get caught up in the hectic nature of it all. Just like the disciples on the Sea of Tiberias. This sea is like our lives. One time it can be calm with just a few ripples of water on the surface. The next moment there are the strong winds, whipping up the waves into a heightened frenzy and we are holding on for our dear lives. The disciples were scared and afraid. They thought that this was their end. Then suddenly they saw a ghost.
Sometimes the things that scared us could actually save us. Facing our fears can actually work for us in the long run. This ghost that the disciples saw obviously put fear in their hearts at first but upon further examination they realised that it was Jesus doing a supernatural feat of walking on the water. Now Peter, the most courageous of the disciples, wanted to walk on water as well. Jesus told him to step out of the boat.
Peter started off well at first because he kept his eyes on Jesus. And then he made the mistake of looking down and seeing the swirling water beneath his feet. Questions filled his mind. Doubt entered his thoughts and he subsequently began to sink. He cried out to Jesus to save him and Jesus did. He asked Peter not to fear but just believe. Just believe that you can do what others deem impossible because of your past experience. Just believe that your dreams will be fulfilled one day. Just believe in the success to come when all you have encountered was failure. Jesus is there to pull you up when you start to sink under the responsibilities of life. Whether it is your family, your career, your studies, Jesus is there to pull you through by getting you over your fears.
Ultimately these miracles of nature give us hope through the supernatural. Realistically we can apply this to the challenges of everyday. Do what scares you, as long as it will benefit you in the long run. Do not fear, just believe that God will provide for your physical and spiritual needs. Never forget to acknowledge him in times of reflection and pray. For by doing this you can really appreciate all of the blessings which come your way. So let go of all of the fears and rest assured that God is taking care of you. Walk on water, fully satisfied enough to share with others.
I leave you with my personal mission statement:
I will gain more opportunities for personal and professional development by using the capacity to speak on diverse topics to accomplish less discrimination and more understanding and in doing so, achieve a deeper spiritual connection with others and God. – Anewday.