When God supernaturally rescued Joanna Watson from a car crash that could have ended her life, it set her on a new path. She’s spent years collecting stories of other miracles and, ahead of Pentecost, says we should expect them in our own lives, too
Strictly speaking, I could be dead.
While on holiday in the USA, the car I was in plunged over the edge of a mountain. It hurtled down about 50 metres into pitch-black darkness, flipped and ended up on its roof. Upside down and held in by my seatbelt, I fractured my spine in two places.
Put simply: God saved my life.
In the immediate aftermath of the accident, God provided for all my medical, physical and spiritual needs. In a series of incredible ‘God-incidences’, he brought help through a succession of strangers – including a doctor and a Christian – orchestrating exactly who needed to be there in my moment of need.
And in the months that followed, as I found myself encased in a back brace and heading slowly towards recovery, I was acutely aware that things could have turned out very differently. Today, I am alive, walking, and here to tell the tale.
Surviving a near-fatal car accident changed my life. It led to a redirection in my career and a relocation. But, over the subsequent years, it also led to more miracle stories – of provision, protection, healing, and even resurrection – landing in my lap.
Miracles are always about God, never about us; and they always have a purpose
I published ten true tales of miracles in my book Light through the Cracks: How God breaks in when life turns tough (Malcolm Down Publishing). United by a common theme, they all reveal how ordinary people have encountered God in extraordinary ways in the midst of tough times; how God has broken into some very dark and difficult situations; how he has brought his light in through the cracks.
Cancer disappearing without trace. A man defying death, multiple times, following life-threatening injuries incurred in a head-on road collision. A baby born prematurely, only to confound the medical predictions about his prognosis. Cash appearing out of nowhere to keep a church from closing. A teenager seeing her chronic debilitating illness disappear in an instant. Plus the full story of my own car accident.
Not all of these stories have happy endings. I don’t sanitise or sugar-coat any aspects of them; they are written as they really happened - raw, real and messy. But, in the middle of each one, God showed up for us when we were praying in utter desperation, not knowing what the ending would be.
The wake-up call we all need
The reality is that our unchanging God is still in the miracle business today - not just in the dim and distant past or in some far flung part of the world – but here, at home, in the 21st Century. He is still supernaturally performing acts that shouldn’t be able to happen according to the laws of nature or science. They are relatively rare, but they occur more often than we realise.
Miracles are possible because God is at work in the spiritual realm as well as the physical realm; in the extraordinary, as well as the ordinary. He heals through medicine, but also miraculously. He provides financially through a steady income, but also out of thin air. He expects us to heed warning signs, but also sends angels to protect us from danger. He speaks through the Bible, but also through dreams and visions.
These things don’t happen routinely and are impossible to predict in advance; they are always about God, never about us; and they always have a purpose
However, as Jeff Lucas cautions us in Elijah: Anointed and stressed (Kingsway): “God has no interest in providing Holy Spirit ignited fireworks for the delight and entertainment of the Christian public. He offers His power because He cares for people – and lest we be guilty of becoming like the sign-seekers who followed Jesus around, we need to ensure that our motive is the same.”
Miracles are relatively rare, but they occur more often than we realise
In Romans 8:11, we read that the same power with which Jesus rose from the dead is available to those who belong to Christ Jesus. Given this, and if we care for the people around us, why would we not want to invite the Holy Spirit to fill us and use us in powerful ways?
If we truly believe there is power in the name of Jesus, that God intervenes when we pray and that miracles can happen, may our faith be stirred to be bold in seeking God for breakthrough in our situations.
You never know, maybe you might witness a miracle!