Don’t be afraid to take a deep breath

Published 8:30 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Miracles and science are a strange combination. Most people say they’re like oil and water. If you believe in one, you can’t believe in the other. But I’m not most people; I believe in both science and miracles. I spent the first part of my adult life with science and the last forty years with miracles. And I’ve never seen any conflict between true science and real miracles. The secret is knowing that miracles and magic are not the same thing. Miracles are intended to help us see the truth; magic is intended to keep us from seeing the truth.

Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After seeing Dr. Mark Soloway in Miami, I spent three years driving to Miami every three months, on a wait and watch program. Three years later, I could no longer wait and watch; my cancer began to grow. So, I drove to Brunswick where I saw Dr. Bruce Tripp, and after forty radiation treatments, I’ve been cancer-free for nine years!

It was a journey filled with all sorts of medical knowledge and science and technology, but it started with a miracle. Dr. Soloway is a “gold-level” prostate surgeon. I’d read that it often took eight or more months to get in to see him, with people coming from all over the world. So, I prayed about what I should do and finally called him.

The receptionist asked me if I could be there on Friday; I’d called on Monday. I said, “Yes!” And then I asked her why I’d gotten in so quickly after reading about the difficulty in getting an appointment? She said someone had canceled their appointment and she was about to pick up the phone to fill the empty time when the phone rang. I could save her several phone calls if I’d take the appointment. I told her I’d be glad to help; and we drove to Miami on Thursday and saw Dr. Soloway on Friday. (The man who checked in with me had waited for four months!)

Paul writes to the church at Rome and mentions miracles, “[17] In union with Christ Jesus, then, I can be proud of my service for God. [18] I will be bold and speak only about what Christ has done through me to lead the Gentiles to obey God.

He has done this by means of words and deeds, [19] by the power of miracles and wonders, and by the power of the Spirit of God. And so, in traveling all the way from Jerusalem to Illyricum, I have proclaimed fully the Good News about Christ.” (Romans 15:17-19)

Paul is telling us the church grows and the message spreads through words and deeds, and through miracles and wonders, and by the power of the Spirit. John Wesley said he never feared the church would die, but he was afraid it would become just one more dead society offering nothing but words and deeds.

The Old Testament word for Spirit is “ruah” meaning “breath” or “wind.” And the New Testament word for Spirit is “pneuma” meaning the same things. But sometimes the church is so afraid of the Spirit, we’ve held our “breath.” Maybe it’s time to begin “breathing” again? Because, as you all know, you can’t really live without “breathing.” So take a deep “breath!”