Yesterday I posted about Tebow’s 316 yard miracle, as some are calling it. I suggested, among other things, that God had nothing to do with this and did not make/help Tebow throw 316 yards so that attention would be drawn to John 3:16. I was, not unexpectedly, trounced upon on both on this blog and Facebook. No problem, I know that I was touching an American Holy Grail.
But as I stated more than once, my problem is not with Tebow. Indeed, my understanding is that even he is careful not to suggest that God is playing football with him. Here is a quote from one commentator that suggests this.
Again today, Tebow did next to nothing until the waning moments, and then, down 10-0 with two minutes left, he throws a touchdown pass, and the Broncos tie it at the gun on a 59-yard field goal. And then win it in overtime on a 51 yarder. The combination of Denver’s continuing late heroics, and today, the Bears otherwise unexplainable errors, is enough to have some at least suspect divine intervention. Except that Tebow, whose sincere faith cannot be questioned, and should be respected, also has the good sense, and good grace, to make it clear he does not believe God takes a hand in the outcome of games.
I am glad that Tebow has yet to claim Jesus is playing football and I hope he steadfastly refuses to do so. He seems to have a healthy recognition that his creator has endowed him with some amazing gifts, but does not slip into suggesting that he has a special divine blessing to win.
My beef, if I can call it that, is with the Christian fans who are suggesting that God is getting in the middle of an American football game in order to win glory and praise while at the same time promoting the gospel message. I just don’t think God gets involved with sporting events that way. And I have serious theological problems with calling a football game a miracle. When I hear Christians claiming divine intervention in a football game a number of things go through my head.
I think about a prayer request I heard in chapel yesterday. A missionary family in Syria requests prayer because there are roaming gangs in their neighborhood killing men and raping woman. I hope they get a miracle from God before they become the next victims.
I wonder about my friend in India and his ministry. His pastors have been the subject of numerous brutal attacks for their faith. I hope there is a miracle for them before the next attack.
I think about the 16,000 or more people killed in last year’s tsunami in Japan. I wish that God would have miraculously stopped that wall of water even if only to bring glory to himself.
I wonder where the miracles are for all the children that are abducted and killed each year.
I wonder about the poor who, by no fault of their own, have lost jobs, homes and family and yet no miracle is there for them. I wonder what they think of God intervening in a football game and not their own situations.
I could go on and on.
Of course the first question I am asked is: “But couldn’t God . . . “ And the answer to such an open question is, of course, yes. But the more important question. The one that disturbs my soul is the other question. “Why didn’t God.”
It’s not that I am not open to miracles. I just am not ready to quickly declare something a miracle simply because a Christian is involved and some vague, possible allusion to a Bible verse. I see the disasters of life all around us and I wonder why God would choose to show up at a football game on Sunday and not other places in the world.
Some people would suggest to me that my narrow view of world events and miracles means that my God is not big enough to be interested in both human tragedy and football. I would suggest the opposite is true. Perhaps your God is too small. He is able to make a football fly 316 yards, but not stop a wall of water.
These are the kinds of things I think about when I hear people call some things a miracle.And I wonder about the lack of other miracles. I just wonder.