There’s a quote that I’m reminded of that goes somewhat like this: You can either see everything as a miracle, or none at all. Something like that. I’m guessing that what people usually mean when they say that is that you should be grateful for every good thing, and attribute them to God. I’d take it a step further. But first, context.
Lately, I’ve been wondering where God really is. As in, where is His presence? What effect does He have on my life? To answer these questions, I’ve been looking for miracles. I decided to “open my eyes” to whatever wonders may occur if I ask for them.
At times in life, it’s easy to believe that miracles really do happen. There were times when improbable strings of problems occurred and each one of them fell away due to what seemed like sheer coincidence, or as I called it when it happened, “the clockwork machinations” of God. I believed that those were miracles. And then, miracles, as I believed them to be, stopped, and I found myself wondering if God was gone.
But then I learned about what people call Survivor Bias. (It’s actually called Survivorship Bias.)
As Wikipedia defines it, “Survivorship bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that “survived” some process and inadvertently overlooking those that did not because of their lack of visibility.” What this meant for my theory on miracles is that I couldn’t just call it God whenever it pleased me to, whenever it solved my problems.
Survivorship bias has been used against Christians (at least, against me) to imply that there are no miracles at all in life. And it makes sense to put it this way because Christians usually only label good things as miracles, as acts of God. It’s a weakness in our reasoning that I’ve had to consider. But in this case, it actually led me to stronger belief and what might be a whole-r picture of God.
Either everything’s a miracle or nothing is. This saying used to be, for me, nothing more than a sympathetic, half-assed, unreasonably optimistic way to view the world. “Thank God for all the good things we enjoy,” it used to tell me. But now I see it differently. God is everywhere, and everything. And not just in the good, easy things, but also in the painful, hard things.
God was there when my friend went for a drive with his girlfriend, an hour after his family arrived home from visiting their hometown, Tacloban, in the Philippines where 40 or more of their family died in the typhoon. He was there when a drunk driver crossed the median and swiped 2 vehicles, including one with an 8-month pregnant woman, before colliding head on with my friend’s car, leaving in the hospital where he’s now fighting for his life. He was there when that drunk driver got out on bail.
But He was also there when no one was seriously injured but my friend. God is here, as we come together as friends and family around this situation.
God is everywhere, all the time. We can’t only call it God when we like it, when it pleases us. If we believe in God at all, we have to believe that He’s always in control, in the good and the bad. You can wrestle with whether you agree with a God that lets these things happen, but don’t ever think that He’s gone.
After all this searching… I’ve gotta wonder. Is there comfort in this guy always being around?