Foreword by Don Piper to When You Need a Miracle
Some twenty-first folks seem to think that miracles ended when the canon of the Bible was closed. Yes, they believe that in the Bible a donkey really did talk, a sea really got parted, Jews walked across on dry ground in search of the Promised Land, Jairus’s daughter was raised from the dead, and Jesus ascended into heaven right in front of his followers. I agree that all those things actually happened. What I don’t agree with is the con
tention that God is not in the miracle business today. In Linda Evans Shepherd’s new book, When You Need a Miracle: How to Ask God for the Impossible, she drives this point home with forthrightness and refreshingly transparent honesty. Her illustrations are relevant and encouraging.
Any book that begins with the promise “If you read this book until the end, you will experience miracles” had better deliver, and this one does. Linda speaks with the depth of experience of one who has needed miracles in her life. She asks, “How are we ever going to learn to walk on water if an occasional toilet doesn’t overflow?”
But the takeaway from When You Need a Miracle isn’t just that the author overcame setbacks and even, some would say, tragedies. It’s a primer on seeking a miracle from God.
And like many things, it’s almost as important to know what does not work as what does. One of the things I like most about this book is that it pulls no punches about the reason bad things happen in the first place. Linda is very frank about trying to get God to “perform” for us. Many tried to get Jesus to do amazing things when he walked the earth, just to see a miracle. It’s not that God is stingy with his miracles. I think he’s prudent. He’s God. Indeed, God says no to our prayers when it serves his divine purpose.
Should we be so surprised that miracles are happening all around us? In the Gospel of John, chapter 14, Jesus told his followers immediately before his arrest and crucifixion that they would perform miracles even greater than he performed while he was here. That’s an utterly astounding statement to a bunch of fellows who had walked with him for over three years and seen him make the lame walk and the blind see, calm a churning sea, turn water into wine, and make Lazarus come dancing out of a tomb when Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth!”
And now he’s telling them, his followers, and, I submit, those who believe today, that greater miracles would happen through us after he went to heaven! As in, the here and now!
One of the excellent aspects of When You Need a Miracle is Linda’s use of prayers and Scripture to ponder at the end of each chapter. She doesn’t just give you discourse; you get practical, powerful prayers and God’s Word to help you on your journey to the miraculous.
Linda ever so eloquently writes about what I personally experienced. I was killed in a car crash over twenty years ago. People who heard of my accident but not my death prayed desperately for me; one man even prayed over my dead body. God answered those prayers affirmatively, bringing me back to earth from the very gates of heaven. My head and chest were crushed in the head-on collision. I was told I would never walk again or have the use of my arm. Thirty-four operations, thirteen months in a hospital bed, and years of rehabilitation later, I am alive, walking and typing at this very moment with both of my hands. It is unequivocally because God is still in the miracle business that I live and function at all! Linda Evans Shepherd’s book When You Need a Miracle explains how miracles come to be in the here and now.
Truly, I believe that God is doing some of his best stuff now! I’ve stood in too many hospital hallways and heard doctors remark incredulously, “We’ve done this test several times. We can’t find the tumor now! It’s just gone!” I’ve seen too many broken relationships restored, personal and/or financial catastrophes overcome. I have spoken to hundreds of congregations and other groups. At one such occasion, I met parents whose son clung to life in a nearby hospital. This was the first time they had left him. They came to hear a message of hope that night from a man who had experienced miracles. We prayed for their boy in the lobby of that church. Two years later at another speaking engagement, the same couple, faces beaming with delight, moved aside as they approached me to reveal their son walking and smiling, just like the doctors said he never would. Yes, I believe in miracles. I am one, and so was their precious son.
Linda offers this book with a timeless question and a remarkable promise: “Are miracles still possible?” and “If you read this book until the end, you will experience miracles.”
I read it. I did. I was reminded that God is actively, intrinsically, lovingly involved in the world today.
Will you really take the time to look at his handiwork? God makes the impossible possible every day. Sometimes we just need something to remind us how to ask for it.
You’re holding it in your hand.
Don Piper When You Need a Miracle
Click HERE to see the videos and helps that will make your read through Do You Need a Miracle, a multi-media event.