Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Do you think miracles still happen? I do. Let me remind you what happened in Northern NSW back in February 2007. It was World Paragliding Championship, held that year in Manilla, NSW.
Two hundred people took part from all over the world. A few weeks before that some of the gliders participated in a practice run—and that’s when Ewa Wiśnierska, the 35-yr-old German paraglider pilot, experienced something so bizarre it is hard to believe. She survived a storm cell that sucked her higher than Mount Everest.
Ewa should have died. She was unconscious for 40 minutes and endured temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees. Covered in ice and about 5 kilometres above ground, Ewa lived to tell the world all about it. It became headlines around the world—“Ewa Sucked Into Storm and Lives To Tell”—and a TV documentary was screened called Miracle in the Storm.
When the media interviewed Ewa, she said, “I don’t know who to thank. I thanked the Angels, but I don’t believe in God.” It certainly is an incredible story of survival. By human logic alone, Ewa would be dead.
The organiser said, “if a paraglider steered into the storm cell, it was just not a risk, but a decision that was 99.9% likely to lead to his death”. But she survived. I believe it was a miracle. God saved her life, for what else happened? Doctors say she blacked out and her heart rate slowed down. Yes, but there’s more to it than that. God protected her, and she did not die.
When We Make God Our Refuge
Listen to what the Bible says in Psalm 91;
If you make the Lord your refuge,
if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you;
no plague will come near your home.
For he will order his angels
to protect you wherever you go. (Psalm 91:9-11 – NLT)
That is a startling statement, and again I believe it is true. Do you believe in angels? Many people do. Back in 1975, Billy Graham wrote a best seller about angels.
Did an angel keep the paraglider alive that day in 2007? How did God protect her life? I don’t know how God works, but there is enough evidence over the years to say, “God will command his angels to protect you wherever you go”.
I know many say this is nonsense. If you say you don’t believe in miracles, you’re not alone. Several years ago, Time magazine conducted a poll, and 69% of the people asked said, Yes, they believed in miracles. That means 31%, or about one out of three, said they didn’t believe in miracles.
When God Intervenes
Some say God is just an imaginative Being somewhere that people have made up. But millions of people can’t be wrong—and I know some who have been protected and guarded from harm because of God’s intervention. And that’s what it is—divine intervention in the lives of ordinary people like you and me.
Wikipedia says Divine Intervention is the term for a miracle caused by a god’s active involvement in the human world. The Creator God has immense power to do whatever he likes, including saving a young lady destined to die from a hang-gliding accident in NSW.
Miracles, what do you make of this word? Charles Swindoll says, “A miracle is a humanly impossible event that occurs in the natural realm apart from natural causes for the glory of God.”
Was Ewa Wiśnierska’s—the 35-yr-old German paraglider pilot—life saved to make people look to God? She thanked the angels but did not believe in God. What a shame!
If we believe that God is truly omnipotent, truly all-powerful, then we have no trouble believing in miracles, whatever or however they come. The Bible is full of beautiful examples of miracles.
Jeremiah 32:27 says, “I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?”
Of course, the answer is no. Our Almighty God can do anything!
“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?
Miracles are going on around us every minute. The fact that you can hear what I am saying is a miracle of God. The fact that you can breathe air and your heart can pump blood is another. As Christians, we certainly believe that God is actively involved in all aspects of life. He doesn’t just jump in and out of situations, but he continually oversees his people and his creation. We believe in divine providence, not ‘luck’ or chance.
But divine intervention is God acting beyond just his ordinary providence. It’s an extraordinary event or action whereby God does what no one else can do. That happened high in the sky that day in 2007 I feel.
You can believe in luck, coincidence, or you can believe in God’s providence that is with you all the time. If I had been a paraglider that day, I would have got on my knees and said, Thank you, Lord, for saving my life. I hand over my life to your care.