God gave Paul the power to perform unusual miracles. When handkerchiefs or aprons that had merely touched his skin were placed on sick people, they were healed of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.
Acts 19:11-12 NLT
Isn’t this wonderful? I have no personal experience of my own handkerchiefs or aprons being a blessing to anyone else, but that’s not the point. God can work in the way that he chooses and in this wonderful period of Paul’s ministry that was exactly what he chose to do. The reference to the handkerchiefs here is probably to the sweat bands that Paul used in his daily tent making work. This story reminds me of an earlier account in Acts when people were healed by Peter’s shadow falling across them as he walked by. God was blessing his ministry in such an amazing way that sick people were brought out in the street on their beds and mats to be healed. (Acts 5.15)
When we hear about God working in wonderful and miraculous ways we are, naturally, very keen to see him do exactly the same things today. When we read the amazing accounts of revivals when whole communities have turned in faith to Christ we, understandably, long for that to happen in our own day. But I believe that our focus needs to be on the fact that God is always acting miraculously. Every day is an expression of God’s miraculous power. It happens when people get better after a time of illness; when people recover after skilful surgery; when a child is born; when people come through a crisis and find new hope; or when we look at the beautiful countryside or watch a majestic sunset. Every day in a thousand ways we are being blessed by miracles, and that needs to encourage us to expect God to work in new and amazing ways. Looking at my handkerchiefs or my shadow, I don’t have any particular expectation that God is suddenly going to do amazing miracles with them, but looking at the miraculous God that I know, I find it very easy to believe that he might do so.
In what ways have you seen God act miraculously in the past week?
God of miracles we worship you. We praise you that you are continually doing amazing things in our world. Amen
Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son was revealed to destroy the works of the devil
and to make us the children of God and heirs of eternal life:
Grant that we, having this hope,
may purify ourselves even as he is pure;
that when he shall appear in power and great glory,
we may be made like him
in his eternal and glorious kingdom;
where he is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.