Where's a good old miracle when you need one? (Part A)
We need to get it out of our heads that God's big concern is our comfort and happiness in this present life.
And if that happens to be OUR main concern (be honest, now!), we really, really need to come around to God's ETERNAL perspective, but soon (II Corinthians 4:17-18).
So just grab that gnarly old notion by the nape of its scrawny little neck and toss it into the river of no return once and for all.
If Eternity is real (meaning, if it's really true that time goes on eternally, and our soul and spirit go on existing after our brief blink of an eye in these mortal bodies), then it makes absolutely no sense to do what most of us DO: put top priority on the short flicker we've been given here on earth, rather than getting pretty much fanatical about making that flicker impact ETERNITY in the greatest possible way.
I mean, there is no contest between 70, 80, 90 years spent indulging our appetite for passing pleasure and avoiding pain, versus the chance to make a difference in how we and others spend ALL ETERNITY.
Absolutely no contest!!
But we are all stricken with this terrible spiritual myopia, while God's vision is PERFECT.
It's like being at a standstill in traffic on the freeway. We're sitting in our cars getting all mad at the two or three drivers in front of us. That's all we can deal with, because that's all we can see.
But God is in His cosmic helicopter above, and He is able to take in the WHOLE scene from His perfect aerial view. He can see it makes no sense whatsoever to get mad at the non-budging bozo in front of us, because there's an overturned semi 37 vehicles ahead, spilling toxic, flammable chemicals all over the highway, and it is in our very best interest just to sit tight for the duration.
By the way, Eternity IS real.
The Bible tells us, and I believe with all my heart, that God is tenderhearted, full of compassion and mercy. "He does not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men" (Lamentations 3:32-33). In fact, "in all their afflictions, HE was afflicted" (Isaiah 63:9)
So why does He not always just perform one of His miracles to prevent or relieve the suffering of His children?
Can He not see how miserable these things make us?
Short answer: because, for one thing, He's taking in the WHOLE, ETERNAL view from His cosmic super chopper above, and He knows a WHOLE lot better than we do what is truly in our best interest, and in the best, eternal interest of all the others around us, whom we too easily regard as minor players and mere "extras" in the drama of our life.
A little suffering (or sometimes, A WHOLE LOT) may be needed to dash our hopes in the perfect fairy tale ending we have in mind for our present lives, and even get us to think in terms of the far, FAR more important ramifications of eternity.
After all, who's got time to muse about "eternity" when there's so much to draw our interest in the here and now?
Sometimes, painful as it may be, self-centered, short-sighted hopes just need big time dashing.
Or, the suffering we endure just may not be primarily for little old us at all, as inconceivable as that may be.
It may be that OTHERS need to see just how God grows OUR faith through suffering.
It may be that, as with the prophet Ezekiel, God wants to use us as kind of a "living billboard" to proclaim Truth to those around us in the stands (Ezekiel 4; II Corinthians 2:14-16; 3:3).
Saved and unsaved alike need to see the tiny mustard seed of faith not crumble to powder under a ton of pressure, but grow up into a gargantuan Groot-like stalk (grownup version) that pushes up defiantly til it cracks through all the thick layers of concrete trying to smoosh it down.
You say we lack miracles because we "lack faith?"
Paul cannot be accused of a lack of faith, but he suffered a whole lot of pain (and continued to bear the SCARS; his own holy Apostle's version of multiple tattoos and piercings) that God chose NOT to remove by supernatural means (see II Corinthians 11:24-28; 12:7-10).
In fact, the Lord told him in advance this was the way it had to be (Acts 9:16).
The thing is, we mere myopic mortals are in no position to properly assess what "good" God may possibly intend to bring out of the "bad stuff" that happens to us here on earth.
BUT HE IS.
THAT is where real faith, and real trusting, comes in (Hebrews 10:32-39).
There's definitely more to say, and I will certainly say it later, if the Lord is willing.