19 Then the Lord said to Moses: “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and raise your hand over the waters of Egypt—all its rivers, canals, ponds, and all the reservoirs. Turn all the water to blood. Everywhere in Egypt the water will turn to blood, even the water stored in wooden bowls and stone pots.’”20 So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! 21 The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt. 22 But again the magicians of Egypt used their magic, and they, too, turned water into blood. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had predicted.23 Pharaoh returned to his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind. 24 Then all the Egyptians dug along the riverbank to find drinking water, for they couldn’t drink the water from the Nile.
I remember reading when I was younger about a certain natural phenomenon that happened at a time where the water would become red and have a salty/rusty taste. I read it knowing that this author was doing his/her best to discredit the stories we read in scripture of anything supernatural. They explained everything away by natural phenomena, by refraction and poor positioning of the eyewitnesses. Hey had a natural explanation for every single miracle and sign that we encounter in scripture.
But it did something to the narrative. It somehow cheapened it. It made it seem as if scripture was just some massive and ancient misdirect in order for the wool to be pulled over our eyes.
Do you remember the first time you saw a magician? You were all wonder and amazement, we all were! But then, do you remember the first time you learned how some of it was done? Do you remember how it was absolutely devastating to see the tricks that were behind the “magic?”
So reading these words, it felt like someone was trying to pull the rug out from under my faith. You see, I have come to realize something: I need the supernatural. I need God to transcend just this world and worldview that I have and be much bigger than it. I want a God who has different boundaries than I do.
Now, there is a caveat to this, I also want a God who can deeply understand my world, the limitations and the borders which I live under. Without understanding this, I can’t imagine that God could be of much use to me and couldn’t really understand what I go through as a temporal being in this world.
So is that it? Am I just deciding I want God to be this way? I mean, we could spend a great deal of time working through this theologically, and epistemologically trying to understand how this could be the case. But all these conversations have a tendency to bring me back to Jesus. If Jesus was okay to come to this earth, to take on our flesh and bones and even our tie, then I think that most things are available for him to do and to understand. And that gives me a great sense of security knowing that God can empathize with me on what I am going through, on my temporality, and even in my suffering.
- What have you understood about God through the plagues?
- How can you know God knows what you are going through?
- How can we lead supernatural lives?
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"I need the supernatural. I need God to transcend this world and worldview that I have and be much bigger than it. I want a God who has different boundaries than I do.
...I also want a God who can deeply understand my world, the limitations and the borders which I live under."
Thank you for saying what I have felt so many times. I have so often heard people try to explain away the supernatural but I want a God that I can be amazed by as well as loved by and be understood by.