James Bell, editor of Miracles Do Happen, on what he’s learned from years of writing about miracles.
Posted in , Apr 15, 2019
James Bell is a writer, editor and something of a miracle expert, having written and edited numerous books on miracles and prayer for Guideposts and other publications.
Bell’s latest book, Miracles Do Happen: 101 Glimpses of the Hidden Hand of God—which he worked on in partnership with Guideposts books—compiles more than 100 stories from people around the country. He wrote several chapters about what a miracle is and how they can draw us closer to God.
“You will see workings of our powerful God that cannot be denied or written off as coincidence—in [the] lives of people just like you and me,” Bell writes in the introduction. He takes his definition of a miracle from the book Miracles by C.S. Lewis.
“It's something that goes beyond and sort of defies the laws of science,” Bell told Guideposts.org. “Miracles involve prayer [and] seeking God for a need. They involve trust and faith in Him to do something that we can't do in the natural realm, that [can only be] done supernaturally.”
Bell has a personal interest in miracles and has experienced a number of mysterious encounters in his own life. Once, Bell and his wife needed 55 pounds (about $72) to pay for a flight home. It was money they didn’t have. Instead of asking their family for a loan, Bell decided to wait on God.
A short time later, a good friend of theirs invited them over for tea and told the couple she had recently read Isaiah 55, which says, “All you who are hungry or thirsty, come to the waters to drink. You who have no money, come and drink.” After reading the Scripture passage, she felt God had told her to give the couple 55 pounds—the number of the chapter she had been reading and the exact amount of money the couple needed.
Working on Miracles Do Happen was an encouraging experience for Bell, who was dealing with health issues during the editing process.
“Every single time I read...one of these stories, I was just so inspired and uplifted,” Bell said. “If [God] can operate in so many people, in so many extraordinary ways, He can do it for me.”
He particularly likes that the stories are from normal, everyday people. Reading about miracles in the lives of people who aren’t saints or spiritual superstars, made it easier for Bell to believe these things could happen to people like him, too.
“I hope that readers will walk away believing that…If they're going through a struggle and they have a need that just can't be solved, that God really cares about them,” Bell said. “He has a plan for them. And He is in control. He is going to work this out in His own way.”