Miracles — is it always instantaneous??
Process nature of miracles..
The question was asked by Jesus to a person who was suffering from paralysis for 38 years. He was lying near a pool, which was stirred once in a while (we don’t know the frequency of the stirring event) and the first person who entered the pool was healed. But our character never got that chance for so many years. So to such a person, Jesus' question seems a little absurd. Anyway, Jesus healed him immediately. And we rightly call it as a miracle.
I reformulate and expand the original question…
Do you desire to forgive?
Do you desire to get rid of hatred or resentment within you?
Do you desire in spiritual or emotional growth?
Do you desire to be healed from a specific sickness?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, many a times, we have to work much to make that YES a reality. Forgiveness or getting rid of stored resentment or hatred is many a times a process; spiritual and emotional growth takes time; healing may happen through a long process of treatment. When the issues being dealt with are really complicated, time taken may be long; efforts and energy spent may be much.
Can they also be called miracles? One of the dictionary defines miracles as
an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.
These processes are extraordinary and welcome events. Whether everything of these processes can be explained by natural laws is a very tricky question? A divine providence can be sensed in many of these processes.
In the extraordinary miracles, human effort might be limited to praying or demanding for the miracles. But in process form of miracles, divine agency is intermingled with human efforts, that it is not easy to distinguish them; it is not necessary to separate them.
I think these ordinary process miracles are the normal kind of miracles through which God works in the world. God definitely does and is capable of extra ordinary ones too. But that may not be the regular thing. Sensing God in the ordinary events and human processes may be a continuation of the idea of incarnation.