Think about the last time you witnessed or heard about a miracle.
(In case you’re wondering, I personally define the word miracle as “an extraordinary event caused by the power of God.” And if you have different religious beliefs than I do, I totally respect that, and I invite you to adapt the ideas I’m sharing here to fit with your personal perspective…. LearnDoBecome is for people from all backgrounds!)
But going back to that miracle, it most likely came in response to a deep need.
Perhaps the miracle included emotional support, repairing a misunderstanding, increased health, being saved from a “close call,” relief from a financial burden, help in the midst of a natural disaster, or a much-needed improvement in one of your closest relationships.
Now think about how your faith increased as a result of that miracle.
Your faith in God, faith in your fellow man, and/or faith in your ability to get through hard things.
Obviously, we don’t get up in the morning ready to seek out catastrophes, but I think it’s interesting that many of us (including myself) often get discouraged when things go wrong.
I believe the time has come to change that, and today I want to present the idea that there isn’t anything to be sad about when we experience deep needs–because they’re creating spaces for miracles.
There’s a Bible story about a cruse of oil and a barrel of meal. (And although this is from a religious text, I think the principles can be universally appreciated.)
In that story, a widowed woman living in a famine–who is just about to prepare her very last meal for herself and her son–is asked to first give a portion to a prophet named Elijah.
She is promised that if she does so, “the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail,” until rain comes. She does what she was asked, and the miracle takes place as promised.
This story led me to think about other miracles I have either read about, heard about, or experienced for myself.
In a book by Corrie Ten Boom called, The Hiding Place, Corrie and her sister Betsie were in a concentration camp for many months during World War II. Betsie had a serious vitamin deficiency and needed special drops each day. Corrie was miraculously able to sneak the drops into the camp, but when she got to their assigned barracks, she realized 25 other women also needed those vitamin drops, which, even if she reserved them for Betsie, would only last a few weeks.
She decided to line all of the women up and give everyone the drops–even if doing so depleted her supply. On the second day in the camp, however, she was surprised that she was able to give drops to everyone again. Each day, for I’m not sure how long, the little bottle provided enough drops of vitamins for all of the women in their section of the camp–until the time came when one of the other women was able to secretly procure additional vitamins from a staff storage room. That day, when vitamins were available from another source, not even one drop could be shaken from that little bottle.
I don’t have a personal story about oil or medicine lasting a long period of time, but as I have been thinking about the miracles I have experienced, my heart has felt full. Here’s an example:
One Saturday afternoon, about 10 years ago, I got in a fender bender in the grocery store parking lot. A big truck reversed into my van after I had pulled out, and both of us received damage to our vehicles. (He had a really big scratch, and I had a heavily-dented bumper.)
It all happened so fast, and we couldn’t be sure who was at fault, so, although we did exchange information, we decided to each pay for our own repairs.
On the drive home, however, I cried and cried. We had four little children, a very careful budget, and some goals we were diligently working toward. Our time and energy were heavily invested in providing for our family and serving in our church and community. The few hundred dollars I knew it would cost to repair our van felt like an enormous setback.
When I got home, I talked with Eric and showed him the dent. He helped me to see that everything would be fine–which deep down I knew–and we went ahead with our family duties of the day, planning to get the van checked out the following week.
Well, a few hours later, we received a phone call from the man whose truck had collided with my van. He wanted to know how we got our car fixed so fast. He’d driven by our home with his wife to show her our fender, but our van was back to normal.
Eric and I ran out to the driveway, and sure enough, other than a couple of minor scratches, the bumper was totally smooth and strong.
We stayed out in the driveway for about 20 minutes–testing the bumper, seeing if maybe it had just popped back into place because of the warm weather, and trying to find SOME logical explanation for the rapid repair. Finally, we stopped trying to solve the mystery and instead thanked God for that beautiful gift.
Now, clearly every problem we have doesn’t get solved in such a miraculous way. Some of our challenges are more complicated than that, and there isn’t an immediate solution. Some challenges take years of trial and error to overcome. But one thing I have learned, and which I will absolutely stand by, is that there is always help.
I believe that the process of spiritually growing and progressing is central to why we’re all here, and thinking back to the stories I shared earlier, I’ve realized this:
God rarely asks us to give out of our abundance. Instead, we are asked to put God first and create spaces for miracles.
I like when life is easy. I like those rare calm days when everything goes well. I like when our children get along and do what they’ve been asked. I like when our business runs smoothly. I like being healthy.
But when things go wrong–which they do, and which they will–my goal is to continue to put God first in my life.
In my thoughts, in my calendar, in my relationships, and in my daily activities.
I’m also going to trust that my deep needs–which sometimes cause intense amounts of stress–are not inconveniences or “tragedies.”
They’re opportunities for miracles to take place, so each one of us can be lifted, strengthened, and prepared for the work that we are uniquely here to do.
Have you had an experience where a miracle happened in your life and increased your faith in some way?
Identify one of your deepest needs right now, and instead of allowing yourself to get discouraged, identify one way you can turn to your Higher Power and create a space for a miracle.
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