Tag Archives: miracles

What God does

When there is violence and hunger and fear and suffering on the news and in our lives, it is easy and natural to question where God is and what God might be doing.  Many things in this world keep us in suspense, and God’s wisdom and mercy are often counted among them.  I continue to find my relationship with God challenging, stretching, and arduous.

But a few weeks ago as I sat in church and heard brothers and sisters lifting their voices around me in song and found it beautiful, moving, and humbling, it occurred to me that in our eagerness to fully understand, we often miss out on the everyday work that God does and is doing.

Scenes from the neighborhood.  A field of wildflowers.  My photo.
Scenes from the neighborhood. A woodsy meadow and a field of wildflowers. 

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Those ordinary voices were broken and imperfect, but God made them melodious and harmonic.  Similarly, the people in my life are scarred and wounded, but God uses them everyday to minister to me.  Nothing about being a parent is easy, but God grants me grace for the journey.

In fact, every morning we wake up with breath in our lungs, beats in our hearts, and thoughts in our heads are gifts from God, but we don’t always attribute those everyday, powerful miracles to our God.  I heard a song on the radio the other day that reminded me that God is already awaiting us to arrive at that future we’re so worried about.  It reminded me that we serve and worship a God whose very being–past, present, and future–is far beyond the confines of our thoughts and prayers.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking to calculate, plan, and understand.  There’s certainly nothing wrong with mourning the problems in this world, and seeking to effect change.  But I wonder if when we put our minds so feverishly to change what’s in front of us that we often falter because we fail to see what God is already doing and what God has already done.  We forget that life itself, with God, is the point of living.  We don’t get to embrace what God is already doing in our lives and learn from that wisdom, grace, and beauty.

So this morning if you can, alongside prayers for a fallen and broken world, give thanks for breath and for humanity, for beauty and for hands and feet, and for God’s presence in the everyday.  May we all feel it a bit stronger these days.

Amen.

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Minor delays and major miracles

So here’s what happened on the way home: we checked in at Tucson only to find our flight to Chicago was delayed, so we went out to lunch and got back to the airport only to find as we were boarding our flight to Chicago that our flight from Chicago to Philly had been cancelled.  So Tucson rebooked us on another flight to Philly via Minneapolis.  Then we waited in Minneapolis for at least five hours, finally got into Philly, and home to Princeton around 3 am, all without our bag of Christmas goodies, which is currently lost somewhere in the continental United States.

We were a little grumpy and a lot tired today, but the whole saga gave us an excuse to sleep in, to hunker down in our little apartment, to reacclimatize to real world issues–investments, insurance, and bag searching (it’s still MIA…hmmm)–and gain some perspective.

Sunset above the earth.  Photo by Evan Schneider.
Sunset above the earth. Photo by Evan Schneider.

Here’s the perspective I was granted today…

“It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season—like all the other seasons—is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them.” —Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal

As I sat in church on Christmas Eve and heard the scriptures read, especially the one from Luke where Mary and Elizabeth greet one another, where we get the first glimpses of the savior of the world by way of two humble women gathering together, I got another sense of how miraculous this age old story is and how lowly, ragamuffin, and misfit its origins–the pregnant, engaged couple, likely late with their legal registration, put out in the barn for their social sin, yet called Holy by angels, God, and today, humanity.

In the midst of the sorrow and the brokenness of this world, too, there must be miracles enough for all of us.  

When we pause, or we’re granted a pause to collect these miracles, to ponder them like Mary, in our hearts, I think we’d do well to name them and give God glory for not only the major miracles but also the minor delays which make them visible.

What about you?  Are there miracles in your midst this season?  Will you ponder them, name them, and glorify God?