I looked at my calendar the other day and it dawned on me that Sunday, March 19th marked two years since since my hearing miraculously returned- I went from zero hearing in my left ear to 100% (I scored perfect hearing when I got it tested after this miracle). Then April 28th last year is when we found out about our miracle baby. Doctors said it would be unlikely that we could ever have biological children, and definitely not for the first two years following Jamie's chemo. However, God had a different plan and totally surprised us with our own beautiful "unplanned" pregnancy only 6 months after he finished chemo! These are just two incidences of miracles in my own life, but there are many others... Recently we have had close friends experience unexplained miracles, healings, and events that can only point to the wonder and power of God. I believe God makes miracles every day. That's right, I'm not just saying that. I believe it. Every single day. And many times these miracles happen right under our noses, right before our eyes, without us even noticing! Or worse yet, we try to explain them away instead of just receiving the gifts as grace. Believing in miracles doesn't mean that we always get what we want or ask for, but it does mean that we can be captured by surprise by our magnificent God when we truly open up our hearts to the mighty things He does! What defines a miracle? It is something unexpected, unexplained, beyond our understanding. It is out of the ordinary. It is spiritual. It is a touch of grace. It is ignited often by faith. It is real. It is when the impossible becomes a reality.
I ask you, do you believe in miracles? What miracle are you waiting for in your life right now? I encourage you to take heart, to believe, and to place that belief not in the outcome which you expect, but in the Person of your faith- your good Heavenly Father. Take a moment to think back...what unexplained events have happened that are too amazing beyond coincidence in your life? I promise you, if you think long enough, not just one, but several will come to mind. What the world calls "luck", God calls grace. What the world calls "coincidence" God calls Providence. It is easy for each of us to complain, to fear, to focus on the challenges that surround us and the roadblocks on our journey...but a new kind of joy appears when we truly open our eyes to see the miracles that surround us every day. When we see the people God puts along our path and the details of our lives that happen, which only God could orchestrate, we begin to be in awe of the many miracles on display.
As I was rocking my baby boy yesterday, I looked at his bookshelf and toys in his sweet nursery and I prayed a simple prayer, "Dear Lord, I pray that he has a happy childhood. This world is so hard and life will have it's ups and downs, but I just pray that he has a childhood of joy. Every child deserves joy. So many little ones sadly experience very little joy because of circumstances out of their control. Dear Lord, let his heart be filled with continual wonder as he explores this world..." I began to think of my own life and I asked God to fill my heart with that same wonder- the wonder of a child. I want to look at the world around me and be amazed. That type of wonder is living with an expectant heart, believing in miracles. Often times at Christmas we tend to have that magical feeling in our spirits. St. Nick, reindeer, snow, home for the holidays, hallmark movies and Christmas classics all seem to sprinkle the air with a miraculous joy. Of course, let us not forget the Christ Child and the wondrous, miraculous virgin birth in a little stable in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago!
We are coming up on Easter now- a different time of year. Pastels and rabbits and chicks and flowers abound. Ham and casseroles and egg hunts and candy are bursting at the seams. But Easter is something so much more- it is the celebration of the greatest miracle the world has ever known- the resurrection of Jesus Christ. From the grave He rose to life, and in doing so, conquered death for us all, offering eternal life. Please don't let that sentence just roll by. Please, soak in the wonder of it all. Breathe it in and let the miracle stir your heart to marvel. Jesus Christ was unlike any other religious teacher in the history of the world. There have been many good men...but He was not a mere good man. He was the Son of God, the true incarnation of Holy, Perfect, Love. He took upon His shoulders the weight of every sin, every disappointment, every pain, every sickness and disease and fear and abuse and war and crime and mistake and transgression and iniquity that has ever plagued you and me in this broken world. He was tortured and died on a cross- the most excruciating death imaginable. But, dear friends, that is not the end of the story! Do not stop there! Yes, Jesus died. Every other good teacher or religious man has also died. But Jesus rose again! HE IS ALIVE! This is the miracle that has carried the gospel message to hearts all over the globe for over two thousand years. Over 500 witnesses saw the resurrected Christ before He ascended into heaven. The miracle of the resurrection is the basis on which we believe in all other miracles. It is the cornerstone of our faith. Hold onto that miracle with all of your heart, mind, soul, and very being. I promise you, when you truly believe in the resurrection, you will begin to see and believe in the miracles around you each and every day...