Overlooking the Miraculous

Forgive us, O God, our feeble faith.

Those words ring in my head with the same monotonous tone of a congregation of people reciting the Lord’s Prayer. It echoes through the cavernous ceilings and stained glass windows of my mind.

Because my faith is too small, my doubts are too big, and I’m a little too clumsy to walk the straight and narrow.

I was reading the story of the widow at Zarephath. Growing up in Sunday School, it’s a story I heard a hundred times. I’ve seen it play out before my very eyes at more than one VBS. It’s a miracle story. A woman who is prepared to die of starvation encounters a prophet who assures her that she and her son will not go hungry. That God will provide for her during the drought that destroyed her land.

Reading it the other day, I noticed something I had never given much thought to in the past. When the woman’s son dies, and Elijah brings him back to life, the woman declares, “Now I know for sure that you are a man of God, and that the Lord truly speaks through you.”

I’m sorry?

Excuse me, Widow Lady, but did you just figure that out? Did God not prove Himself to you in all that time you survived on the same drop of oil and handful of flour? I mean, come on!

So I stop to consider how this came to be, and I wonder if the widow simply began to see first miracle as ordinary—something to take for granted. Because of course the oil wouldn’t run out. Of course there would always be flour to spare. There always was.

I wonder if the widow started to trust in the miracle more than in the God who made it possible.

And I realize I can’t judge her for her response. Because how many times have I done the same thing? How many times have I overlooked the small miracles in my life, rationalizing them away until I accept them as ordinary?

We are a people of feeble faith, begging for a sign when our very lives are a testimony of God’s faithfulness.


Just stop for a second.

Stop and dust your life for God’s fingerprints because, darling, I’m willing to bet they are all over you.

It’s hard to see in the moment. I know it’s so hard to see in the moment what is real and what is fake and what the purpose of everything is. But take a moment to breathe, sweetheart—just breathe—and look at how far God has brought you. Look at how He has led you all along.

You’ve been waiting for a miracle, but, darling, you are one.
Yes, your very life is a bigger miracle than you will ever know.

ordinary miracles


The Miracle Business

I met Mahek on her 17th birthday, but I never would have guessed she was that old; she was so thin and frail. Mahek was an AIDS victim, wasting away in an Indian children’s home. The doctors had given up hope. There was nothing that could be done for her. My eyes stung with tears as I joined the other children in a chorus “Happy Birthday,” for I knew this birthday would probably be her last.

But God… 

Today I received a Christmas letter from the ministry I visited in July. The first thing I saw was a picture of Mahek, face fuller and healthier than it was this summer. And there I read in her own words that God healed her of the disease I was certain would take her life within a year’s time.

Working at a mission’s organization, I hear miracle stories often. But this one was different. This one was personal. Because Mahek is more than a story; she’s I person I physically connected with. I saw her, I spoke to her, I touched her. I met this miracle.

Today Mahek is a reminder that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Today her life bears witness that Jesus is still in the miracle business. Today Mahek serves as an encouragement to those of you who are waiting for your own miracle.

I’ve been in that place of discouragement before. I’ve waited so long for an answer that I’ve forgotten what it is to hope. If you’re in that place today, I pray that Mahek will serve as an inspiration to you. May her story breathe hope into your heart, and may you believe in miracles once more.

Ask Me About SAM

The ministry I work with designed these buttons as a conversation starter that would help us encourage people to “Sponsor a Missionary,” but today I sported this button for an entirely different reason. I wore it to remind myself to pray for a young man named Sam.

You see, Sam went rock-climbing with his sister yesterday and fell forty feet into shallow water. He tumbled over the rocks before bouncing off his kayak into the water. Had he not been slowed down by the kayak, he almost certainly would have died when he collided with the razor-sharp rocks hidden under the surface of the river. Right now, Sam is in the hospital with several stitches, staples, bruises, and broken bones. Today, he underwent several x-rays to see just how bad his internal damage is. It will be a long road to recovery, but he is, by the grace of God, alive.

So today, if you ask me about Sam, I’ll tell you that Sam is a miraculous reminder of God’s goodness and grace. According to the rescue squad, he should have died. Had that kayak been floating just a foot away from where he landed, Sam would have died. Had God’s hand been anywhere other than that exact location, Sam never would have awakened to his sister’s desperate cries. To me, Sam serves as a chilling reminder of how fragile life truly is. The words of my friend echo in my mind: “I saw him the night before this happened. We were being all sarcastic and joking like always. To realize it might have been our last time together… It just makes you think.”

The thing that strikes me is that this isn’t the first time I’ve seen God miraculously intervene in an impossible situation. I’ve actually looked into the eyes of a person who shouldn’t be alive. Instead of attending the funeral that was almost certain, I wrapped my arms around a guy who nursed a broken arm and a road-burned shoulder. And I forgot. I forgot how easily life fades away. I forgot what a miracle it is to simply breathe. I forgot that at any given moment, I could lose someone I greatly cherish.

Suddenly, I find myself being reminded. Today, as I wear my button, pray for Sam and thank God for sparing his life, I’m reminded to thank Him for the times that my brothers cracked their heads open, or fell out of trees, or had a zipline snap while they were riding it and yet walked away with no serious repercussions. I’m reminded to thank Him that my face carries no scars from the time I spilled a bowl of hot grease on it when I was only two years old. I’m reminded to thank Him for sparing me from the many tragedies of which I will never even be aware. Today, I thank God for the numerous times His hand has been there to save me from harm. Today, I thank God for the miracle of life.