A few years ago, we discovered that our son, John, felt the wise men needed to up their transportation game.
Around that same time, we were reading about Joseph and Mary and their journey to Bethlehem. We talked about how Mary rode on a donkey. Clearly confused about this method of transportation, John said, “Why didn’t they drive a car?” My husband, Doug, explained that they didn’t have a car and that no one had cars. John asked why they didn’t ride a bike. Doug explained that, like cars, there were no bikes. John pondered that for a moment, then countered, “But Jesus showed Nephi how to make a ship. So, he could show them how to make a car!”
I am frequently impressed by the logical faith of children. They can demonstrate they truly expect to see miracles. (Maybe, in their minds, they aren’t “miracles,” because they seem so logical and likely to happen.)
I seem to struggle a bit more with expecting to see miracles in my life. I guess the truth of it is that I need to be better about recognizing miracles in my life. They really do happen every single day, sometimes they are little tender mercies to let me know the Lord is aware of me and my stresses and trials.
But really—safe traveling, quiet family meals after a long day, coinciding naps for young ones, just the right song coming on the radio at just the right time—these things are miracles. I was having a particularly difficult day the other day and I turned on the Mormon Channel. That particular program talked about different hymns, their origins, and played different arrangements. The hymn on the episode I listened to that day was “Lead, Kindly Light,” which happens to be my absolute favorite hymn. Its lyrics were also something that I desperately needed to be reminded of at that moment. Miracle!
Go forth expecting (and recognizing) miracles!
I think sometimes we do not give our miracles enough credit. When you look for them, they are everywhere. According to Merriam Webster, a miracle is, “an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs.” In the talk “Miracles” by President Dallin H. Oaks from the June 2001 Ensign, he states, ". . . many miracles happen every day in the work of our Church and in the lives of our members.”
As I watch my kids, with their energy, confidence, and daredevil tendencies, it is miraculous that they do not get hurt more often than they do. I am certain countless mothers have seen something similar and wondered just how many angels were recruited to watch over and ensure the safety of their child at a particular time of peril.
While on my mission, I witnessed many miracles, not the least of which was a hardened heart that softened and accepted the gospel with vigor. One experience that I feel comfortable sharing occurred when one of the ladies we were teaching was very sick. She asked us for a blessing like she had seen the “boy missionaries” do. We explained that, as sisters, we could not give her a blessing, but that we could say a prayer with her and have the elders stop by later to give her a priesthood blessing. She asked us to do that. I do not remember a single word of the uttered prayer, but I do remember feeling divinely directed in the words used and how I felt. Later that day, the elders stopped by to give her the blessing she had requested. She said she did not need one because she was feeling 100 percent. That was a strong testimony to me about the power of prayer and faith to lead to miracles.
What would be considered a miracle to the Divine? I’ve heard another definition of the word “miracle” that included the idea that a miracle is something that we cannot control—for us mere mortals, this is usually referring to the laws of physics or other scientific principles. However, these laws and principles are not as much of an obstacle for God because of His Omniscience of how they all work. However, the Lord chooses not to control our will. We have our own agency to use as we please without Him forcing us one direction or another. In that respect, each time we make a choice that draws us closer to Him, it could be considered a miracle. Certainly, with some people, that choice is not unexpected. Does that make it any less than a miracle? I think not. In the scriptures, it talks of angels “rejoicing” over us and the miracle of us repenting, coming unto Christ, and bearing our testimonies. Think of that—the Lord of the whole universe, rejoices over you. To He who orchestrates so many other miracles, you are a miracle when you give your will to Him.
This Christmas season is a wonderful time to ponder on the miracles of the coming of the Savior. It is also a time to look for the miracles in our everyday lives and to work at being a miracle for others. As we strive to do those things, we will draw closer to the Savior and will be a miracle to Him.
Lead image courtesy Anne Maxon