1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
It seems this time of year, the earth is literally bursting forth with all sorts of small miracles. Every day, I make a circuit around my yard, looking for any remarkable tiny new thing that marks the emergence of Spring. The rogue canna lily is making its annual appearance. The geraniums I cut back after the hard freeze are putting out new growth. I have a little constellation of cherry tomatoes beginning to form on one of my plants.
And yet, the part of me that likes to compare and check for milestones and look for BIG things is a little concerned. According to my photos, by this time last year I had big stalks on my agapanthus that were getting ready to bloom. My caladiums were beginning to poke their heads up above the dirt. No sign of either this year. Is it just the extended cold and the lack of sunshine we have had? I am encouraged, but concerned, excited, but fear things aren’t quite on track.
So much angst about my yard! But what about the holy garden that is my soul and spirit? What little miracles does God want to do there?
It seems I don’t have any trouble praying to God for the big things, especially for others—the friend whose daughter is giving birth today after a high-risk pregnancy, the one in the midst of medical testing trying to find a cause for some worrisome health issues, the long list of folks living with the challenges of cancer treatment. Of course, I trust God with these big needs…for others.
But I somehow think there are all sorts of tiny little miracles God wants to work every day in my life, if only I would give these over with the same kind of fervent trust and prayer. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful miracle if God could help me think before I offer an opinion, maybe even just breathe for a moment or two first? What kind of miracle would it be if I would get out of bed a half-hour earlier and spend the time in my journal, putting pen to paper and making sense out of the messy thoughts that sometimes crowd my vision and judgment? What if I asked God to help me be attentive to checking in on friends, offering a simple text or phone call, rather than remembering a day late that I had promised to pray for some fragile moment that was happening yesterday? What if I started the day asking God to show me a few folks who need some extra kindness during the randomness of the day ahead? What if…
I really believe God is willing to be attentive to these “small miracles” in our lives. The challenge is slowing down enough to ask God and to be observant when God is waving us down with the miracle right there within our grasp. Sometimes the biggest miracle of all is walking through the door God has opened right in front of us.
I think I will let the signs of spring—the visible evidence of God’s hand at work all around me—be a reminder that our God, MY God, is the God of small miracles. And to remind myself that I am worthy of being one of God’s chosen recipients. Do you want to participate with me in this gesture of trust? I hope you will and that we will share the answered prayers with each other. I pray we will give testimony to all the ways God has shown up with opportunities for each of us, that we will say yes when God opens a door and that we will proclaim the mighty works of God in our midst, even when they come in small packages.
Oh, God who created the universe and hung the sun and moon and stars in the sky above, thank you that you want to do BIG things for all of us as we come to you in prayer. But thank you, also, that you are the God of small miracles. The things that may seem too insignificant to lay before you in prayer may be for us the very training ground that builds our faith so that we trust all of who we are to you. Help us to be faithful, believing that you are always faithful toward us. In Christ I pray, Amen.
With a trusting heart today, Laura