Everyday miracles in a grandiose world

By Jessica Brodie

Miracles are supposed to be extraordinary, earth-shaking, ground-breaking stuff, right? They’re supposed to be larger than life, so big and impossible only God could have done something like this.

Except. Well, except here’s the thing: sometimes miracles are small. Sometimes they whisper. At times they whisper so small and so softly most people can’t even hear them.

Yet even in their whispering, they’re amazing, almighty, and awesome—if we open our eyes to see them.

Sometimes they’re the wreck that might have happened on the interstate… except God had you change lanes to avert catastrophe. 

Sometimes they’re the alarm clock you “forgot” to set, or the sick kid who “forced” you to stay home from work… on the same day tragedy leveled your office building.

Sometimes they’re the stranger who interrupted you in line at the grocery store … who ended up reminding you about the important things in life.

Sometimes they’re going to the mailbox on your last dime to find an unexpected “overpayment” check, enough to get you groceries until payday.

We tend to think miracles are supposed to be big, grand, obvious banners proclaiming This Is A Sign From Heaven, while “little things” like these we chalk up to “luck” or “coincidence.”

But let’s not forget that some of the biggest miracles Jesus performed were “small” things. Sure, he healed lepers, raised the dead, and drove out demons—but he also turned water into wine upon his mom’s request when beverage supplies at a wedding ran low.

One of the miracles close to my heart is the account in the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus came upon His disciples who’d been fishing all night but hadn’t caught a thing. Surely they were cranky and tired, and certainly frustrated at their lack of success.

But Jesus had some important words for Simon:

“‘Row out farther, into the deep water, and drop your nets for a catch.’ Simon replied, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I’ll drop the nets.’ So they dropped the nets and their catch was so huge that their nets were splitting. They signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They filled both boats so full that they were about to sink. When Simon Peter saw the catch, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Leave me, Lord, for I’m a sinner!’  Peter and those with him were overcome with amazement because of the number of fish they caught. James and John, Zebedee’s sons, were Simon’s partners and they were amazed too. Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid. From now on, you will be fishing for people.’  As soon as they brought the boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus” (Luke 5:4-11).

It was “just fish”—and yet it wasn’t. It was a miracle. A small miracle, sure, but one these men noticed and appreciated. They knew this wasn’t just luck or an accident.

Today, we are surrounded by grandiose imagery. Movies in CGI and other technology make extraordinary feats seem almost commonplace. We watch people leap across buildings onscreen so many times we actually think this is possible… until it isn’t.

In such a complex, lavish world, let’s push all that aside to pay attention to the little things. The everyday miracles. The whispers from above.

Sometimes, they can be the biggest and the most important.

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