Pray for a miracle, but work for it too
The Scriptures tell us that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Scriptures also testify that God is a God of miracles. I testify that God is still a God of miracles for I have had many in my life.
As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are taught that faith precedes the miracle and that faith without works is dead. Therefore, when I have needed miracles in my life I have prayed earnestly and worked to bring about that which was needed. This means that after praying for help to find my keys, I continue looking for them. Or when praying to be healed I still go the doctor and follow his advice. If I pray to be an instrument in God's hands, then I look for ways to accomplish that.
Two specific incidents stand out in my life. They may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things or in comparison to any life-or-death situation, but they were important to me.
One time we needed to move across the country. We were going to a new job, but because we hadn't been working, the move posed a considerable financial challenge. We figured out that it would require $1,500 to make the move. This was more than we had at the time. We exercised faith by praying constantly and by packing as if everything would work out. We then had a garage sale. I had done three garage sales previously in my life. The income from the three of them together was less than $200 so I wasn't expecting much, but I was willing to do anything I could to help the cause. Much to my surprise that one garage sale netted $1,500, exactly the amount it took to make the move. To me, this was a miracle.
One time my daughter needed a friend. We had recently moved and she was having a difficult time adjusting. There didn't seem to be anyone in the new area that she connected with. We prayed that she would find a friend. We prayed that someone else would move to the area that could be her friend. We prayed that somehow something would happen that would give her the support she needed. There wasn't anything we could do to help this happen that we knew of. But we were obedient in following the commandments.
In our church, we have others that we visit and take a message to each month. It was while doing this that I met someone new in our area, a young couple with no children. Shortly after we met, the wife's younger sister came to visit. To help her have an enjoyable visit, she and my daughter got together. They had a wonderful time and created a friendship immediately. This girl never moved to our area but she did visit and did keep in touch. She was the influence and support our daughter needed until she could establish herself in this new area. To me, this was also a miracle.
Yes, you could say that both these incidents were merely answers to prayers. But it took divine intervention to accomplish both of these feats. To me, when divine intervention occurs, for which no other explanation exists, then a miracle has happened. Small miracles can be just as needed as large ones. I have had so many miracles happen in my life both great and small that it would be impossible to list them all.
Sometimes the small miracles are the ones that mean the most to me. They make me realize that not only does God know who I am, but he also cares about me, even about the smallest details. And it is awe-inspiring to me that He cares even about the little things.
Many times I think we fail to recognize miracles as miracles. We pass them off as luck or as coincidence when in reality they are answers to our prayers. Sometimes they come in a different way than expected or in a different time frame than we wanted but they are still miracles. Sometimes the miracle is in recognizing a spiritual truth or in learning a lesson from a difficult circumstance.
Miracles are all around us. We just need to open our eyes and our hearts and look for them to be able to find them.
Donna Sessions teaches primary school classes in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.