What I Long for More than Miracles

What I Long for More than Miracles

While God occasionally displays his glory through miracles, he far more commonly displays it through the beauty of providence. Look for it and you will see it; see it and you will praise him for it.

I suppose it is possible that I have witnessed a miracle in my lifetime, but if so, I’m not aware of it. If a miracle is a “supernatural, extraordinary event that diverges from observed natural processes,” then I can’t think of a time that I’ve seen a clear example of one. That’s not to say that God can’t work miracles today or that he doesn’t. That’s not to say he hasn’t worked around and about me in extraordinary ways. It’s simply to say that I can’t look at a particular event in my life and say, “That was a miracle.”

And if I’m honest, this doesn’t bother me in the least. It doesn’t bother me in the least because on many occasions I’ve witnessed something I count equally significant or perhaps even more so: I have witnessed the evidence and the intricacy and the perfect timing of God’s providence. I have witnessed how God has carefully arranged circumstances so that events unfolded in a way that proved his detailed involvement in the affairs of man. I have witnessed situations in which things “just so happened” in such a way that I could only conclude, “The Lord did this.”

I recount one of these in Seasons of Sorrow, in the chapter I title “Angels Unaware.” I tell of a day when Aileen and I were particularly sorrowful, particularly overcome with grief. We went to the cemetery to mark what would have been Nick’s wedding day. And as we stood there weeping together, a lovely Christian couple approached us and explained that they had been reading my updates. They showed us where their son was buried nearby and then they prayed for us—prayed down God’s comfort upon us.

This was no miracle. This was not a supernatural, extraordinary event that diverged from observed natural processes. God did not summon these people from heaven or fabricate them from thin air or instantly transport them from afar. Rather, he arranged that they would visit their son’s grave on this day and at this time (even though this was not their custom) and that Aileen and I would visit our son’s grave on this day and at this time (even though this was not our custom). Long prior to this he had arranged that our sons would be buried close to one another—close enough that this couple would spot us across just a few rows of graves. He had arranged that they would be familiar with my website and with our story and that they would recognize our faces. He arranged all this so that, when we most needed comfort, two of his people would be there to provide it.

Read More

Scroll to top