The trouble with miracles

The trouble with miracles is that they’re hard to find.

But at the same time, they’re not.

This paradox makes praying for a miracle on a daily basis a conflicting process.

Please, God. Heal my father.

Or as a lady I met on a plane told me to pray: You stop that, cells, in the name of Jesus!

I try all variations of praying for miracles. I know God hears me each time but I never know how God will answer. My Nana reminds me that little miracles happen every day – that the fact that I got two jobs that allow me to save money and live at home this summer is a miracle, and the fact that Dad is still going (somewhat) strong is a miracle. She reminds me that having special visits with my long-distance boyfriend are miracles and the sunshine on a really awful day is a miracle and time is a miracle.

“So many little miracles have happened if you just look close enough,” she’ll say.

But as is human nature, I want more. I want a big miracle, a doozy. I want the doctors to come to my family and tell us against literally all odds, my dad is cured. I want to hear that there’s more hope than a few months and I want a life-altering, whopping, jaw-dropping miracle that proves that God is real and listening and able.

When my parents first told me about my dad’s diagnosis, I remember clearly that they said any treatment would just extend his life for a few months at most. And I cried and cried and cried because even though I’m glad his life is longer with treatment than without, I wish there were a clearer light at the end of the tunnel.

The trouble with miracles is I know they happen. The trouble with miracles is that I know God can, that beyond all faith and all doubt, beyond all science and all spirituality, God CAN. But the trouble with miracles is that God doesn’t have to.

We’ve been blessed, even in this time of sorrow and fear and doubt and hope (or lack thereof). Nana points out the miracles as if we’re all on a bus driving through the winding, scenic roads of a faraway land.

My dad got into a clinical trial with a very prestigious and talented doctor.

“Truly a blessing, a miracle,” she said.

I got into Mortar Board, a 4.0 GPA, on the homecoming court.

“Miracles,” she said. “All miracles.”

We have been able to travel to see friends and family in Alabama and soon in KC.

“Do you see it? Do you see the miracles?” Nana pointed out.

Dad stopped working but hasn’t stopped living.

“Every day with him is a miracle,” she says.

And I see what she sees as if a fog is lifted and everything is clearer – that they weren’t just things magically falling into place, but God’s hand was a piece of it all. It’s so clear it’s almost blinding, and I’m so thankful I’m moved to tears.

People deal with tragedy every day. Millions die of starvation, and I have a full meal three times a day. Millions live in poverty, and I have my own bathroom. Millions are jobless, and I have two.

I don’t believe in coincidence and I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I believe everything happens because we have a strong and mighty Creator who made it so.

My dad got cancer. Life is hard. Days are long. Seconds seem impossible to live through in moments of overwhelming sadness. I could choose to blame God or I could thank God for all the little miracles we’ve had along the way. To be honest, there’s a mix of both in my daily prayer life.

Even managing my dad’s blog has brought us closer. I nag him like a newspaper editor: “Is that story in yet? You promised it last week.” But we enjoy talking about how the writing touches people, how his words encourage them to be better, be stronger, be infinitely more thankful.

But the trouble with miracles is I keep praying for more.

3 thoughts on “The trouble with miracles

  1. Vanessa, this is beautifully written and so incredibly poignant. I continue to pray for your dad and all your family. (Your mom and I were once co-workers). God bless!

  2. Vanessa I know your Nana and she certainly is a blessing to all! I’ve been praying for your Dad and believe that God definitely has a plan. God Bless!

  3. The miracles will continue to occur along your path, Vanessa. You are now seeing life through a different lens than most people your age. Some of these miracles will appear in hindsight in years to come. And the same goes for answered prayers. Be encouraged! God’s timing is always perfect. He is never early or late. Sometimes He waits decades to answer a prayer. And, sometimes, His answer is “no.” But His love is eternal and endures all things. I see this truth in you and I saw it in your dad, through his blog. God’s light and His truth is shining bright through your words and your spirit. He has blessed you in so many ways and through your gifts you are blessing others. AOT.

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