Is This the Miracle?
On Friday afternoon, while driving to pick up my son from school, I started noticing a somewhat familiar sound from my truck — that is, if you’ve been driving a car or truck for more than a couple of decades, as I have, then you pretty much immediately know what the sound is and what’s entailed in fixing it, from both the perspective of time and money.
I mean, I’ve GOT time. It’s not like there’s a lot else going on my life right now besides work for me and school for my son. But my truck doesn’t really have time — this isn’t an issue I can let go for a while, because it’s only going to get worse and put us more at risk each time we drive it. But it was Friday afternoon, so I knew getting it fixed before the weekend was impossible.
The other factor — also impossible — is money. I have a good idea what this repair will cost me, as I’ve had to do it before, and I don’t have that lump sum of money sitting around with nothing to do but wait for repairs. I may be two and a half years into the role of widower and single dad, but I still feel relatively new to the adjustment of earning about 65% of the income that my wife and I brought in combined, so things here aren’t always as comfortable as they once were.
So I knew I had a few days to wrestle with this issue before I could really do anything to resolve it.
Of course it’s a challenge to my faith — I started praying about this need, and told a few friends, who also started praying. But honestly, I don’t really expect miracles anymore. Maybe that’s a jaded view of life, but I think it’s a result of the life I’m now living. I think we’re all dealt tough situations from time to time (some more times than others), and we do our best to handle those tough situations.
I remember recently a pastor friend of mine telling me that he had the chance to speak with a nationally renowned cancer specialist who is also a follower of Jesus. Here is a man who, as a doctor, is sought nationally and internationally to review the most dire cancer cases and give his input on diagnosis and treatment. The pastor friend asked him, “As a Christian, I’m curious — how often do you see a cancer case that has been cured or put into remission and you think to yourself, ‘That was a true miracle.’” And the doctor replied, “Honestly? Maybe four cases in my lifetime.” This is from a man who has seen thousands of cases.
As my pastor friend went on to say, “So when people who are in similar situations — a cancer diagnosis, etc. — ask me how such a thing could happen to them, I have pretty much the same answer time and time again: ‘I’m just in sales, not management.’” In other words, as a pastor, he’s not consulted in the decisions of why things happen, nor can he satisfactorily explain them. He just tries to encourage people to continue believing.
And honestly? I struggle with unbelief almost every day. I find myself praying at least once a day, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”
Over this past weekend, countless times as I was running errands, doing yard work, sitting quietly, etc., I would breathe a quiet prayer, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief. You know I need a miracle; I pray You would provide it.”
Well, it’s now Monday evening, and there’s been no lightning strike of a miracle.
No miracle check has shown up in my mailbox.
No miracle person has shown up at my door with the tools and parts to fix my truck.
No miracle has happened where my truck is magically fixed and no longer has the problem.
So today I took the steps necessary and sold something of value that I know will cover the cost of the repairs my truck needs.
And I find myself asking:
Is this the miracle?
- Is the miracle the fact that I had something in the first place that I could sell for money?
- Is the miracle the idea that I had to sell something and knew how to do it?
- Is the miracle the mental and emotional fortitude to part with something so that we have safe transportation?
Or is this just how it works?
There is no miracle.
There just is what there is, and we do our best to deal with it.
I don’t know the answer.
The older I get, the more life hands to me, the less confident I am about most things that are going on.
I’m just doing my best to hold on to what I have, clinging to the remnants of my faith with bandaged hands and a fingertip grip.
A rock climber’s crimp grip
Maybe my arms are growing stronger and I don’t yet realize it.
Maybe some yet-unseen hand will soon reach over the edge and help me climb up.
Maybe there’s actually a parachute on my back that will catch me if I fall.
I can’t worry about any of those things, as they’re in the future.
For now, I just focus on doing the best I can for this moment, for this day.
Follow One Course Until Successful
Posted on May 15, 2023
“We worry about tomorrow like it’s promised.” — Unknown
“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles; it empties today of its strength.” — Corrie Ten Boom