Sunday, November 19, 2006

Slow Miracles

Maybe miracles are more common than we assume.

Usually when I think of miracles, I think of amazing, jaw-dropping affairs, but for some reason - perhaps because I recently wrote about faith uprooting mulberry trees - something came back to me that a friend brought up at a fellowship meeting in college; something you don't often hear about.

He noted that in Deuteronomy 8:4 God told the Israelites that during their 40 years in the desert their clothing hadn't worn out. I wonder, when God told the Israelites that, if they said, "Well how about that! I hadn't thought of that before, but yes, it's true!"

The preservation of clothing is just not the sort of thing that you'd notice - or believe - unless you deliberately look back over a long period of time. For example, if God started preserving people's clothing on Monday and on Tuesday someone said that God was miraculously preserving their clothes, I'm sure everybody else would have glanced at their clothes, and then back at the speaker, then thought, "This guy is a nut."

But that's what interests me about this miracle; there was nothing at all dramatic about it, nothing to draw attention to itself. It's a humble miracle. In fact, I find it hard to imagine a miracle more mundane than people's clothing lasting far longer than you'd ever expect in a camping environment.

I was tempted to call this miracle "boring," but I can't do that because its very mundane nature is the exciting part! I've sometimes regretted that I've never seen a miracle, but now I wonder: Have there been slow miracles in my life - or your life - things God is doing or has done that we have overlooked because they have been so quiet and gentle and slow and we have been too busy and preoccupied to think back over the years?

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