There is a hymn with the line, “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed . . .” Often we do need to go through the formality of asking, but I like how the song refers also to those unexpressed prayers–our deepest wishes perceived by a loving God.
Though I have had specific prayers answered, I’m not saying things always turn out rosy for me. Sometimes things go like I hope and plan, other times not. (Like there was the time I took off another volunteer mom’s bumper in the school parking lot prior to a class field trip–but that’s a story for another post. . . .) My faith is not contingent upon a constant feed of divinely orchestrated moments or perfectly packaged outcomes. And yet, by the mere fact that even sometimes I distinctly feel God’s help and blessings, this does build my faith. There have been specific times when I’ve had a need–even without realizing it or praying about it–and that need has been perfectly met. If you think about it, I bet you can recall times like this too.
Now for some examples:
- Before traveling for residency interviews, it began to dawn on me that I’d need a double stroller to navigate the airport with a baby and toddler (this was back in the day when clunky strollers were allowed in airports!). I hadn’t even begun to brainstorm about where I could get one, but as I walked through my neighborhood, a lady I barely knew dashed out of her house and told me she had a double stroller for me. She was pregnant with her second baby and had found a stroller at a yard sale. She said, “I can’t even use it for months, but I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to lend it to you until I need it.” I had barely acknowledged this need to myself and had not yet prayed over it, but the blessing was right there. It gave me the assurance that God would be with me in other ways too, as I faced the difficult task of residency interviews, residency itself, and balancing all that comes with being a mom.
- Once our freezer stopped fully freezing ice cream (basically, a minor emergency!) and we didn’t have money for a new one. It made me concerned that possibly other foods were not being kept at safe temperatures. That same week our next door neighbor called to ask if we happened to need a new fridge/freezer. She was getting married and in merging two households they’d have an extra. Another time we needed a new bathroom sink. Just after having done the preliminary browsing to pick one out, we saw a nearly identical sink on the curb with a “free” sign. It was used, but it was perfect.
- I could go on, but instead, what about you? When have you had a personal need met?
Are these miracles? It has been said that, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”* Maybe some good things just happen, but all goodness derives from God. All goodness has a divine fingerprint. Miracles and mercies are part of the evidence that God is there.
*Some attribute this quote to Albert Einstein, but whoever said it gave us something to think about!