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What is a Miracle?

We hear the word "miracle" a lot in everyday life. "Miracle this" and "Miracle that", "the Miracle on the Hudson", "Miracles from Heaven", "Christmas Miracles", and even a 1980 Olympic hockey final whose story was simply titled Miracle. Yet, how do we actually, as Christians, define a miracle, and how should we help others such as our families and friends begin to recognize and embrace the miracles in their own lives?

The definition of miracle is as follows: "an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God." This sounds really big, grand, outlandish even and can make one expect to see writing in the sky or a burning bush to signify any miracle might have occurred; but, instead, I want to ask to to think about your morning drive to work that you dread, yet one morning there was not another soul on the road. Or perhaps the person in your life that you have been praying for, pleading with God for their salvation; and yesterday they asked you a question about Jesus and faith with sincere interest in their voice.

You see, a miracle does not have to be something amazing that defies all odds and creates a revival of an entire town, nation, or world. It can and most certainly has been those big things at times but that's not always the point of a miracle. The point of a miracle is that little nod from God to show you that He is there, help you understand that you are important and that He hears you. A miracle can mean nothing to everyone else in the world, yet, it could send you to your knees in prayer; not because it was insignificant, but because it accomplished what it was sent to do. It's now God moves in our lives.

So why is it important to help those around us understand what a miracle is and how to recognize God moving in our lives? Well, to put it simply, it's important because the family or the home (whether that be your spouse/kids/parents or your friends) is the building block of the church. It's where it all starts. If we can't be comfortable sharing our witness in the safe confines of our own home, there is no way we will be comfortable enough to share them in the world and to strangers (which is what we are ultimately sent here to do). When we give our witness in the confines of our own homes, we are helping our families develop miracle attitudes and as we hand down our faith, in a sense, we can emphasize the ways in which God uses miracles to strengthen and reaffirm our faith.

I like to tell a story of something that happened to me that I deem a miracle, when I was seven years old. We fondly call it the "Snow Story" and it goes like this: When I was seven, I lived in the Central Valley of California where it never snowed (and I mean NEVER. I think the last time it had was fifty years prior or more). It was January and we were ending our Christmas holiday and going back to school; but I didn't want to go. So, before I went to sleep the night before school started again, I prayed to God for snow. I figured if it snowed, I could stay home and play outside instead... and the next morning when I woke up, it had actually snowed! And not just the type of snow that doesn't stick and disappears as quickly as it falls; an actual big snowstorm came through and covered the whole town in white. Needless to say, I got a miracle and I understood that God had sent it just for me, to let me know He was there and He was listening AND, most importantly, that He cared.

Now, you could say that was a childish perspective of an easily explainable weather event (and I would understand if you did), but I knew for a fact then, and still do today, that what happened was a nod from God and honestly, why can't we see things that we can explain as miracles too? When we are able to see the world as God's masterpiece full of purpose, love, and even miracles, we can help others understand that God exists and that He is speaking to us, constantly throughout the big and little events of our days. We can understand the true meaning and purpose of miracles and develop a miracle attitude that helps bring others to Christ.

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