They’d asked us to stay. It was late Friday afternoon after Thanksgiving, and little bit and I were about to set off for home while the boys stayed on to hunt. Bray and his family urged us to stay for dinner and head home in the morning. I had all the Christmas decorations to get up this weekend, I pushed back, and little bit and I headed out. In the middle of the night, she started vomiting. And every half hour after, she’d shoot up and lunge over the trash can. I pulled her hair back and gave her ice chips and prayed, feeling rather peaked myself.
The eldest had a stomach bug earlier that week, as had our close family friends. When I checked in with Bray in the morning, he’d been up all night with the baby with the same thing. Terrible bug, I told myself, and tried to keep her calm and rehydrated. My friend who’d just been through this texted: only worry about dehydration when she was sick at both ends; that’s when it’s dangerous. Just then, that’s exactly what started happening with my girl. The clocked blinked 10:45 am and I called our pediatrician’s after hours line. As soon as I informed the nurse, she asked me to hold, and then popped back on the line, “How far are you from their office?,” she inquired. I told her 10 to 15 minutes. She reminded me they had Saturday morning hours until 11 am but they were holding the office for us. “Go now,” she instructed.
Off we went, little bit in pajamas holding a trash can, and me in eyeglasses and stained yoga pants.
Turns out, she not only had a stomach bug, but a nasty case of strep throat (her third in as many months) which required a painful shot in the bottom. We were the last weary family to trudge out of the office at noon. Instead of prepping for a Christmas open house and decorating as I planned, me and little bit laid fairly immobilized for the next 24 hours. I had a lighter version of her bug (minus the strep) as did our entire family, including our cousins from Thanksgiving.
How terrible, colleagues remarked when I trudged off to a work trip to D.C. No, no, I quickly replied, it was a series of miracles.
What if we hadn’t gone home on Friday night? We’d have been at the ranch without doctors or the resources of home.
What if my friend hadn’t texted me right before she got even sicker? I might not have recognized the dangers of how rapidly she’d dehydrate with the escalation.
What if she hadn’t gotten so much sicker for thirty more minutes? We’d have missed seeing the doctor and not known it was also strep throat which required a heavy dose of antibiotics.
At every turn, there are miracles we miss out on because we’re not looking for them.
We see the negative instead of seeing how we were rescued from far worse.
We don’t see the miracles because we’re not looking for them.
Yesterday, exhausted and overwhelmed with all that was on my plate, I begged my assistant to get me on an earlier flight out of D.C. tonight so I wouldn’t get in late. She reported the change would cost $400. I sighed, realizing I’d never incur such a charge, and resigned myself to another late night.
Then, today, a front approached D.C. I got to the airport, with more than three hours to spare, and saw my flight had been delayed. Hoping without really hoping, I went to the earlier flight’s check in counter and asked if I could get on the earlier flight. The kind attendant looked at what must have been a sad and exhausted face (I hadn’t slept a wink last night) and said, “Your flight is delayed, I’ll move you to this one for no charge.” It took every bit of restraint I had to keep from leaping over the desk to kiss the man.
Had I gotten what I wanted when I wanted it, it would have cost $400. Instead, bad weather and a flight delay, delivered an early Christmas miracle.
Boom, another miracle right there.
For the first half of our flight, everyone was instructed to stay in their seats as we flew through the storm. Including flight attendants. Bumping along the way, I cracked open The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp which is redefining how I see beauty in brokenness and calling me to a more poured out, generous life.
She shared a conversation she had with a friend about Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on water to Jesus and him sinking instead:
Maybe Peter really doubted that Jesus believed in him… Maybe it isn’t enough to believe in Jesus – maybe I have to believe that Jesus believes enough in me to choose me. If Christ has chosen me, can He not believe in me?… Jesus didn’t just calm one storm – He can calm all our storms. Jesus sings grace in the wind, He pours mercy out like rain, He grows abundance up through the broken cracks of things like wheat… He comes as a sign to us, a sign of the cross, a sign God’s reaching for us, believing in us, in love, in redemption, in making all things new, in making us enough because He is.
And just like that, the bumps stopped. Out of the windows, where I hadn’t been able to see anything, the thick clouds cleared. The beauty of the clear blue sky and the sunset and the lighter clouds below stunned me with their miraculousness. Ann wrote, in the very next sentence, He comes like light through rain coming down. “Come, follow Me – come, I believe in you – because I’ve come to live in you.”
We have to believe. We have to see the miracles.
He believes in us and wants to fulfill the plans He has prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10).
The miracle comes in the form of a pizza passed over the neighbor’s fence.
The miracle comes in the form of a tumor in a uterus.
The miracle comes in a stable.
Oh, I pray this season we would spot the miracles happening around us every single day. That our senses would find the wonder in how He orchestrates all of these things for a purpose and for our good (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28).
All of these moments: a miracle (Oxford: “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency…”).