Swing away, Merrill… Merrill, swing away.
I love the movie Signs.
It was the first and only “scary” movie I’ve ever watched, and Bo Hess and I are kindred spirits as I too leave half empty glasses of water all around my house. (And my husband loves that about as much as Bo’s father Graham did.)
Part of what makes the movie so great is all these weird, seemingly random events and circumstances that ultimately come together in this incredible more-than-coincidence kind of way.
Like a puzzle the characters didn’t even know they were building until it all suddenly snaps together so they can save the world from an alien takeover.
Honestly, I think on some level, we’re all fascinated with “signs” or coincidences that feel extraordinary—beyond our mundane day-to-day experiences. And, more specifically, I think Christians sometimes hope for God to speak to us through these miraculous signs and wonders and not-a-coincidence coincidences, because sometimes we’re so desperate that we need something more than the “ordinary.”
Something that makes it all seem more real. More meaningful. More tangible. More certain.
God, if this is the school I’m supposed to go to, can you just give me a sign? God, if this is who I’m supposed to marry, can you just give me a sign? God, if this is the job for me, can you just give me a sign?
For the most part, we typically find ourselves asking God to step in with some miraculous, unmistakable, and obvious “sign” that gives us some direction when we’re at the crux of a big decision with long-lasting consequences.
At these critical junctures of desperation, we’re usually looking for signs that give us an answer.
And, sometimes, God does provide answers or direction in creative, extraordinary ways. (Think Jonathan and the Philistines in 1 Samuel 14, Hezekiah and his sickness in 2 Chronicles 32, the virgin conceiving and bearing a son prophesied in Isaiah 7, etc.)
But what if the primary purpose of God-given signs and wonders and coincidences isn’t to point us to His answer? What if it’s actually to point us to His presence?
What if they’re not usually designed to show us the answer to our problem but to show us His nearness in our problem?
What if God wants to give us something even better than an answer or a direction? What if God wants to give us himself?
Don’t miss out on the quiet, more subtle miracles of God that are happening all around you because you’re only looking for fire in the sky or a miraculous healing or an audible voice telling you what to do.
He’s miraculously near when you read His Word. When you talk with Him in prayer. When you worship Him with shouts of praise. He speaks and moves in those moments.
And—once in awhile—He also speaks when your eyes are opened to extraordinary miracles in the mundane.
He may be in a song on the radio. Or in a word from a friend. Or in the morning devotion that seems to speak directly into your current situation. Or in a perfectly timed text from a loved one. Or in the reassuring warmth of the afternoon sun shining through a window.
In my infertility journey, I’ve experienced God’s presence and His nearness in new ways. I’ve had some amazing, not-a-coincidence experiences that reminded me of His love and faithfulness and that strengthened my trust in Him.
None of these experiences gave us any specific answers, solved our problems, or provided miraculous healing. None of these experiences were grandiose like a burning bush or a star in the sky.
And certainly, none of these experiences carry more significance than the miraculous way that God most often and most poignantly speaks to me and reminds me of His promises—in His written Word.
But, these beautiful experiences showed me more of God’s character—His kindness, faithfulness, power, and love for me. They reminded me of His nearness in fresh ways that encouraged my heart to move forward. They served as a witness to the promises of His word—that He is always with me and that He will never leave me nor forsake me.
I encourage you to never lose your sense of wonder about His inerrant, living Word through which He reveals Himself and communicates with His children.
But these signs, wonders, and not-coincidences—whether big or small—are witness to that Word. They are witness to a creative God who speaks in creative ways. They are witness to His sovereignty and to His merciful compassion in the smallest details of our lives.
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children…Deut. 4:9 (ESV)
In the spirit of Deuteronomy 4:9, I want to share these “mundane” miracles that I’ve experienced as an encouragement to you, and I want to share them as a marker for me and for my children and for my children’s children—to never forget who He is and what He’s done.
So, if you want to hear more about the specific miracles in my story, head over to Part 2.