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WHEN GOD SENDS A 'FENDER-BENDER,' IT MAY BE TO PREVENT A MORE SERIOUS ACCIDENT
Just as the good Lord can cause a candle to drip in just such a way as to resemble an angel, or the sun to reflect just a bit unusually, or bark on a tree to form into what looks like a vague silhouette of Jesus (or, a stone a heart,), so too does He tweak and manipulate everyday events in such a way that timing goes just right for us and we cook with exactly the right ingredients and there are other favorable events that let us know He is there without some sort of spectacular show of fire from the sky. God is subtle with His wonders because He always wants to leave room for faith. Look for miracles in the ordinary. See God always and everywhere. Look for the signs that flow with your daily routine and accept the course of events as directed. Remember that when it is God’s timing, there is never frenzy.
Give yourself to Him from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes and the way is set for Him to control the flow. Don’t strive for control yourself. That’s for the intellectuals. Always leave room for God to work. You will find peace when you stop trying to reach beyond what God has set as your boundaries. “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside,” says 1 Corinthians 1. Christ chooses the humble. Those with humility have lowered themselves so they can exalt God.
In other words, when we try to inject ourselves and our pretensions into our reality, we accomplish the opposite of what we’re looking to accomplish. Keep it simple. Don’t replace humble spirituality with high-flying theological language. Jesus did not wander the countryside with a blackboard, did not cite bylaws, and did not speak in polysyllables (that was for the Pharisees).
It’s simplicity that leads to direct communication. Simple requests work wonders, connecting us in a direct way with God, Who especially answers our prayers for children. I know a Catholic radio broadcaster, Barbaranne Marion, in Pennsylvania, and one Christmas she and her husband couldn’t afford gifts for their children – who were anxiously awaiting Santa. Settling herself down, she prayed for the Blessed Mother to hear her – really prayed. “I wanted nothing for myself,” she said. “Just for the kids.” How could they be left without gifts? How could she possibly face such disappointment? She did not. The very next day her husband John went to get the mail and found one envelope that had been stuffed in there by hand, without postage. It was from a wealthy listener who said she felt “told” by the Blessed Virgin to give the Marions $1,500 (the check was enclosed) to be used solely “for the joys of Christmas.”
That’s how directly God can work, if we think He can work that way.
On the other hand, our best efforts can be frustrated when we’re operating in selfishness. When things don’t “go right,” when we’re “all thumbs,” when it’s “just not our day,” God may be throwing us a hint.
Say you’re on the way to the store and all the way you run into frustrating traffic; once you’re there, the clerk is rude; he doesn’t have the right brand of cigarettes (or let’s say it’s liquor); once you do buy something and return, the package rolls off the seat. Could God be telling you something about liquor?
Imagine reaching for it, which could cause a distraction and perhaps even a minor accident. This too would be in keeping with God’s way. And this too is a sign. God usually sends little fender- benders in an effort to prevent major accidents. When He pierces us, we lose our puffiness. Suffering causes humility. He tries to get us to shift course if we’re straying in a way that could be harmful. And so such a nudge is also a miracle.
Are you frustrated in your search for a job because you’re looking for the wrong kind of work? Are you butting your head against a wall because you are self-seeking, materialistic, or overly ambitious? Are you seeking to imitate the gifts of another instead of utilizing what God and His angels have given you?
If so, expect counter-miracles.
That’s not to say that every misfortune is a sign that God is displeased. We can be in step with God – doing His Will -- and face similar challenges. Such are the “tests” of life. As I mentioned, there is resistance from the enemy. But during runs of bad luck, we should pray to discern a pattern. If what we are trying to do is His Will, in the end what we are pursuing will succeed and will do so in proportion to our faith, as well as our diligence. In those cases, the Lord steers our way. In the storm, we are protected.
On the other hand, when we’re out of step with God, it can be not only frustrating, but dangerous. The Lord has our eternity in mind and will allow events to reorient us, in the direction of a glory that is unimaginable.
--Michael H. Brown
[resources: The God of Miracles; Retreat, Indiana]
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