Signs And More Come If We Hope Beyond Hope And Persist Beyond Persistence
[adapted from The God of Miracles]
By Michael H. Brown
Signs come in many ways, and the more we pray, the more regular they become.
The key to living miraculously is to love in all circumstances; to believe with an ever-living faith; to surrender beyond trust; to hope beyond hope; to release all pride; to persevere beyond endurance; and to keep our eyes on the God of miracles.
I know a woman who was fretting over her husband's loss of a job when a button dropped from her cardigan and rolled across the garden, landing next to what she thought was a little stone.
It turned out to be another button (looking very weather-beaten) from the very same cardigan, which she had lost three years before! She took it as a sign that God was near her.
The same was true of a woman from Momence, Illinois, named Mary Zink, who said, "My sister was murdered in 1986. While saying the Rosary in front of a picture of the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary, as I was crying and missing my sister, I said, 'Lord in my spiritual strength I know my sister is in Heaven, but in my human weakness I am asking you for a sign.'
"As I said those words I felt a peaceful presence and heard an audible voice. 'I am an angel of God. The Lord wishes to grant your request for a sign that your sister is in Heaven. You will become pregnant and your child will be born on your sister's birthday. This is the sign not only that your sister is in Heaven but a sign of the love that the Lord has for you and for her.' My youngest child was born on her birthday in 1990."
Others have found comfort in music. A song with special lyrics comes on the radio at a special time. Some call it coincidence. Some call it synchronicity. What it really is, of course, is the coordination of God.
As with other miracles, communication with God is like rolling a snowball down a hill. It grows larger as we build faith. I don't think there could be a better example than the one involving a Tennessee man named Vincent Tan, who suddenly woke one night in 1996 at 4:30 a.m. with a burden to pray.
He did so, fell back asleep, and then arose at seven a.m. to pray again. Shortly after, the phone rang, and for some reason, his answering machine didn't pick up. And the phone kept ringing. Vincent decided to answer himself, even though the call identification was also not functioning. "Hello," he said, and surprisingly, the other party also said "Hello," as if likewise answering.
When Vincent asked the woman if she wanted to speak to him, she said no. She was just answering her phone! When he asked why she called, she said she didn't -- her phone had simply rung, and she had answered it. It turned out that her name was Doris and she was in Iowa. Somehow, their lines had crossed.
Astonishingly, when she heard Vincent's full name, she recognized him as a man she had read about as having had an experience years before with an angel. She went on to say that six months previously her mother had been diagnosed with cancer, had been given only six months to live, and had prayed to one day meet this man who had the angel experience! Doris explained to Tan that in her prayers the ill woman had cited the passage from Jeremiah 32:27: "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?" She went on to tell Tan that her mother was very near death and that at 3:30 a.m. Iowa time -- 4:30 a.m. Vincent's time -- she had awoken and felt called to remind the Lord of her mother's request -- to speak with Tan!
She asked if Vincent would speak to her mom, Vincent agreed, they set up the speaker phone (the woman was bed-ridden) and after Tan spoke to her, repeating his angel account in its entirety, the woman said, "praise the Lord. Amen."
That was followed by a long strange silence, and when Doris got back on the phone, it was to say that her mother had just passed away!
Hope beyond hope. Persistence until the end.
Faith can do anything and lead anywhere. And where faith begins, fear ends.
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