When I engage in prayer and meditation, the Lord has come to me many times to say “Tell my people how much I love them. Tell my people that they are not alone and that I am with them. Tell my people that my Holy Spirit provides power, grace and love each day of their lives.
Tell my people that miracles are there for them every single day, but they must look for them. They must expect them; they must want to experience my love.”
Looking, seeing and recognizing miracles is fundamental to the growth of our faith.
The following story taught me, through the simple but profound faith of a child, how to look for miracles.
Miracle of the Rainbow
When my son Paul was about five years old, he came home one day from preschool as my wife Mary Anne was fixing dinner. Paul was one of those super-enthusiastic little boys, and he said, “Mom! Guess what? Jesus is going to give me a rainbow!”
It was late spring, soon to be summer, and we lived in Southern California where rain does not fall often during our dry summers. Mary Anne and I looked at each other thinking soon he would be distracted and forget all about rainbows.
Paul was in a special education program, and his language was limited. We believed his teacher must have talked about rainbows to the class that day. A few days later, we happened to see the teacher, and we shared Paul’s rainbow story. To our great surprise, the teacher said she hadn’t spoken of rainbows in class.
We kept hoping Paul would forget Jesus’ promise of a rainbow. But NOOOOOO! Every night he thanked Jesus for the rainbow. Although we continued to downplay the idea, we did search for any sign of a multicolored arc in the sky.
Mary Anne and I called each other if the tiniest hope of seeing a rainbow appeared…maybe that one cloud would produce a rainbow for Paul.
Day after day, we looked to the sky. No rainbow. Paul even said, “Jesus is going to give me the rainbow in two weeks.” The pressure was really on! Our faith was being tested.
Paul’s confidence in God must have been contagious. Mary Anne and I discovered a surprising peace in the knowledge that God was going to do something special for our little boy.
We continued to pray and praise God. Each day, Paul confidently thanked God for his rainbow. Soon, we would understand God’s miracles can happen when and in ways we least expect.
That summer, we took a family vacation to Santa Barbara, renting an ocean-side cottage that boasted a large front lawn. One day, under a bright blue sky, Mary Anne, Paul and I stepped out onto the cottage porch.
Suddenly, on this cloudless day under an incredibly bright sun, rainbows appeared in the spray of every single sprinkler—12 rainbows in all! Paul, with the biggest smile I have ever seen, turned to us and said, “Thank you, Jesus, for giving me my rainbows!”
At a time when Mary Anne and I were struggling with our own faith, the miracle of rainbows was a gift of faith for our son, and yes, a gift of faith for us!
God gives us our hearts’ desires.
“Find your delight in the Lord / who will give you your heart’s desire.” (Psalm 37:4)
One lesson we learned from the rainbow miracle is to remain vigilant and expect God will act in His time and in His way. Look for God in all things and at all times. Paul’s rainbows were low to the ground, as he was. The perfect location and size for his miracle!
Miracle of the Dolphins
No one outdoes God’s grace, love and gifts. They happen in the perfect way and in the perfect time. We must have faith and never lose confidence or endurance to realize what God has planned for us.
“Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36)
We often want to give up just when God is ready to allow the miracle to occur!
One day, Mary Anne and I were at the beach, riding our bikes on the boardwalk. Mary Anne was in an uncharacteristically sad mood and I wanted to cheer her up. I said a quick prayer for God to bless her.
As we were riding, we came upon a school playground area not far from the ocean’s edge. I asked Mary Anne to come with me to see the water, and I prayed asking God for a miracle. Mary Anne has a special love for dolphins, and I thought if God would show her a dolphin, her sadness would fade. So I quietly prayed and expected God to provide a miracle.
Many minutes went by and no dolphins. I kept looking for any sign of the sleek, graceful creatures among the ocean’s waves. Mary Anne wanted to leave, but I said, “Let’s wait a little longer.”
Suddenly, not one, not two, not three or four, but five dolphins appeared in the distance swimming toward us! Mary Anne’s face glowed with the biggest, most beautiful smile, and I thanked God for this miracle.
I looked behind me and saw many people on a crowded boardwalk, walking, running, biking, rollerblading, etc. No one had their eyes on the ocean to witness the miracle I believed had occurred. I asked the Lord why others didn’t experience what I thought was a miracle. I then clearly understood that God gives a special grace to those who desire to see a miracle, and God allows them to experience miracles in His time.
Every single day of the week, I expect miracles. Every single day, I look around me and know that God loves me beyond anything I can possibly understand or imagine. God wants to fill me—and each one of us—with His love.