Many people go through life searching for miracles, hoping to see the existence of such a cool gift from God. Some are able to see miracles left and right, every day recognizing and witnessing the awesome events. Others can’t recognize a single miracle and wonder if miracles even exist because they seem so rare. What is the difference between the two groups of people? Why are people living lives filled with miracles and others not witnessing a single one, or only witnessing them few and far between? The truth of the matter is miracles are happening all the time, all around us in the world. So, how can they be recognized? Here are 6 tips for recognizing miracles:
1. Be Thankful
God loves to be thanked and praised. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that we should be thankful in all circumstances. It doesn’t say to be thankful in only the circumstances that appear good to us, but in ALL. A friend once told me about two sisters who were in a German concentration camp during World War 2. Their cell was full of lice and they chose to thank God for the lice because, well, God says to be thankful in all circumstances. Later they discovered that because of the lice the soldiers passed by their cell each day, not wanting to catch it themselves. The sisters were then able to minister to the others around them and were left uninjured.
Even though there are situations in life that look bleak and unwelcome, people still need to be thankful to God regarding them. We never know how God plans to use the situation for a great and miraculous strategy that is for good. We may never truly understand the reason behind situations, or later God may revealed the reasons- but, the perspective of thanksgiving sure does help put situations into a light that allows the face of miracles to show up better. When God is praised and thanked it seems He works in greater and mightier ways.
2. Have An Open Mind
When the concept of God and everything He can do gets put into a box then the world seems defined to the point that there aren’t any room for miracles. Hope for what can be done in life has set parameters and when parameters are set, there is not room for the impossible to happen; no room for miracles to occur. Yet, when people have an open mind in life and take rules and definitions off of what God can do, then the amount of hope for miracles is increased. The impossible starts to become possible. I love where Jesus says in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Having an open mind and believing that indeed God can do anything will help more to recognize miraculous events.
3. De-clutter and Focus
Modern day American culture is typically one that is fast paced. There is so much to do with so little time it seems. Many are running from task to task in a race against time, and if they aren’t continuously trying to check off the items on their to-do list then they are “unwinding” on video games or social media. Very rarely do people take time to slow down and “smell the roses” per say.
Could it be, that people are missing seeing miracles because they are always thinking about their work or have their eyes glued to screens? Unless a person declutters their obligations in life and designates time to just be with God and hear Him, then a lot of what God is doing and trying to communicate is going to be missed out on. Think about it – have you ever tried to hold a conversation with someone whose eyes are glued to their I-Pad or who is going frantically from task to task? You probably feel like that person is not listening 100% to you or even noticing you, right? It’s because they probably aren’t. How then do you think someone who communicates in the same fashion will be able to notice and listen to God?
Do you want to see miracles? If so you have got to first slowdown in life and then focus. Eliminate the to-do lists that clutter your life and take away from your time with God. Reduce your screen time or anything else that is stealing your attention from being with God. There is nothing wrong with a little quiet in your life so that good conversing skills with God can happen. Hearing and communicating clearly with God allows Him to point out the miracles in life you.
4. Have an Optimistic Outlook
What kind of glasses we look through regarding at life makes a big difference on if we can see miracles or not. Usually a person who wakes up in the morning and puts on cloudy and dark glasses and grumps around always seeing life as a reason to complain will have a hard time seeing the good things in life that happen. That person will always point out the negative regarding situations, even if it is a huge miracle. For example, if there were a miracle of a person surviving a massive automobile accident, instead of seeing it as a miracle the person lived, comments like this come out of the person’s mouth: “Oh man, that car is totaled. Now the auto insurance is going to go up. Nice, I can’t believe we have to pay our deductible now. We don’t have money for that. What a mess.”
However, if a person wakes up in the morning and puts on nice clear glasses and is ready to see the life in a positive, optimistic outlook then the good things will be surely noticeable. This person will be able to recognize miracles more easily because the perspective of life he or she is looking at is that of optimism. Take the same automobile accident as mentioned above. An optimistic outlook will be more apt to see the miracle associated with it and comments coming out of the person’s mouth will be something or like this: “Wow! That is SO awesome that the person survived such a crash! I can’t believe that the ambulance crew arrived so quickly, it is a miracle that they came as fast as they did! Oh, thankfully there is automotive insurance so that the car can get all fixed and drivable again!”
Do you see the difference? How we look at life, the perspective that we take can have SUCH a huge difference on if we can recognize the miracles or not. I sure hope that I can choose to put on optimistic glasses in the morning instead of pessimistic glasses.
5. Have Faith
When people have faith, they are trusting that God is working things out for the good, whether they understand God’s reasons or not. Handing over control to God and accepting that He will coordinate events in the world that are needed helps people to wrap their minds around miracles easier. When miraculous events happen, many times they cannot be explained – there is a substantial amount of wonder associated with the events. Often times when people cannot understand things they like to just dismiss them in their minds. Such events can be just written off and not recognized as miracles. However, if faith is exercised, it is easier to accept events as miracles whether they can be understood or not.
6. Rule Out Coincidences
A lot of people will try to reason that there are no miracles in life, just coincidences. Everything that seems like an amazing and unexpected event is given an explanation no matter how accurate or correct the explanation is. The truth of it is that there are indeed coincidences in life – as there are miracles as well. So, how can the two be distinguished?
The main way that an event can be distinguished between a coincidence and a miracle is by looking at the odds. Here is an example: Say you have not seen a certain friend for a decade. You have no way of contacting her but start praying and hoping that somehow your paths will cross again in life. You make an unexpected trip to another state and end up having to stop at a library to print a document. As you make your way to the printer you notice that your friend you have been praying to see again just so happens to walk in the front door of the library. This would be recognized as a miraculous event. The odds of meeting her again were very slim, and the event happened in an unexpected matter.
Let’s now talk about a coincidental event: You have a friend who lives in the same town and you know she goes now and then to the local library. Many times you go to the library as well – some days on the same day as you attend the same function. Unfortunately, you have not been able to attend your normal functions as you have been sick and you end up missing your friend. You decide to drive one day to drop off your books in the drop box outside of the library after hours and you look up and see your friend in the rear view mirror, also dropping off books. This would be considered a coincidence. The odds of seeing your friend at a place you both normal go to was pretty good.
Sometimes we are oblivious to God’s gifts even when they occur right in front of our eyes. These miracles we may indeed miss unless we are thankful, open-minded, and focused. Optimism, faith in God’s mightiness, and the ability to rule out coincidences will also help us to be able to recognize miracles more and more. Perspective is everything in life – when one has the right perspective more miracles are going to be recognized to that person.
Lights UP North writes from deep inside the great Northern Woods in hopes of bringing inspiration, encouragement, and hope to others. Ministering to those who are suffering from eczema and allergies is another strong passion for Lights UP North.
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