Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010

Gradual Miracles

I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little, I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.

Exodus 23:29-30

Often we define a miracle as something dramatic or wonderful that happens in a moment’s time:

A cancer diagnosis… then a second test states “benign” or “clear.”

The instant changed of a life of a family member whom you’ve long prayed for.

An out-of-the-blue protective act from God that averts tragedy or disaster.

Miracles like these occur daily and reveal the powerful hand of God.

However, often we miss what I call “gradual miracles.” They reveal the same powerful hand of God albeit in a less obvious way.

The chemotherapy that kills cancer cells over a six-month period.

The long but sure steady struggle of a loved one coming back to God.

The daily provision and protection God provides for us.

These are also miracles—they’re just “gradual miracles.”

Our scripture above, taken from God’s instructions as the Israelites stand ready to enter the Promised Land reveal how God will clear the land of the enemy: “little by little.”

The dramatic fall of the walls of Jericho is a miracle.

And so is how God cleared the land “little by little.”

Here is my prayer,  “Lord, don’t let me miss the daily gradual miracles you are doing all around me.  Amen.”

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:

But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries…

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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