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Editor’s Note: Our friend and longtime Meridian writer Larry Barkdull recently passed away. To remember and honor him this is one of a series of his past articles that we are republishing regularly.
God showers us with miracles. If we are observant, we can recognize his fore-knowledge of, power in behalf of and love for us. Consider these three miracle stories by anonymous contributors.
The Rusty Bucket of Rainwater
“Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee” (Jeremiah 1:5).
My mother was a woman of great faith. It was Mother’s practice to never let a day go by without praying to God for his watchful care.
When I was a small child growing up in Monroe, Louisiana, Mother had a dream one night that she was driving along a country road with my sister and me playing in the back seat of the car. En route, my mother suddenly glanced in the rearview mirror and saw smoke and flames shooting from the trunk area.
Quickly, she pulled to the side of the road, jumped out, and began searching for something to douse the flames. In a nearby gully, she spotted a rusty bucket filled with rainwater. Grabbing it, she ran back to the car and emptied the bucket on the fire. A strange dream, my mother thought as she awoke. And she let it go at that.
The next morning, Mother piled my sister and me into the car for a sixty-mile trip to attend sacrament meeting. About halfway there, on an infrequently traveled road, she was suddenly startled to see flames and smoke rising from the trunk of the car. My sister and I were frightened, but because of her dream Mother knew what to do. Pulling over to the side of the road, she quickly got out, ran about ten yards to a nearby gully, located a rusty bucket of rainwater, and extinguished the fire. Then, catching her breath and offering a simple prayer of gratitude, she settled back in the car and drove to church.
For The First Time, I Saw a Bird
“With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
I was born with partial vision that isn’t correctable, but I have never let my disability stop me from enjoying life. I am married. I have six beautiful children; I acquired a college education, and I have participated in many events that others thought impossible. However, I have always wanted to be able to see like others to more fully enjoy the world. I have dreamed about how it would change my life and how amazing it would be.
One of God’s creations that I have had difficulty fully enjoying is beautiful birds in the wild. I have seen them on television, movies and books, but I have seen very little of their beauty in real life. I perceive their figures moving from one tree or phone line to another against a bright sky, but they only appear as small black objects against a bright backdrop. I hear their beautiful music, but I cannot see their color and their grace. To me they are just quick, black flittering objects moving through the bright sky.
On one occasion, our family had the opportunity to go to Rainier National Park in the autumn time. The leaves were falling, the air was crisp and clear, the sun was bright, and the park was virtually deserted. When we stopped for a rest, my wife took our children to the restroom and I sat down on a picnic bench. Once again I heard what I could not see: birds singing in the tall pines. I looked up and saw small black objects move from tree to tree. Wishing I could see their beauty, I prayed to God, “Please heal my vision and allow me to see these glorious creations.”
What happened next was a miracle. As I was saying the words of my prayer, a beautiful bird landed on my hand directly in front of my face. It was not more than six inches away, exactly where my vision was best. For the first time in my life I could see a bird! It looked at me and I looked at it. The bird turned around and let me enjoy its full loveliness. I continued my prayer and thanked God for this opportunity, and as I did many more birds of all varieties landed on my table.
Then I prayed that I might share this experience with my family. As they returned, they saw what was happening and sat down quietly at the table. The birds were not frightened, but remained. We all played with birds until it was time to leave. I have always thanked God for his hearing my prayer and experiencing this great outpouring of his love and power.
No Food in the House
“God is love” (1 John 4:8)
In a particularly difficult financial time, I sought God for help. I suppose that I am like so many whose prayers are offered with more feeling in times of urgent need. I remember feeling ashamed that I had not put more effort into my relationship with God when money had been plentiful. Still, believing that such petitioning could help me, I arose one morning and pleaded for help.
The answer came in a strange way. A thought entered my mind, “Your friend Paul has no food in his house. Go and take him some money.”
“But I have so little,” I said aloud. Then, considering whom I was talking to, I asked, “How much?”
“One hundred dollars.”
I felt anxiety shoot through me. One hundred dollars was all I had in the bank! I searched myself hoping that I had made the whole thing up. I tried to pray again but felt only silence. In the quiet I perceived a message that seemed to say, Will you trust me or not?
Paul was a good man who had recently lost his income source and was struggling through a difficult bankruptcy. No amount of effort had been able to stop the rapid decline of his assets and reserves.
I dressed, drove to the bank, withdrew one hundred dollars and headed to Paul’s house. When I stuffed the money into his hand, he couldn’t hold back the tears. He said, “My wife and I totally ran out of food last night. We have been up since 4:00 this morning praying for a miracle.”
One thing after another fell into place to sustain my family. But no miracle was as great as the one that occurred inside me when I discovered that God truly loves his children and often uses other people to prove it.