My neighbor waited many years to become a mother. There were years of praying, going to doctors, going through procedures, dealing with disappointment, yearning for babies. Finally, she was able to carry twins. It was a miracle! Born very prematurely, weighing in at about one pound each, they remained in the hospital for many weeks. But they came home — and have recently celebrated their fourth birthday. A beautiful miracle!
My daughter has a rare medical condition. Because of a tumor in her spinal column, and the difficulties associated with it, she goes in and out of the hospital. On a continual basis, she bears pain and discomfort and the irritation that wears on her nerves. But, with this condition, she beautifully takes care of her two daughters and tends a terminally ill husband. It is a little miracle that we appreciate and celebrate.
I recently learned about an older lady who wanted nothing to do with the Church for decades. Although many of her extended family members were active in the faith, she remained far outside the circle of that faith. Last year, at the age of 82, she was baptized. This year, at the age of 83, this sweet sister went through the holy temple. Through the culmination of many different little things over the years, her heart was softened and she embraced the gospel. A sweet miracle!
A young man struggles with drug addiction. Through patient and caring assistance, and his own determination, he overcomes that addiction. This is a miracle in his life — and in the lives of those who love him!
A widow is housebound. She is in need of groceries. She must pay a heating bill for which she has no money. A kind, and “in tune” soul shows up at her door with food and a check. They both experience a miracle.
A young woman is in a depressed state. She feels as though she is not understood, nor is she important. One day at school, a student makes the effort to smile at her — or takes the time to talk with her. Unbeknownst to that other student, he or she has saved a life today. Out of ordinary kindness, an extraordinary blessing has been extended. It is a little miracle!
Oh, the sweet goodness we may feel when we are part of little miracles! Often, acting on a passing thought extends the miracle. Sometimes, hanging in there and not giving up brings the miracle. Always, a miracle is an extraordinary blessing. It involves the giving or receiving of a Godly service, charity or acting on God-sent thoughts.
How do we define the word “miracle”? Elder Orson F. Whitney defined it this way:
Miracles are not contrary to law; they are simply extraordinary results flowing from superior means and methods of doing things.
Sometimes the most ordinary of folks — perhaps like you and me — become the instruments through which miraculous things happen. At times we see an event as a miracle simply because we have the heart to recognize what others may call by some other name, without giving due credit to the heavenly manifestations of loving works.
What miracles have you experienced in your life? What miracles have you been part of? What beautiful events have unfolded, offering a miracle, but we did not see the superior means extended from heaven? How often do we work to be that means or method of creating little miracles?
I have used the world “miracle” a lot in this column. It is not without design. I have found that if I choose a word, ponder over it, study it, pray about it, and focus on it, I gain a deeper understanding of a principle associated with the word. At this Christmas time, I have chosen the word “miracle.” I am trying to more fully enjoy the sweet, tender things that come as blessings into my life, and hoping to lift my mind and heart to a higher plane. I trust it will offer me additional goodness and sharpen my sight to notice the little miracles that occur every single day.
Miracles come in all kinds of ways. We may define them differently, see them differently, approach them in a unique manner. Regardless, they enrich our lives and strengthen our ties to celestial things. Along the way, we grow in our appreciation for our Savior, whose birth, life and death was the miracle of miracles.
President David O. McKay taught this: “If a miracle is a supernatural event whose antecedent forces are beyond man’s finite wisdom, then the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most stupendous miracle of all.” (Conference Report, May 1966.)
At this Christmas time, the time we celebrate the Savior’s birth, let’s look more closely for the blessings that surround us. Let’s tune our hearts to notice and pray for a more clear vision to see how we can both give and receive service. Let’s offer a hand, a shoulder, a dollar, or an hour of time to someone who just might need it.
This Christmas, by doing so, we will become part of little miracles!