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God is subtle with His wonders because He always wants to leave room for faith. Look for miracles in the ordinary. See God always and everywhere. Look for the signs that flow with your daily routine and accept the course of events as directed. Remember that when it is God’s timing, there is never frenzy.

Give yourself to Him from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes and the way is set for Him to control the flow. Don’t strive for control yourself. That’s for the intellectuals. Always leave room for God to work. “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside,” says 1 Corinthians 1. In 2 Timothy 3:1-7 it mentions those who are "ever learning but are never able to come to a knowledge of the truth." They seek to view the supernatural through the eyes of the natural. That never works. Christ chooses the humble. Those with humility have lowered themselves so they can exalt God.

In other words, when we try to inject ourselves and our pretensions into our reality, we accomplish the opposite of what we’re looking to accomplish. Keep it simple. Don’t replace humble spirituality with high-flying theological language. Jesus did not wander the countryside with a blackboard, did not cite bylaws, and did not speak in polysyllables (that was for the Pharisees). It’s simplicity that leads to direct communication. Simple requests work wonders, connecting us in a direct way with God, Who especially answers our prayers for children.

On the other hand, our best efforts can be frustrated when we’re operating in selfishness. When things don’t “go right,” when we’re “all thumbs,” when it’s “just not our day,” God may be throwing us a hint.

Say you’re on the way to the store and all the way you run into frustrating traffic; once you’re there, the clerk is rude; he doesn’t have the right brand of cigarettes (or let’s say it’s liquor); once you do buy something and return, the package rolls off the seat. Could God be telling you something about liquor?

Imagine reaching for it, which could cause a distraction and perhaps even a minor accident. This too would be in keeping with God’s way. And this too is a sign. God usually sends little fender- benders in an effort to prevent major accidents. When He pierces us, we lose our puffiness. Suffering causes humility. He tries to get us to shift course if we’re straying in a way that could be harmful. And so such a nudge is also a miracle.

Are you frustrated in your search for a job because you’re looking for the wrong kind of work? Are you butting your head against a wall because you are self-seeking, materialistic, or overly ambitious? Are you seeking to imitate the gifts of another instead of utilizing what God has given you?

If so, expect counter-miracles.

That’s not to say that every misfortune is a sign that God is displeased. We can be in step with God – doing His Will -- and face similar challenges. Such are the “tests” of life. As I mentioned, there is resistance from the enemy. But during runs of bad luck, we should pray to discern a pattern. If what we are trying to do is His Will, in the end what we are pursuing will succeed and will do so in proportion to our faith, as well as our diligence. In those cases, the Lord steers our way. In the storm, we are protected.

In 2005, a first-time skydiver survived a 3,500-foot plunge to earth after his parachute failed to open properly. He told a national television audience that he experienced extraordinary comfort as he prayed on the way down. He said he made a last-minute plea to God. "I said, 'OK, well, I trust you, I believe in you, and if there's any way, I'd love to see my family again, so help me out here,'” recounted the man, Daniel Levy Cave, who was skydiving near Seattle. "And I just felt -- I got to say, I just felt like the biggest hug in the world and just this warm embrace. It was the most amazing thing ever. And at that point, I thought, either way, this is going to turn out good, so, and here I am. I don't know how." He came away with only a broken leg, a broken jaw, and some internal injuries. That’s more than twice the height of the Empire State Building.

He had released into God.

The same is for us: release into God. Just release.

A hand saves a woman as she is ready to go over the brink of the Niagara. It is a human hand. But who put that person there?

[adapted from Michael Brown's The God of Miracles]

[resources: Retreat, Atlanta and Holy Land pilgrimage in November]

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