From Connections: Miracle in the 1st degree--and 2nd and 3rd

By Darlene Warren

Stories have been passed down throughout the ages telling of inexplicable events dealing with the life of man. The Bible is full of examples of divine intervention. It would be rare today to find someone who doesn't believe God has touched his life or the life of someone he knows in a supernatural way.

The Bible tells us about the parting of the Red Sea, the angel that stayed Abraham's hand just in the nick of time to prevent Isaac's death, and the resurrection of Christ, Lazarus and others.

And remember the lame man whom Christ told to "take up thy bed and walk"? These are what I like to call "first degree" miracles. The head-snapping, jaw-dropping, quiver-in-the-corner-type miracles. The kind we all pray for, but don't seem to see often enough.

"Second degree" miracles are those recurring acts in nature that ensure the survival of mankind on a day-to-day basis. The sun comes up, the tides roll in, the seasons change. The first signs of fall are finally here, and, while the cooler temperatures are definitely welcome, there's also a tinge of sadness in the air. It's as if God pushed a button and the whole world is about to enter a recycling mode.

Certain trees and flowers (and even some animals) appear to die, but actually they're just settling in for a long, deserved rest. The miracle occurs when the changing seasons force the reawakening of that life.

This type of miracle is just as inexplicable as the "first degree" miracle, we just don't get as excited about it. We're used to it. It's kind of like breathing, but where would we be without it?

"Third degree" miracles are those that kick in when the "first degree" miracles you prayed for didn't happen.

A close friend of mine once told me that learning to cope with ongoing trials is a miracle in itself. It's not necessarily the miracle of choice, but it's definitely performed by God.

It's that miracle of getting out of bed when you tell yourself it's just not worth the trouble. It's that card of encouragement that arrives in the mail just when you thought no one cared. It's the friend who you call up and say, "I need to talk," and when he arrives you don't know what to say, and he understands perfectly.

Is God responsible for these miracles? I believe so.

I must confess the thought has crossed my mind that maybe God has used up all his "good" miracles on those righteous men and women who came before us. But down deep I know better.

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