“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.”
–1 Kings 19:11-13 (NLT)

When I first heard about God, I got some pretty mixed-up ideas about Him. I was about 10 years old and, thanks to my parents’ arrangements, I got to spend a week at a Christian summer camp. I didn’t know God or Jesus yet, so I didn’t think I would fit in too well at this camp. However, I soon came to know quite a bit about God and Jesus, thanks to the stories a pastor told during worship each morning and evening. Some of my favorite stories involved the miracles which God and Jesus performed, such as turning water to wine and giving sight to the blind.

One morning, upon returning to my assigned cabin after worship, I had an exciting idea. If God could perform instant miracles in those stories, then what would stop Him from creating a little miracle now? I decided to test God by asking Him to perform a child-sized miracle for me. I picked up one of the rocks I’d collected from the lake near our cabins, and I asked God to turn it into a brand-new toy. Of course nothing happened to that rock, and I was a little disappointed. I didn’t let that disappointment get in the way of my relationship with God, and I asked Jesus into my life a few days later, but I still wondered whether God could really grant wishes or perform miracles.

As I grew older, I came to realize that God is not a wishing machine or a genie in a lamp. He will not give us everything we ask for on demand, like a pay-per-view TV station. But I believe that God still performs miracles. They aren’t usually huge and sensational events. Instead, they often seem small and insignificant, but have a great and far-reaching effect.

Each one of us is a miracle of God-given life. The natural world is full of living things, and even though some animals and plants will die in the winter, more will be born in the spring. God brings about wonderful things in our own backyards as well. My husband and I often think about how out-of-the-blue our first meeting was, and how so many small life events coincided to bring us together.

So, even though God won’t give us every little thing our hearts desire, he does perform miracles by working His will in our lives. God’s will is not always fun, exciting or easy to follow, but He has promised to make all things work together for good, as long as we are called according to His purpose. I hope you will remember the lesson lesson Elijah learned in our opening scripture. God’s brand of magic does not often come in the form of awesome fires or earthquakes. His work is much more quiet, but its beauty is sensational.

The greatest miracle of all is the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, who is ready to welcome you with open arms if you’re ready to ask him into your life.

Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You may also send your donation to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 377 E. Chapman Ave., Suite 260, Placentia, CA 92870.

If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 641-715-3900, ext. 874157.