Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in daily tasks, trying to organize things or in just surviving when our world is spinning out of control that we fail to see God’s miracles among us. My eyes were opened to one of those miracles last Sunday.
Instead of just Al and me, there were four of us together that morning. Our two young grandsons, Nate and Elliot, had spent the night at our house. Needless to say, there was a lot to do before we were ready to go to church. We wanted to get there early because Shanda, their mom, was going to play her viola at the beginning of the service.
Finally, the house was checked one more time to make sure the boys had everything back in their suitcase so that they could go home with their mom and dad afterwards. Then we loaded up the car and made the short drive to our church. Because Nate, Elliot and I weren’t going to stay through the entire service, we climbed the stairs to the balcony and stood near the exit door.
Being in the balcony was exciting for the boys, and even more so when they looked down and saw their mom standing in front of the congregation as she got ready to play. The music, a variation of “Greensleeves” with piano accompaniment, was beautiful. When she finished, Al took the boys to their Sunday School class and I went downstairs to help in the bookstore.
The day was just beginning for Shanda. She was playing again at another service and still had two more “Home for the Holidays” concerts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The boys were going to attend the afternoon concert with their dad and we were going to the one in the evening with another couple.
After the service was over, a friend stopped by the bookstore to visit. She thought Shanda’s viola piece was “stunning.” As I told her about Shanda’s bout with an aggressive form of breast cancer two and a half years ago and then again with a brain tumor in Sept. of 2016, my friend exclaimed that it was the story of a miracle.
Stunning...a good word to describe Shanda’s recovery as well as her talent. Two months after brain surgery, she was playing with the orchestra again. Her memory was intact, motor skills were good and she seemed to get right back into the swing of her busy schedule.
I thought of that again later Sunday evening when the DSO was filling the hall with its incredible music. What a joy she is! And what a joy that she is able to share the gift of her music with so many people!
The story of Christmas is itself the story of miracles, of God intervening in the lives of men. An elderly priest has an unexpected visitor, the angel Gabriel, while burning incense in the temple. He and his barren wife will conceive a child... John the Baptist.
Gabriel also appears to a young woman who is a virgin, telling her that she will become pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit and that her son will be the Savior of the world. God guides her fiance, Joseph, through a dream, leading him not to break up with Mary when he finds out she is pregnant; and later, He uses dreams again to protect them and their newborn son.
Angels appear in the nighttime sky and an announcement is made to some shepherds near Bethlehem of a baby born who would be their Savior. An unusual star leads wise men from the east to Jerusalem and then to the child in Bethlehem; through a dream, the men are warned to avoid King Herod and return home by another route. Stunning! Miraculous!
Lord, open our eyes to see your miracles, our mouths to praise you and our hearts to receive the wonderful gift you have given us — your Son! Amen.
“Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you have planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.” — Psalm 40:5 NIV
Judy Lowery lives in Michigan. The Good News column appears regularly in The Porterville Recorder. You can read more at Judy’s blog, goodnewswithjudy.blogspot.com.