People like to read stories about sensational miracles. First-hand accounts of how God intervenes in people’s lives are proof to some that He exists. Since the majority of Christians aren’t subject to grand miracles like visions, exorcisms, or unexplained healings, they experience them vicariously through top-selling books written by others that have been.
I could tell of my grandson’s miraculous deathbed healing, of casting out demons from family members, or even of dreams and visions I’ve had. I could write a book about many such events that have occurred in my life, but there are many books already on the market that do that. My goal is to have readers recognize the hand of God in their own lives rather than be in awe of the miracles in mine.
This book is designed to show that all followers of Jesus have miraculous events happen in their lives from time to time. But because they are not grandiose in nature many are passed off as chance or coincidence. When viewed through spiritual eyes, these small miracles will appear as awesome as the healing of a blind man, the raising of the dead, or, as is used for the main example of this book – the parting of the Red Sea.
While studying the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt early in my Christian walk, I couldn’t help think of how easy it would be to believe in God if He did something grand like that for me. If waters parted in front of me like they did for them, I would never doubt the existence of my Creator again I thought. I couldn’t understand how Israel murmured and doubted throughout their journey in the wilderness after seeing the hand of the Almighty so clearly.
I excused my own murmuring and complaining by reminding God He hadn’t performed such miracles for me. I prayed for Him to reveal Himself by giving me visions, healing me from infirmities of the flesh, or giving me power to heal others that suffered.
God would answer these prayers, but first He had to humble me. He showed me how arrogant I was being in my errant judgment of His people Israel. A single event started an over three decade long lesson that provided both the concepts of this book and its title:
It was approaching dusk on a Friday evening in southwest Florida. I stood on the top rung of a step ladder, attempting to re-assemble a valve used to fill an oversized house water reservoir tank. While installing the last of the screws in the top of the valve, the screw slipped from my fingers and fell toward the mulch bed below me. I tried desperately to follow the tiny silver object as it descended into the sea of reddish-brown chips, but the ladder blocked its final resting place from my view. I was confident the shiny screw would stand out against the backdrop of the sharply contrasted mulch.
It didn’t. I spent the next twenty minutes on my hands and knees looking under each piece of mulch within a six foot square. With each passing minute, I grew more frustrated. The sun was sinking fast, and unless I found the screw soon, the homeowner would be without running water for the weekend. At one point I started yelling; throwing and kicking wood chips everywhere.
“This is ridiculous! Where the (expletive) can it be? It’s got to be right here. Why the (expletive) is this happening to me?”
Realizing the foolishness of my tantrum, I quelled my anger and started turning over individual chips again. As a newly born again Christian, I became more and more ashamed of the way I had acted. Since my baptism, I’d been able to keep my temper and cussing under control until that moment. The Holy Spirit began working on my heart, convincing me to apologize to God. While still on my knees in the mulch, I closed my eyes and uttered a prayer:
“Father, I am sorry for acting like I just did. I don’t want to be like that anymore. Please forgive me for cussing and help me to overcome my anger. I need this screw so I can get these people water, but I can’t find it. I know You can see it from Your throne in heaven. Please help me to see it. Thank you, Father.”
When I opened my eyes, something told me to get back on the ladder. From my lofty perch I looked down, and lo and behold, in plain sight, lying in a furrow where the red sea of mulch was parted, dead center of the six foot square I had just unsuccessfully scoured, was the glistening screw.
“Thank you, Father.” I shouted, climbing down to retrieve it.
Praising the Lord all the while, I threaded the fastener into the top of the valve, fired up the house pump and tested for leaks. I finished the job with just a sliver of orange still showing on the horizon.
During the ride home, I hummed, sang and whistled praises to God for the miracle He performed.
The symbolism of the red sea of mulch being parted was not lost on me. I recognized God’s hand in this event. At the moment I spotted that screw, I was no less convinced that Jehovah was with me than were the children of Israel when they stood between the billowing walls of water.