There I was, sitting in church on that summer day with my mother, as Monsignor Pearce read the Gospel during Mass. I must have been about 10 years old. After Monsignor read the scripture, he looked up and commented how warm it was in the church and requested that an usher open the door to let in some cooler air. At that moment, a breeze from an open window opposite the door blew hard enough to make the door open a few inches. It caused some chuckles, but I wondered if God had performed a little miracle then and there. Funny that I should remember that after all these years. Monsignor was a stern man and seemed very holy, but I don’t think he instigated a miracle. Breezes can open doors.
I do think that sometimes we expect God to answer our prayers as if he were a magician. Certainly, he is all-powerful and did create the universe, but I have come to believe that we should not be surprised that our timeline is not his.
Did you ever consider that God made the cycles and order of all things, all the processes, and configurations? If it were not for the patterns and predictabilities, the laws of nature, how would we be able to understand probabilities? How would new discoveries and inventions by us humans ever come about? Those breakthroughs and all-important “game-changers” are gifts from our loving Father! The more we use our brains and ingenuity to understand creation around us, the more we can be grateful for the gifts God gives us.
Granted, sometimes miracles big and small do happen, and I suggest that even the definition of “miracle” can vary from person to person. I am sure you have heard that “God works in mysterious ways.” What is important is that God loves all of us, and we just have to open our doors of patience, trust and faith. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.(NRSV)
My stern pastor, Msgr. Pearce, did not have to wait long for his request to be answered by God, the breeze, or whatever. We, on the other hand, sometimes have to wait a long time before our desires are met. The Book of Psalms contains many keys to opening the doors to prayer as we wait.
Whether we are young or old, Isaiah 40:28-31 gives us hope and encouragement as well:
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (NRSV)
We can rely upon the Holy Spirit who will send breezes to open our occasionally creaky doors when we faithfully pray.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27)
Photo credit: Simon Berger
Scripture passages are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, CT. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.