Welcome to Miracles Grow

This blog offers refreshment and hope to the weary. It doesn’t begin to have all the answers, but God does. Whenever he brings relief in the midst of a crushing day, a small miracle happens. Share yours with us!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Count it all joy

      Longtime readers have heard me report on the promise God gave to his people in the wilderness:
See, I am sending my angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Exodus 23:20
      Again and again, I have seen how God's hand is at work in my life, going ahead of me, protecting me from perils I could not have imagined before they revealed themselves, and providing extravagant deliverance.
      Here is an example.  About a month ago, an idea came to me to create another blog, called Grannie Libbett's Stories, at grannielibbettsstories.blogspot.com That one would be a place to put the stories I've written for my grandchildren, but available for other children (and adults) to read. My greater plan is to make videos of myself reading the stories and put them on YouTube, so the children can see them in their scattered locations around the country.  Since I don't see them more than once or twice a year, it would be a fun way to "read" to them their stories more often--and let other kids enjoy it as well.
     What God knew is that in the meantime, my brain tumor has been changing. In fact, I'm now slated to have a biopsy within the next few weeks, and then to begin up to a year of chemo.  Our God alone knows what real changes lie ahead, so getting these stories recorded for the grands, and available for them seems like a wonderful idea for now, while I am in good strength, and look like myself.
      Whatever our Lord has in my future, I hold fast to his promise. He is sending his angel ahead, to guard me along the way, and he is bringing me to the place he has prepared for me. His peace floods my soul and spirit. How could it not, with a promise such as that from the God who holds the universe in place?
     How about you and the problems facing you?  The same God is holding you, with the same care and attention to detail.   He is going ahead of you to bring you to the place he has prepared for you, if you allow him to. Don't miss the opportunity before you. You always have the power to choose. Choose well.

Friday, February 11, 2011

God's Valentine

      Regular readers have already heard about the Verse-A-Day Calendar I received from one of my daughters and her family at Christmas.  Yesterday was another example of how God's word is always timely and perfect for a day, no matter when we read it.
       Recent readers know I've been recovering from influenza (the kind in the lungs).  On its way out, it decided to stop in my sinuses.
       So, I was worn pretty thin to face the world on less than a full night's sleep. In a service world, we must let things roll over us; I usually can with ease, but in my broken-down state, I was not relying enough on the Lord's grace when I should have been.  Someone has been demeaning me routinely. I can usually take it in silence. I let down my guard and actually went back two minutes later and requested the person not to do so. In the context where I was, this is considered unacceptable behavior.
      Today, I read what I should have read yesterday: The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. Proverbs 19:11  Here was a perfect direction from the Lord, ready to help me handle this problem before I reacted to it--and I missed it by missing my daily reading before I walked out the door!  The person was not right to belittle me. God doesn't expect us to call a blatantly wrong thing the right thing--but we can overlook it by his grace when we are prepared in his strength.
      This is only a tiny illustration of God's continuous love letter to us. His Word speaks moment by moment in the exquisite breath of freshness our lungs so desperately cry out for. He fills them up for our battles, great and small, and keeps pumping oxygen in longer after we ever began to know we needed it.  God's Spirit breathes life into our inspiration, and respiration, giving strength to do the perspiration.
     Feeling the ache in your heart for a true Valentine this time of year? You have an eternal One. Don't forget all he has done.
For God so loved the world, that he gave...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

God's protection in all ways

     As I write this, I'm home from work for several days with influenza and bronchitis. Before you ask, incredulously, "Didn't you get your flu shot?" No, I couldn't, due to a sensitivity to Thimerisol, the preservative in the vaccine. Thimerisol, a mercury-based preservative that has its own share of controversy, has now been completely removed from children's vaccines, but it was used extensively in contact lens solution for decades.
   That's where my sensitivity developed. I started wearing contacts as a teenager in the late 1960's, and wore them through the 1990's.  For the last 5 years or so that I wore them, I was plagued by a feeling of irritation and matter in my eyes.  Once I found contact solution for "sensitive eyes" (Thimerisol-free), my eyes felt much better!
     Thus began my knowledge of a problem related to Thimerisol. I was then able to avoid it in all my eye products, and thought the story was over.
    Thimerisol resurfaced in my life when I began having annual flu shots. On the disclaimer questionnaires, were the series of questions: are you allergic to eggs? Milk products? Other foods?  Thimerisol?
      Thimerisol?  When I asked about this, my various doctors told me that because my eyes had been extremely irritated, and formed matter in reaction to the product meant my immune system would have some sort of unpredictable response to it being injected into my arm and bloodstream.
     Every year now, I ask again about the new vaccine, hoping this batch doesn't have Thimerisol as a preservative.  In 2010, it did.  So here I am with, as the French call it, la grippe.  But God has graciously given us Tamiflu, which I started on yesterday, as well as antibiotics for the bronchitis (begun on Saturday). The fever's down, and now I just have to keep the nebulizer going to get my lungs back in business.
      What does all this have to do with spiritual things?
      How many times do seemingly innocuous little actions or habits creep into our lives and over the long haul have the potential to produce havoc for us?  All the time!  And yet our God is vigilant in protecting us from them, bringing them to our attention so we can make them right with him. That is, of course, why we must keep so close to him for his guardianship.
      We assume God's faithfulness is present, forgetting the enormous and tiny ways he holds our lives in astonishing balance. Only when it is off-kilter do we recognize how well he has been keeping it together for us.
     Thank you, once more, my magnificent Creator and Lord, for the multitude of ways you hold and maintain the universe--and each of us--in perfect alignment.
"My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip--he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep."
Psalm 121:2-4

Monday, January 24, 2011

On the hoof

     I remember years ago hearing that Billy Graham's wife, Ruth, would leave her Bible open on the dining room table when her children were young. The reason? As they were running around--and she was running after them--she could read a snatch of scripture "on the hoof," in the thick of the action.
    What a wonderful idea, don't you think? Practical, down-to-earth, and timeless. When do you need God's word most? In the heat of battle, of course. Have your Sword of the Spirit ready and drawn. What could be better than to sharpen it with a quick new insight, promise, or exhortation when we need to hear it?
     Let's get creative today.  Let us all look for ways to keep our God present in our daily lives and routines. It is far too easy to let the day run away like a derailed train.
      Remember WHO holds our day, if we let him. He holds the stars in space. My day is no bother to him--and neither is yours. Live on the hoof.
Rejoice evermore.Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Judge not

      My daughter's family gave me a Verse A Day Calendar for Christmas.The calendar has all sorts of verses, from praises to commands to prophecies.  What I'm doing is taking the verse for the day from the calendar, then reading the context around it in my own Bible, and seeing where it leads.   
      One morning recently, I came across Jesus' command in Matthew regarding passing judgment on other people. You know it: "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." (Matthew 7:5)  
     It hit me like a ton of bricks. As "nice" as I am, I judge people who are not my definition of "nice."  I see someone's unkindness to another person, I intervene if I can on behalf of the injured party--but I know I also file away a judgment on the perpetrator in the back of my mind.  
      I've been around people lately who seem to complain constantly, and the complaints feel like drops of acid on my spirit. I try to be Teflon and let this run off, but somewhere deep inside I'm subconsciously judging these people.
      Who am I to do this?  Good question. 
      I'm forced to realize the beam in my own eye is the pride that has long held a  stronghold inside my heart. I take my gifts and talents for granted, but I do take pride in them, forgetting the our Lord is the One who gave them to me. They are his trust to me, for me to use for his glory.  Judgment, of course, is a outward symptom when I take pride for myself, and not my Lord. 

Thank you, Father, for the reminder that when I judge, I need to come back to you in repentance for my pride in holding myself above the other person.

Lord, again, I give this battle back to you. I humble myself and ask for your forgiveness and help to live in the way that will bring honor to you everywhere I go. Give me your eyes to see every person who stands before me with your compassion and your care. Keep my focus on you and your glory, not their shortcomings. 
Thank you that you have us all in your powerful hands, now and evermore.

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