Can a miracle look like nothing?

Originally published Friday, 29 November 2013.

As [Jesus] was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him…One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:12-13; 15-16 (NIV)

I was sitting on a plane when I read her book. 

I turned page after page as Dabney Hedegard wrote about being diagnosed with cancer while she was pregnant, undergoing chemo and having a stem cell transplant (like the one my husband had earlier this year).

I forced myself not to cry as I read how her family were allowed to visit her in isolation to say goodbye because the infection was so bad they were sure she was going to die. 

As I read, I couldn’t help but think of all the things that could have gone wrong when my husband was given a stem cell transplant in July.

I’m reminded of a conversation we had with friend just weeks after my husband was released from hospital. 

This friend looked at my husband and mused, “Your stem cell transplant is a miracle. We think that miracles need to be these things where blind men can see or lame men walk but this, this uneventful transplant is a miracle.”

I knew that was true of me. I find it so much harder to see a miracle when things are ordinary and routine. 

I think about my friends words as I read about how Dabney ended up in ICU, how the guy in the room next door to her died when his transplant didn’t take. I’m reminded of the people I met in the transplant ward who ended up in ICU for weeks. 

Even his oncologist describes my husband’s procedure as going as smoothly as a duck taking to water.

10 000 feet above the earth I realize that my husband and I experienced a miracle. 

I felt such gratitude for God.

I wondered as I sat there if I had thanked God properly for the all miracles and the appropriate response to that kind of grace is anyway. 

And all a sudden I felt like a leper. 

Let me explain, there is a story in Luke 17 about ten men who had leprosy. They asked God to heal them and he did. 

And then nine of them went on with their lives. 

Only one went back and thanked Jesus for healing him. 

9 out of 10 don’t see Jesus in their miracles. 

I felt like I had been one of the nine as I sat on that plane: ungrateful. 

I so badly want to be the one that went back, the one that kneeled at Jesus’ feet, and couldn’t thank him enough.

As we flew I thanked God. Praised him for a miracle that I’d taken for granted. 

This gratitude has stayed with me the last few weeks, worked its way into my heart.  

I am so thankful for miracles that look like nothing. 

Sometimes miracles aren’t found in near-death experiences but in the routine, ordinary things I take for granted. 

Ponder: What miracles have you missed in your life because they were so uneventful? Why not stop and thank God for them now?

Prayer: Thank you God! I know words aren’t enough to express all that you’ve done for me. Help me live with a grateful heart. Amen.

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