Look for the small miracles -

So said one dad to another whose grief was fresher than the speaker's. The first dad was a strong man, wise, accomplished and not at all a mystic. The newly bereaved dad was looking for whatever insight or comfort he could get from another bereaved dad who was farther down the road through the valley of the shadow. And the advice given by the non-mystic was “look for the small miracles.” What is a miracle?  He called them “small” so, in this case, we’re not talking about parting the Red Sea or the resurrection. But little things, like a word of comfort that comes at just the right time from just the right person. Or music that moves and salves your soul. Or sharing a tear and a hug with someone else who also loved the child whose death you are grieving.

A small miracle is seeing a rainbow as you are driving on your way home after a particularly hard day. It is hearing your child’s favorite song as you are packing up some of his things. It is finding pennies, when you and your child had an inside joke about pennies from heaven. It’s so many things, different things for each parent. "Miracle" means God making His presence known as He provides a little dose of comfort for you. “Look for” means keep an open heart and mind as things happen while you are grieving.

There was another dad whose son died of cancer about 10 months from his diagnosis. He was 11 years old and a twin. When he was diagnosed, the plan was to get him into remission and then to give him a bone marrow transplant since he had this perfect donor match from his identical twin brother. He did achieve remission, but before they could get the transplant started, even when they were so ready, he relapsed. There was much sadness around the house that day.

After his death, the dad was asked to speak briefly about his experience to the television media. He said, “we were praying for a miracle. And we got one, just not the one we were praying for. I know my son is well, raised to life again, in heaven with Jesus.”  Now, healing would have been a good miracle, but resurrection is better by far – at least for the child. The rest of us get to see him again, but not till a bit later. The resurrection this dad hopes in is the best of all miracles but, for now, dad is grieving with hope.

While he walked this earth, Jesus did miracles for the purpose of proving His is God. He was demonstrating His identity so that the witnesses could believe who He is. You could say the same about the small miracles. He is still working. The result in us should be that we believe He is who He says He is. He is the One who knows you and loves you enough to go to the cross to die because that will relieve you from the penalty for your sins. And then He rose from the grave which guarantees life beyond the grave. Small miracles lead to hope because God is active and involved in your grief process and because heaven is real!

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. I Thessalonians 4:13-14