The delay of a dropped set of car keys keeps someone out of a horrible accident. Someone’s cancer goes into remission. Someone awakes from a long coma. Someone decides to keep a baby instead of get an abortion. An atheist’s eyes are opened to God’s grace, and accepts Jesus Christ as their savior. Someone hears God’s calling and decides to serve God through vocations.
It is easy to see miracles when good things happen. But how often do we hear, especially from those who’s faith is weak or completely absent, “How can a loving God let bad things happen, especially to good people?” If you look deeper, you can see God’s miracles at work there too.
A natural disaster strikes and affects thousands, tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands or even millions. When aid workers and charities show up to help, isn’t the miracle that the victims can experience God’s love through the hands of others? And certainly it is a miracle that those aid workers, many of whom are Catholic or some other Christian denomination, get the opportunity to spread God’s word and show others what it means to be a follower of Christ.
Someone gets a terminal illness or condition and spends months in the hospital. Perhaps the miracle is that the situation caused a family that was once fractured to come together and realize that long-held and petty differences need to be put aside.
An untimely job loss puts a family in a tough situation. Maybe the miracle is their extended family that helps out. Maybe the miracle is that someone who was working too hard and spending too little time with their family realizes this and uses the opportunity to change their priorities.
When she was 21, Norma McCorvey, the the “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade, fought for the right to have an abortion. Though she never had the abortion she fought for the right to have, the tragedy of that court case has killed millions of babies. The miracle is that today Norma McCorvey has dedicated her life to overturning Roe V. Wade and to preserving the dignity of all human life from natural conception to natural death.
Throughout the Bible we see examples of tragedy that are actually miracles that were parts of God’s plan. The tragedy of The Great Flood gave us God’s promise that he would never again destroy everything that lives and there would always be summer and winter, and He gave us the rainbow as a reminder of that promise. The tragedy of the Jewish exile into Babylon as told in Isaiah — God’s punishment for their turning away from Him — resulted in the miracle of the survival of a righteous remnant that returned to Judah. And the greatest tragedy of all, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, resulted in the greatest miracle of all, His resurrection. It also resulted in God’s greatest gift: our salvation and our inheritance of His grace.
Even in the darkest of times and the most horrific of tragedies, God is there, and His miracles are there. Even in the midst of the tragedy of sinful decisions, God’s will perseveres through His everyday miracles. Rather than dwell upon tragedy, we must, in humble prayer, seek God’s will in all things, and look for the everyday miracles that are examples of God’s merciful and loving hands all around us.