The word “miracle” is thrown around quite a bit in the sports world. Sometimes it actually applies.
It’s prevalent this time of year, especially, thanks to March Madness.
Whether it’s a massive upset by a lower seed in the first round (remember 15th-seeded Richmond over No. 2 seed Syracuse in 1991?), or perhaps a giant-slaying in the NCAA Championship (N.C. State over Houston in ‘83, Villanova’s near-perfect second half to beat Georgetown in ’85), the tournament seems to bring high-caliber drama more consistently than any other event.
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: Don’t get me started on this year’s tournament to date. My bracket has more red lines than the old Soviet national hockey team. More on them in a moment).
More often than not, rather than a game itself, we think of miracles happening in a single moment within the game. Who can forget these, complete with links to the TV or Radio calls:
- - Chritian Laetner’s buzzer beater vs. Kentucky http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3_IT622Sbc
- - Buck Belue to Lindsay Scott for a Sugar Bowl clinching 93-yard TD http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vOhWVvsrq5k
- - Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round The World” that beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the final game of a 3-game playoff in 1951 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T0drh8i4Tw
- - Or, as much as it pains me to say it (Bengals fan that I am), the Immaculate Reception. It is still, arguably, the single greatest “miracle” play in all of sports http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9raZmOBH_o
Of course only one use of the word “miracle” has become part of the American sports lexicon – the Miracle on Ice, in which the United States Olympic Hockey Team – college kids – took down the mighty Soviet Union in the semifinals of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY.
It is, perhaps, the defining moment in all of American Sports http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYscemhnf88
Biblically, miracles are almost always supernatural events. From the parting of the Red Sea, to the virgin birth of Jesus, all the way through His resurrection from the dead, the Bible provides documentation of these events for us to both study and marvel.
And because of the nature of those happenings from God’s Word, we often make the mistake of believing miracles don’t occur today.
But they do. You just have to recognize them. Usually it occurs in hindsight.
Speaking personally, in 26 months and counting without steady employment, it’s a miracle my family and I are still in our house. God has provided our needs (He’s also taught me the difference between wants and needs. I have a habit of getting them confused).
Not once has our power been shut off. Never have we been without food. We’ve always had a car and found a way to distribute each of us to our needed destination.
There have been times that I didn’t know where, when or if the next paycheck was coming. Still don’t. And yet without fail God made a way. Not always the way I would have chosen, or at the time I wanted.
But in His way, on His time, the Heavenly Father has provided us with exactly what it’s taken to get by month to month.
It’s taken some major adjusting on our part. On my part, especially. But more and more every day I see myself relying on the providence of God rather than the strength of Dan. Because God is our only strength. And if history has taught me anything these past 26 months, it’s that the more I try to fix things the worse they get broken.
Oh, I still have my moments. Too many of them in fact. But at least I’m aware now, and it doesn’t take me nearly as long to figure out I’m only making the situation worse.
That alone might even be considered a divine miracle. Or at least a strong work in progress with Jesus patiently guiding the course.
No, friends, there are miracles around us. Everyday. God is still God. He works in His own way on His own time. But make no mistake about it. He works.
It’s up to us to pay attention. To study His Word more frequently, more passionately. And with the guidance of the Holy Spirit more and more of His work will be revealed to us.
Given where my life was headed until that wonderful morning of June 10, 2012, the fact that my family is still together is yet another of God’s miracles. And other than my salvation, it’s the one I’m most thankful for today.
Miracles still happen. We just have to know where to find them.
This article can also been seen soon at www.J31.org - the Job 31 Ministries website.