Do miracles still happen today?
It’s a question that can’t help but be asked. As Christians, we’ve read the stories of the blind being able to see and the lame being able to walk. We’ve heard of the miraculous ways that God worked in the lives of countless people throughout the ancient world. But do miracles still happen today? Real, true, verifiable miracles? And if they do, would we know one when we saw it?
We live in a society where people no longer trust what they see or hear or feel. Doubt is a way of life. Evidence can’t be trusted, no matter how high a percentile it ranks in validity. People find it easier to accept a thousand bad things rather then let the light of one good thing shine through. In such a time, I can’t help but think that miracles are more needed than ever.
In my own life, I have seen many miracles. Some small and some enormous. I’ve felt them in my heart and experienced their wonder. My very life and the lives of my children are miracles. The Lord has blessed me in more ways than I could ever imagine. But one of the most amazing miracles I’ve seen produced by faith—true, unadulterated faith—is one that happened to my son Hub two winters ago.
The Sunday before Christmas at church, Hub was knelt on the kneeler and was praying. Then he stuck his hand in his shirt, waited a few moments, and pulled it out of his shirt and examined it. Then he prayed more. Then he put his hand under his shirt, waited a few moments, pulled it out again, and reexamined it. Again he prayed, and again he stuck his hand in his shirt and the pattern repeated. After watching him repeat this pattern several times, I asked him what he was doing. He looked up at me, smiled, and said, “I’m trying to do a wonder.”
He then went on to tell me that he was trying to do a wonder like Moses when Moses’s hand was diseased by the Lord and then healed by the Lord.
(And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. Exodus 4: 6-7 KJV)
I tried to explain to Hub that he couldn’t choose when and where a wonder would happen. He told me that he had prayed about it and that he was in church, so he knew the Lord was listening. I thought maybe he was confused, that maybe somehow he thought that every prayer he had would be answered simply because he prayed it in church. Not wanting to discourage his faith if I was wrong, I let it go.
After church, I told the pastor about Hub’s quest to perform a wonder like Moses. In a moment of true clarity, the pastor told Hub that God isn’t a magician and that He doesn’t do tricks whenever we want them—that Hub would have to let things happen on God’s time and not Hub’s time, but that when they did, Hub would be ready.
One week passed. No wonder.
A second week passed. No wonder.
But Hub didn’t give up. He had asked God to let him perform a wonder, and he was going to patiently wait it out until one happened.
On the fifteen day after he had prayed for a wonder, an accident happened.
Hub and Diddle had gotten out a metal step ladder to work on a project in the living room. It was about six o’clock, and my husband Patrick was at work. I was busy making dinner and cleaning the house. I walked into the living room to pick up some papers and asked the kids to put the step ladder away. They lifted the latch and closed the step ladder.
Suddenly I heard Hub scream in agony. He had gotten his hand caught in the metal joint of the step stool. He couldn’t get it out, and the more he yelled for Diddle to open the ladder, the more confused she got and the harder she seemed to squeeze it shut. It was a pure accident on her part, totally and completely, but the damage was done.
When we finally got the ladder open, Hub pulled out a purple hand. His ring finger was straight to the first joint and then the rest was crooked and twisted and deep purple. It looked awful! His pinkie was purple and green, and all of his fingers were already swelling. He couldn’t bend them, and I was certain that the ring finger was broken since it was so crooked. Even worse, he said he couldn’t feel them.
“I can’t feel my hand! I can’t feel my hand!” he told me over and over as I tried to wrap my brain around what had just happened.
When that metal joint was closed, he was screaming in pain, but the moment he pulled it out, he stopped crying. I didn’t know what to think. I figured he must have had some type of nerve damage because he repeatedly said that he couldn’t feel his hand at all.
And then, as if something just overcame me, I was calm. I immediately got an ice pack and wrapped it in a pillowcase. I placed part of the fabric on the arm of the chair, laid his hand on top of the fabric, and then closed the ice pack in the fabric over his hand to kind of sandwich it in.
As a mother who is known to take action when it comes to her kids, my behavior was amazingly peaceful. Once I had his hand folded within the pillowcase and ice pack, I went to the kitchen and finished making dinner. Let me be clear here. I knew he had broken his finger, and my gut reaction would normally have been to rush him to the ER and find help. But something stopped me.
Instead of panicking, I went about my normal routine. I had somehow decided to see if we could get the swelling down before making a decision about whether we should go to the ER or wait to go to his pediatrician’s the next morning.
I left his hand layered inside that pillowcase under ice for almost an hour as I worked on dinner and tried to get things ready in case we needed to go to the ER. He never pulled it out to look at it. He never even moved it. And the entire time, Hub didn’t complain a bit. He still couldn’t feel his hand. And still I remained calm. I reasoned that the ice must have numbed it. And I continued about my household chores.
Then, just as clearly as if I’d done it on cue, I told Hub it was time to check his hand. He didn’t unwrap it like most people would have done. He simply slid it out from between the layers of cloth that had enfolded it. He held his hand up for me to see. It was fine.
Yes. When he finally pulled out his hand from between those layers of cloth, his hand was fine.
Not a little better. Not stunted swelling or mild improvement. It was fine.
There was no more purple or green. His fingers were not swollen or throbbing. And his finger was no longer bent. It appeared as if we had imagined the whole ordeal and his hand had never been touched.
I waited all night thinking that the bruising would come up or the swelling would return. It didn’t.
At bedtime, I checked it again. It looked like nothing had ever happened—not a scratch, not a dent, not a bit of bruising. Nothing. All the feeling had returned, and he could even ball it into a fist. As I held his little hand in my hand, it hit me. I looked up at him and said, “Well, Hub, you got your wonder.”
He smiled from ear to ear. I looked at Patrick, and Patrick took Hub’s hand. He examined it, poked it, moved it. Hub could feel everything Patrick did, and Patrick couldn’t find a flaw.
We were stunned. Hub just beamed. He said, “Well, I think I would have rather had the disease than go through that again.”
We reassured him that he wouldn’t have wanted that, but he just smiled. He told us that God had made it perfect, and he thought it was especially funny that I had thought it was broken and would take a long time to heal. And don’t worry that he thinks that will happen every time. He seems pretty aware that what happened was out of his—or our—control.
But truly, I don’t know how else to explain it—not only his hand being healed but my own reaction to the situation. To this day, I cannot tell you why I would have ever come to the decision to wait to go to the ER on my own. I know that someone else made that decision for me. There is no possible way I could have or would have gone back to laundry and dinner and dishes knowing full well that my child had a mangled, purple and green broken finger—possibly fingers—in the next room. I know that God stopped me from acting on my own accord, and yet it still blows my mind every time I tell this story.
I even checked his hand the next morning to see if the bruising had come up. Nothing. I wish I would have taken a picture to show how awful it looked to start with, but I had no way of knowing the Lord would heal it like that. I have never seen anything like it.
I don’t know how to explain it all. That’s not my job. My job is to share this wonder that happened in 2015. My job is to help others know that God is still in the business of making wonders and that He never stopped making them. My job is to follow God’s lead as we walk down this road and to praise Him for being so active in our lives. The Lord has such plans for His children. I see it every day in my two kids, and it is certainly a wonder in and of itself to be along for the ride.
“For I know the plans I have for you…” Jeremiah 29:11