Don't Overlook the Not-So-Obvious

I'm teaching a series on the miracles of the Old Testament, and frankly, I'm finding it difficult to narrow the study down to a dozen or so.  There are so many, and I'm talking big, wonderful works of God.  David and Goliath.  The walls of Jericho.  Daniel in the lion's den.  The three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace.  Abraham and Sarah's miracle child in their old age.  The opening of Hannah's womb.  Elijah and the prophets of Baal.  On and on, the list could go.  Such fantastic accounts.  Such wondrous events.  And the lessons that we can learn from each story are innumerable.

But I'm afraid that we sometimes become so fascinated by the "big, showy miracles" that we overlook the ones that are just as awesome, but not quite so obvious.  Take this one for example:

Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. - Deuteronomy 8:4

In this passage, the Lord is talking to the children of Israel, reminding them of all He had done for them.  Obviously, He did mighty things during that period of time, like parting the Red Sea and raining down manna from Heaven.  But notice what the passage above states.  It may not be dramatic or flashy, but take it from an avid hiker, this is a miracle!  Their clothes (including their shoes) didn't wear out, and their feet didn't swell.  Seriously?  Wow!

I don't care how short or easy of a hiking trail we walk, my feet swell.  Obviously, they swell more on warm days or when the trail is long or strenuous, but they always swell some.  It's just part of the hiking experience.  Another part of the experience is knowing that you'll be replacing your hiking boots on a regular basis.  Good shoes are important when hiking, and no matter how tough or expensive the shoes are, they will wear out before long.  

My poor shoes don't stand a chance.  I wear out every pair of hikers I have in the exact same spot--the inside of my right heel.  Because of my back injury, I have an odd gait, which evidently causes me to rub my foot more against the heel portion of my right shoe.  But once they're worn, they have to be discarded.  Otherwise, they cause blisters.

Can you imagine walking for forty years and never having to get new shoes?  Better yet, can you imagine being on your feet for that long without them being swollen afterwards?  No, it may not be a jaw-dropping, eye-bulging type of miracle like some of the others, but it is a miracle nonetheless.

So, how often in life do we make the same mistake?  We look around at the miracles that God is doing for others and wonder, "Lord, when do I get a miracle?"  Meanwhile, God has been working those not-so-obvious miracles in our lives without our even noticing it.  The gas in the car lasts longer than it really should have.  Friends and family invite you to dinner throughout the week, saving you the cost of groceries, not to mention the time and energy to fix the meal (always a good thing in my book).  Nearly everything you bought at the grocery store was on sale or marked down.  A friend or family member offers you their used television, refrigerator or microwave when they update their own.  

Do you see what God is doing?  No, He's not dropping $1,000 in your lap.  No, maybe He's not giving you a raise or a bonus.  Perhaps He's not allowing you to get those new toys you've been wanting.  But He is taking care of you in ways that you're often too busy to notice.  Instead of giving you money, He's saving you money.  He is providing for you, just in a different way than what you were hoping or expecting.  But isn't it a miracle nonetheless?  Absolutely!

We respond to God's "big" miracles with oohs, ahhs and lots of praise, but how will we respond to the "not-so-obvious" miracles?  Well, first off, we need to be paying attention so that we won't overlook them.  Second, we should respond in the exact same way as if the Lord had parted the Red Sea for us.  He has provided.  What difference does it make how He provided?  Are we really going to be that picky?