The Miracles You Make

There are two types of miracles: Those beyond nature and those clothed within it. The water of the Nile turning into blood was beyond nature. The victory of the Maccabees over the Greek army came dressed as a natural occurence—they had to fight to win.

Both types of miracles are necessary.

If we would see only miracles beyond nature, we would know that G‑d can do whatever He likes—but we might think He must break the rules to do so. We would know a G‑d who is beyond nature, but not within it.

If we would see only miracles that are clothed within nature, we would know a G‑d that is Master of all that happens within nature.

But we might think He is limited within it.

Now we know a G‑d that is at once both beyond all things and within them. In truth, there is nothing else but Him.

-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
“Stereo Miracles”
Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe
Rabbi M. M. Schneerson
Chabad.org

Take note of any positive occurrence that happens to you and give thanks to the Almighty for it.

Some common examples: your eyeglasses fall to the ground and do not break, or you find something you’d been missing.

-Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
“Daily Lift #652: Watch for Positive Occurrences”
Aish.com

When most of us think about miracles, we think of those that wildly violate the laws of physics…the Sun standing still in the sky and that sort of thing. But as Rabbi Freeman points out, there are miracles that we must participate in for them to occur. The Maccabees wouldn’t have won over the Greek army if they didn’t fight. The Reed Sea wouldn’t have parted (according to midrash) if Moses and the Children of Israel hadn’t first stepped into the water. The woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25-34) would not have been cured if she had not believed in the power of Jesus to heal and then touched his garment.

These were all supernatural events, but they required the very natural and real participation of the human beings involved. Otherwise, they would never have occurred.

I guess that’s what faith and trust is. You know you have to do something. You believe God has told you to do something that is very difficult or, by your own estimation, impossible. And so you must do it or at least try.

But according to Jewish belief, we are not to depend upon miracles. That is, we’re not to get ourselves into a bad situation and then expect God to bail us out with a miracle.

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Matthew 4:5-8 (ESV)

Even Jesus didn’t depend on God’s miracles when he was being tested and tormented. He just remembered God, remembered the Words of God, and had faith.

And at times when anything good does happen to us, whether it is an “obvious” miracle or not, Rabbi Pliskin says we are to give thanks. Sounds very similar to another good piece of advice:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

Rejoice always, pray always, and thank God in every circumstance. Watch for positive occurrences because they indicate the presence of God. Rabbi Freeman also said:

There are open miracles that break the laws of nature as though they were meaningless—miracles any fool can perceive.

Then there are miracles that take some thought to realize that yes, something out of the ordinary occurred here.

And then there are miracles so great, so wondrous, that no one but G‑d Himself is cognizant of them. They are the miracles that occur continuously, at every moment.

Beyond the supernatural, laws of physics violating miracles, and the ones that happen when we cooperate with God, there are those that happen all of the time and exist beyond our awareness. Or perhaps these are the miracles that happen all the time and we’re just not paying attention. Miracles like a baby being born. Miracles like your heart continuing to beat in your chest. Miracles like the ability to take in a deep breath of air. Miracles like watching the first rays of the Sun shine over the dark horizon.

Miracles like just being alive. This is why observant Jews say upon awakening:

I gratefully thank you, living and existing King for returning my soul to me with compassion. Abundant is Your faithfulness.

Of prayer and miracles, it is also said:

We pray and He answers with blessings. But we ask, “If you are already giving us blessings, why in such clumsy packages with so many strings attached?”

And He answers, “If you are giving me your innermost heart in prayer, why in such thick layers of ego? Why with such cold words? Why do you hold back your tears?”

“I’ll make you a deal,” He says. “You bare your souls from their wrappings, and I will bare My blessings of their clouds.”

-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
“Unwrapping”
Based on letters and talks of the Rebbe
Rabbi M. M. Schneerson
Chabad.org

May blessings and miracles continue in your life.

11 thoughts on “The Miracles You Make”

  1. James: Deeply moving meditation. For personal reasons, am thankful our Father directed me to check your writings this morning. This meditation has made me weep in the right way.

    Shalom Rav…..

  2. James:

    Oh dear, i thought that Shalom Rav meant ‘great peace’ …but that is prob. because my Hebrew language skills are still at the basic levels…..Whatever you thought i meant, this is okay too….

    Reflecting on Michelle’s comment: Today’s politics is tomorrow’s history. History is His-Story. What a great blessing it is for us all to have the words of Psalm 2. Mankind can think what he wants, design and redesign God’s World, plan, control, exert power…but the end will be as Our God planned it from the beginning. Our prayer is that we are able to recognize Evil where it exists and pray and speak out against it. That goes for upholding the Good as well.

    The subtleties and meaning of miracles as you describe, James, explain well how we, individuallly and collectively, are involved in the way that Plan unfolds. It is a great privilege.

    Shalom, without the rav…..

  3. On another note, I’m hopeful that the omission of your daily countdown for several days now means that you won’t be pulling the plugin this blog?

  4. Probably not, but frankly, too many other topics have come up for me to focus on the “Days” series. Will probably pick it up again soon. Thanks for the reminder. 😉

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