Old miracles are great to hear about too!
My friend Carrie wrote those encouraging words on one of the pages I took to my most recent writers’ critique group. She’d penned her words in red in response to a comment in my previous post lamenting the fact my quest for Mid-Week Miracle content had led me to consider writing about miracles that happened many, many years ago.
Carrie’s note reminded me of the “old miracle” I recounted last winter in response to a prayer request I’d received from one of my best friends, Toby. Record snowfall had piled up on the mountains surrounding her home. She and her husband were snowed in with a near-empty propane tank and no escape.
The prospect of running out of fuel prompted Toby to text me this request:
As I began to pray for the snow to stop falling and the propane to keep flowing, God stirred me to tell Toby of an “old miracle”. I wasted no time calling her to testify to my very own “fishes and loaves” story. Talk about an “old miracle”, this one took place in the days of overhead projectors and transparencies.
In my late teens, I worked for a law firm where one of the partners decided to present a certain case with visual aids. I rented a projector and copied all the evidence onto a stack of transparencies that the attorney could place one-by-one on the projector with perfectly timed precision to make his dramatic appeal to the jury. Unfortunately, the old-school judge was not impressed with the cutting-edge technology, and called a brief recess to give my boss time to prepare thirteen copies of each and every transparency: one for him and each of the jurors.
My boss raced back to the office, handed me the two-inch stack of transparencies, and set me to work in the copy room.
Within no time, the paper tray emptied.
I entered the supply closet, and to my shock and horror, it contained just one ream of paper. One!
My eyes told me that thirteen times a two-inch stack did not equal one ream. I peeled open that prized package of paper, dropped it in place, and whispered a prayer. “Oh Lord, multiply this paper like the fishes and loaves. May the copy machine’s tray be like the widow’s jug of oil that never ran out.”
I had promised myself not to peek into the paper tray, and my heart pounded as I witnessed the impossible. As the clock ticked a warning that the court’s recess would end soon, I placed the last transparency in the copy machine, selected thirteen copies, and punched the machine’s start button. The counting started in my head, but became a whisper and then a near shout when I reached eleven… twelve…thirteen!
The last page dropped onto the stack and I rushed over to peek into the paper tray.
It was empty!
I looked up at the ceiling and grinned. “Lord!” Unable to contain my excitement, I asked, “How long was that tray empty?”
I laughed out loud and hurried into the law offices to testify about my multiplication miracle to anyone who might listen.
“God is so good! He gave me enough paper to make these copies!”
I was greeted with raised eyebrows and questioning stares, but I knew what God had done. While my former co-workers disregarded the miracle that I had witnessed in that copy room, my dear friend Toby received the news with praise and thanksgiving. My testimony ignited her faith, and sure enough, God provided exactly what she and her husband needed to weather the storm.
Carrie is right. Old miracles ARE great to hear about too!
Come to think of it, from the widow woman with the jug of oil in the 8th Century B.C. to the boy with five loaves and two fish during Jesus’s time on earth, every single miracle in the Bible is old, but they have timeless power to build faith.
Paul’s two-thousand-year-old testimony to the Philippians encourages me to this day.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles… I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied… And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
— Philippians 4:12-20 (NIV)
Paul could assure the Philippian church that God would meet all their needs because he had witnessed God’s miraculous provision personally.
I’ve witnessed my own multiplication miracles more than once, but I still freak out when my supply runs low. Whenever I’m tempted to lose confidence in God’s ability to meet all my needs, it helps to build up my faith by recounting all the ways He has provided in the past. And then I pray, “Do it again, Lord. Do it again!”
Yup. Old miracles are great to hear about too!