Miracle


A twig snapped. Brayleigh turned to see a pair of yellow eyes staring at her. A wolf!



At first, she was rooted to her spot staring at the powerful black furry creature. Fear brought sweat to her brow and her heart beat against her ribs. A slow step back. Another. The ground beneath her foot slid. Swoosh! Gravity pulled her through the hole. Thud. She landed in the dark earth. Terror gripped her before the pain in her arm. She landed with her arm twisted under her.

From her shoulder to her fingers pain seared. She used her other arm to raise herself off the injured one. It must be broken. Fingers refused to move. Sure enough—a bone was almost sticking through the skin. She passed out.

A while later, she came to and realization of her predicament assailed her. She needed help!

First, she needed to immobilize her arm. She slowly pulled her belt off, refastened the buckle, and slid it over her head. With gentle movements, she placed her injured arm on the belt and her hand between the buttons of her shirt, to rest on her stomach.

She peered around her. The space was a small room. There didn’t appear to be any other way out—but up. Sunlight barely penetrated. Shaking, she rose and leaned against the wall of her cave. Her head swam and her breath was ragged. A yell would not be heard from any human. She was all alone.

It was up to her and she needed to climb out. Try as she might, she was not able get a good toe hold. A few rocks littered the ground. Brayleigh drug them over to make stepping stones. She tentatively climbed. The climb was slow—she only had use of one hand. Any jolt of the injured one brought extreme pain.

The fourth stone slipped and so did she. Bang! This time, she landed on her backside and thankfully didn’t hit her head. “Thank You Lord!” The prayer escaped her lips. Realization struck her. She hadn’t prayed. “Lord, I am all alone and hurt. Please help me. I need strength to get out or... a miracle.”

Sweet peace washed over her. With new resolve, she stacked the rocks. She tilted her head up and glimpsed a ledge. “I just need to get to the ledge then maybe I can pull myself up from there.” She giggled. “I’m talking to myself again. Oh, well, hearing myself makes me feel better.”

She lifted her leg. Snap! She spun to the noise. “What was that?” Brayleigh didn’t see anything. Dead silence met her. Her foot came down on the first rock. As she climbed, she kept her eyes peeled to where the sound came from. A scraping came from the dark crevice. She was not alone!

A nose poked out followed by dark eyes. She didn’t wait to find out what it was. Fear made her scramble up the rocks. From the top rock, she leapt to the ledge, pulling herself up. She lie panting on the flat surface. “Amazing! I made it! Thank you Lord!” she paused and frowned, “Did you just give me a miracle?” She poked her face over the edge. “Wow. What a long way down. I wouldn’t normally be able to make the jump. I guess the Lord sent that, whatever it is, to frighten me into a mighty leap.” A smile grew at the realization.

Her legs were weak but held her up. Brayleigh stretched and reached. “I can’t reach the top!” She sat. Knees up and head resting on them, she prayed. “Lord, I need another miracle. I’m too short to reach out of this hole. My arm is throbbing. I keep getting dizzy. I’m frightened, tired, and thirsty. No one knows where I am and I don’t want to cry.” A sob erupted. She swallowed another. Brayleigh got to her feet. Automatically, she reached up and her foot found a hold. The rock took her weight. Her other foot found a thick protruding root.

There she was—suspended on the side of the wall, with loose dirt sliding down all around her. She hugged and pressed as she searched for another foot hold. That’s when she almost screamed!

Those yellow eyes pierced hers. The wolf!
 
She trembled. Did he want to eat her? She whispered, “Lord, now what do I do?”

“He is my creation. Trust me.”

Those words reverberated through her being. “Is that You, Lord?”

“Reach up.”

Her hand reached upward almost on its own. The wolf leaned toward her and opened his mouth. She squeezed her eyes tight. A tug on her shirt collar and she was rising. Without a second thought, she opened her eyes and grabbed hold of soft fur. Inch by inch she ascended.  The progress stopped. The wolf started to slip. “Oh no! Lord, please!”

Wings beat the air around her. A huge black bird grabbed the other side of her shirt. Together they pulled her up and over the side. The bird swooped away to the nearest tree to survey her. The wolf trotted a bit away, sat and glowered at her. A tremble went through her. She slowly sat up—careful of her injury.

“Thank you again Lord. I don’t understand. Why would these animals help me? Your ways are higher than mine. Shall I get up and go home? How do I thank these beautiful yet frightening creatures?”

All through her prayer to the Lord, her eyes had never left the wolf. “Thank you wolf for saving my life.” She relaxed.

Her gaze went to the bird she believed to be a hawk. “Thank you for helping the wolf save my life.” The hawk dipped his head, flapped his mighty wings, and soared into the cloudless blue sky.

She turned toward the wolf, but he was gone. Brayleigh swiveled her head back and forth. “Well, if you are still watching, I’m leaving now.”

She carefully picked herself up and headed home. “No one will believe me. But I know what happened. Mama always said, ‘God works in mysterious ways.’ Oh, boy... does He!”

 

Boys and girls, the Lord does do things we cannot understand. Anything He does is a miracle because He is the only one who does miracles. His miracles may be large ones like what happened to Brayleigh or small ones we don’t see or recognize. He protects us and gives us things we need all the time. All we need to do is have faith in Him. Trust Him to get us through. He doesn’t say He will take away our trials but that He will get us through them. We just need to have faith. Brayleigh is a fictional character from my imagination but I know people who have experience great miracles like she did, myself included.

The thing I want you to take away from this story is faith and a relationship with the Lord. If you have trusted the Lord as Savior, you have a loving heavenly Father who wants what is best for you. He loves for you to talk to him about anything. You develop the kind of relationship Brayleigh exampled by talking to him and listening to His voice and reading His words in the Bible.

 

The verse Brayleigh quoted is Isaiah: 55:8 “For my thought are not your thoughts, nor are your way my ways.” says the Lord.

It would be a great idea if you memorized that verse.

 

Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated

 

 

A Giving Christmas (2015)

I love Christmas time. The snow, decorations, beautiful lights, special food, music and caroling, and the spirit of Christmas makes me glow with warmth. I love presents--don’t you? I’m happy to receive but most importantly, I love to give.

When my children were small I shopped and picked out just the right thing to wrap for them to open on Christmas morning. I didn’t wrap the gifts until Christmas Eve after the children were snug in bed. I made sure each package looked pretty and then carried them to the tree.

I would hardly sleep on Christmas Eve. Excitement filled me. I am not normally a morning person which means I need to sleep in a little and don’t jump right out of bed. I tend to be a night owl. I love to stay up late. On Christmas morning, typically to this day, I’m the first one awake. I lie there in the dark just waiting until I think the sun is finally peeking over the horizon.

As soon as possible, I nudged my sleeping husband awake. I crept out of bed and threw on a robe and slid my feet into soft slippers. I slipped into the kitchen and made coffee. Then, I turned on all the beautiful Christmas lights. They looked so pretty in the semidarkness.

The tree was gorgeous with packages in reds, green, gold, and silver. Sure enough, the stockings were overflowing with cool trinkets, fruit, and candy.

I couldn’t wait to see my kid’s faces as they saw the gifts. Tradition in our home is to play the Chipmunks on a record, tape, or now a CD. Their father would que it up and the Chipmunks would blare Christmas songs. This was the cue for the children and our faithful dog, Chance, to come out of their rooms.

Their faces, though sleepy, would glow and split into a huge grin. Expressions of “Oh,” “Ah,” and “Look!” passed out of their lips. I sat and watched. I was filled with a joy knowing I helped make their Christmas special. We didn’t have a lot of money for gifts but that wasn’t important. What was important was doing and giving to others and making it seem special.

My children are all grown now and I have eleven grandchildren with my husband’s grandchildren, we have 16. I still love Christmas and try to make it as special as I can.

I hope you have a heart that would rather give than receive. Our Christmas’ would not have been as special if we only thought about getting gifts. Then the focus would have been only on the gifts and who got what and not on others and their needs to feel special.

We should have a heart to give. This time of year we are reminded again and again to give to others. I hope that is what you love to do all throughout the year.

Have a blessed and merry Christmas!