Water was turned into wine. Waves were calmed, and the ocean was walked on. Five loaves and two fishes fed thousands, blind men could see and the crippled could walk. Miracles. All of them.
And the one thing that all of these miracles have in common is that they all happened when Jesus was alive. All of them are in the Bible, and, if you are like me, these stories were taught to us at young ages. Miracles can happen. They happened all the time when Jesus roamed the earth.
But as life flies by, day by day, these life-changing miracles that we read about and were so frequent back then just don’t seem to be happening these days. Yes, I know I know. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” John 20:29. And it’s not like I didn’t believe in miracles — I mean, I knew that they happened. It was just that I had not witnessed one with my own eyes.
It all happened so fast. Headache, fever and cough — positive for COVID, quarantined for a week and then boom. One day he was walking into the emergency room where they admitted him and said they could treat him without a ventilator. Less than a day later, he was intubated. And within 24 hours, he was flown to Cleveland Clinic.
But guys, two weeks before that he was cooking up some mean ribs and we were swimming in their pool, playing yard games and sitting by the fire. And yet, that first day at Cleveland Clinic there were talks of complete life support and mentions of “last resort.”
Hits you like a ton of bricks, huh? This otherwise healthy 42-year-old, my brother in law, Ira, who was fine only weeks before, was now alone three hours from home and they were not sure that he would get out of there alive.
And that is when the prayers started pouring in.
You see, Ira, conscious or not — he was not giving up. And you can be sure that my sister was not either. What we didn’t know at that time was that God wasn’t giving up either.
Unsure of where to turn to while waiting on calls and updates from the doctors, my sister, Nik, turned to social media begging for prayers. And let me tell you, this community did not disappoint. Posts were shared over and over again. Hundreds of people whispering, shouting in God’s ear. Churches and centers holding special services for him. Nonstop, Ira’s name was being raised up.
And God heard us. He heard all of you. And He guided the mind and hands of the doctor to try “one more thing.” And, slowly, it started to work.
Slowly is the key word there. I would be lying if I told you that he just got up, pulled the tube out and walked out of the hospital that day. But, in comparison to being told that he could be there for months, in the grand scheme of things — that is loosely how it happened.
There were some days of “no better/but no worse,” and then finally, he turned a corner. It was time to wean him off the vent, but he needed two to six weeks of rehab to get his strength up. After all, he was just on lying in a hospital bed on a ventilator for 11 days.
But, nope. The prayers kept coming in. And Ira kept asking his nurses to get him up and active. His post-vent X-rays looked like a totally different person’s lungs. Doctors were shocked.
And four days after that tube came out, Ira went home. Four. Days.
Research it. It’s unheard of. You don’t recover from something that severe — literally almost fully being kept alive by machines — to walking out of the hospital in four days.
Yes, I believed in miracles. I knew that they could happen. But somehow, witnessing one — a big one — really opens your eyes up to just how many miracles there are around us every single day.
The sun coming up daily, that crash you barely avoided, a breakthrough at work, that open parking spot, finding that one thing you put somewhere that you wouldn’t forget and then you did, heck, even my kids actually putting their laundry in the hamper has become one.
Sure, I feel guilty for not looking around before and really seeing that there are miracles everywhere. And of course, it is much easier to believe now that I have seen. But, I am telling you that nothing beats all of the miracles that I see now that my eyes have been opened to truly believe.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.