Miracles and the Mundane

“Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you!” Joshua 3:5

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get lost and overwhelmed by the mundaneness of daily life.  There are times when I feel desperately tired as I look at my laundry pile, my to do list, or my floors that need to be mopped (again).  I forget, in these moments, that God is here with me.  I forget about His mighty and majestic works or the way He whispers His loving promises into my heart through scripture.  I allow the mundane, the chaotic, and ever pressing demands of life to flood my mind and soul with despair. So much to do, so little time. Have you been there too?  Surely. I’m not the only one.

I want to tell you about a time, when God crossed the mundane to chasm to reveal his glorious plan and work a miracle right before my eyes. Thirteen years ago, on a bright and sunny day in early June, I awoke in our new house.  Our two little ones, ages 5 and 3, were tucked comfortably in bed with us.  I soon realized, however, that our bed was actually soaking wet.  There’s nothing quite as unnerving as discovering you are completely drenched in a puddle of our daughter’s pee!  Ahhhh, the joys of bed sharing!  If you have ever been in this situation, you know it immediately turns into a raucous display of stripping wet pajamas off little bodies, shuttling them into the bathtub, and giving them a thorough cleaning, quickly followed by drying them off despite wiggles and protests, finding a fresh pair of clothes and wrestling the children back into suitable attire.  Whew!  You know that the blankets, bed sheets, and pillows get yanked from the bed and dutifully wadded up so that all the wet stuff is in the middle.  Had we not just moved in the day before, I would have immediately tossed the wet stuff into the washing machine and not given it another thought.  However, our washing machine had not yet been hooked up, so all the wet bedding sat in a pile.  Each time, I walked past it,  I groaned.  It was the thorn in my flesh for that day, but I had other pressing matters.  The children needed to be fed and attended to.  Boxes needed to be unpacked, essential items needed to be found and put away.  The day wore on and I worried about that pile of wet things.  What if we had another bed wetting incident tonight, what then would I have to put on the bed?  The washer wasn’t going to be hooked up anytime soon, due to my hubby being at work and the special connections it would require to be set up in our new home, which was actually several decades old.  

As my husband arrived home, I immediately met him with panicked urgency to get the sheets washed by going to my grandmother’s house to do the laundry.  Reluctantly, he gave in to my persistent pleas and I drove our only car, packed with stinky, soaked bedding leaving him and our two young kiddos behind.  

Given the hectic pace of the previous few days, I was thankful to be alone on the drive over.  The peace and quiet washing over my stressed thoughts. The weather was glorious and the sun-just an hour or so shy of  being a lovely sunset.   The sweet summer air pregnant with its earthen tones drifted refreshingly through the car windows.  This moment alone would qualify as a miracle for me, but God had even more he would be revealing to me very soon.  Please forgive my limited ability to express what would happen next.  There just aren’t any words or descriptions that can quite match the actual experience that unfolded.  While still a few miles away from my destination, I was completely overcome by a warmth and vibrant presence, not a visual one, but one that was perceived by other senses and my soul.  It was utterly astonishing.  My heart and mouth cried out in praise of the moment.  I knew I had to pull over and just worship God’s mighty presence.  I happened to be nearing our church home, at that time, and I eagerly turned my car into the drive and breathlessly drove up the hill.  I just needed to get to the altar and lay face down and soak in this incredible sense of grace flowing down upon me.  It was the only thing that filled my mind and heart and the desire was as strong as a drowning man craves a breath of air!  I spent some time quietly basking in the wonderment of the moment, spending time with Jesus, looking at his body on the cross that hung behind the altar in our church sanctuary.  Nothing else crossed my mind other than the pure joy I was experiencing, not that silly pile of laundry, not my to do list, not even my much loved husband and children.  God invited me into this moment with him and it was astonishingly beautiful and overwhelmingly perfect, but I had no idea why.  Slowly, I felt God gently nudging me on my way, back into my mundane life, and back to my evening plans to go to Grandma’s house.  I was filled with gratitude and the pressure of the day dissipated.  

I arrived at Grandma’s and tossed the first load of wet sheets in the washer.  Grandma and I settled into a pleasant conversation in her living room.  She had moved down to Indiana exactly one year earlier to the day!  Upon her retirement, I begged her to join us in Indiana so she could share in the joys of being closer to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I also told her that I worried about her living alone and so far away from family.   It pressed upon my heart that something could happen to her and no one would even know for days, if she had remained living in Michigan.  She agreed and settled into a new home in Ellettsville and I was so thankful to be able to visit her frequently.  Our evening turned to laughter as we enjoyed our time together.  Suddenly, Grandma made a gurgling noise and slumped over in her chair.  Her face turned red and she quit breathing.  Just like that-one second laughing, the next dead.  I called 911 immediately and tried to get her into a favorable position to start CPR.  I heard the sirens approaching and quickly ran to open the front door and flag them into the house.  EMTs rushed in, moved Grandma to the floor, cut off her clothing and began shocking her heart to start it again.  First shock, no pulse.  Second shock, no pulse.  Third shock, a weak pulse was found and she was rushed to the ER.  I was stunned, shocked, and grieved.  Lord, what had just happened and why?  Would she be alive when we arrived?  Would I have to call my mom and sister to explain she had passed?  I knew then that God had actually prepared me for this moment.  Everything was quickly apparent, God’s timing was miraculous.  Her move to Indiana, our move to a new home which rendered our washing machine unusable, a child wetting the bed though she rarely ever did, the conversation I had just had with her days before about her desire to be baptized at the age of 68!  Everything was in God’s hands.  

Upon arriving at the ER, I was placed in a quiet and small waiting room.  The doctors were working on her.  Her heart was beating again, but they didn’t know if she would make it.  I asked for a chaplain and one came immediately.  I shared with him that she had expressed her desire to be baptized just a day or two before this crisis.  He agreed that this would be the time to do it.  As my mother and sister arrived, we huddled tearfully in her hospital room and prayed while the chaplain baptized her.  It was a crude and quiet baptism, but nonetheless a perfect baptism.  We knew she would be welcomed into heavenly glory had she not lived another day, but she did.  Grandma amazingly regained her health and strength and we are blessed with her still being here with us 13 years later.  She had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and had I not been placed there with her at that moment, she would have died alone, in body and spirit, right in her living room.  She was totally unable to save herself.  It was then that I was filled with awe and appreciation for God’s loving way of using the mundaneness of our lives to work out miracles for His glory!  Every little detail that I considered bothersome or insignificant, God used to bring an old woman into a life that would be spent eternally in heaven with Him!  Praise God for His goodness, mercy and miracles!

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All for His Glory, 

Kristi Barnett