Specific Stories of Miracles

Continuing the discussion from God's protection through a tornado:

As @lakshmi shared, for this mom, at home with a one-month-old baby, praying for God to protect her husband from a tornado, is an incredible faith builder. I can’t imagine being in the middle of a tornado!

Specific stories of God’s protection do encourage our faith! Recently, I’ve experienced this by reading Nancy French’s auto-biography Ghosted: An American Story.

At one point, she tells the story of when her son, Austin, was in the NICU, and her husband’s parents came to pray for him. She writes,

Specifically, they prayed that since we couldn’t be in the NICU around the clock that God would send an angel to watch over the baby.

This wasn’t a metaphorical prayer. They believed God would literally send an angel with wings, flapping and hovering over little Austin to protect and comfort him. That sounded sentimental and improbable, but they prayed like they were making a divine personnel request they fully expected to be fulfilled. Though I appreciated the sentiment, I was mildly annoyed. I wanted a normal prayer—healing, comfort, perseverance. Not a request for an angel (113).

Three years later, Nancy hears how God answered this prayer. As she tells it:

Three years later, [Austin] woke up from a nap.

“I had a dream,” he told me. Though this is a common utterance, a shudder ran through me. Ever since my dreams had turned out to have a prescient quality, I took them more seriously than most.

“Want to tell me about it?” I asked.

“I was in a bubble. Lying on white cloth. And I saw my pacifier but I couldn’t reach it. And you were looking at me through the bubble.”

I sat down at the kitchen table. We’d never told him he had birth complications. Could he possibly be talking about his NICU stay?

“What else?”

“And this woman poked a needle into my forehead.” I’d forgotten the nurse had used an IV in his forehead. But his description of the dream reminded me, and I felt a prickling in my eyes.

I was all alone,” he said. The days after his birth were filled with so much sadness and despair, mainly because we couldn’t be physically with him. Why would God reveal all of this sadness to him in a dream?

“But then I wasn’t.” “Who was with you?” I asked. I hoped he remembered we were trying desperately to be with him.

“Buzz Lightyear,” he said. I laughed, which punctured the moment. I’d gotten so engrossed into this tale that seemed so uncannily like his birth. But there’s no way a premature baby could remember his NICU experience.

Austin was serious as he tried to convey his dream, and I could tell he was frustrated he didn’t have the right words to express himself.

“No, it wasn’t Buzz Lightyear, but there was a man and he was big like Buzz Lightyear and he had wings like Buzz Lightyear and he stood right there beside me.”

I remembered my in-laws’ prayers and my heart constricted. “Did the winged creature speak?” I asked, gently.

“He only said one thing.” Austin closed his eyes to go back to sleep. “He told me not to be afraid" (113-114).

I felt shivers run through my body as I read this story. It’s so specific and weird, but in a good way. Pentecostals praying for God to send an angel. A three-year-old talking about a winged movie character who says, “Don’t be afraid.”

Even the specific details of a nurse poking his forehead. (From my brief research, it would be unlikely for an IV tube to be attached to an infant’s forehead, but perhaps this happened, or it was a heart rate sensor or an EEG electrode).

What stories have you read about - or experienced - of apparent miracles?

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