A Week for Tiny Miracles

By: Marcy Barthelette

Before the mountains were born, before you birthed the earth and the inhabited world—from forever in the past to forever in the future, you are God. Psalm 90:2,4

This week my yard has been witness to a host of small miracles. For the first time in weeks, I walked outside in the early morning to find sparkling dew on the grass. Black-eyed Susan blooms danced atop brown and withered stems. Tall garden phlox which only attained about two-thirds their normal height and for which I held no hope of their typical second flush of blooms started producing a second round of buds. Daylilies, whose foliage had been long since removed, sprouted fresh green spikes. Bermuda grass, tough as buffalo hide, became green and cushy once more. Hydrangeas, the water hogs of the garden, held their leaves high and proud instead of wilting in the sun. Bugs were hatching in abundance, ladybugs were everywhere, and I spotted my favorite late summer insect, the clear-winged hummingbird moth. The sedums, being the succulents they are, suffered little throughout the hundred-plus temperatures and absence of rainfall, but they were nearly the only green left before the heavens’ bounty of moisture began to fall.

They’re a group of small blessings, each on its own not making much of a splash on nature’s recently brown palette. But when joining forces together, those small miracles wove a tapestry of color that breathed life back into my very soul. It had hurt my heart to not be able to meet the daily demands of moisture to keep everything going, but I chose to let my giant island bed in the backyard go dormant, not knowing which roots would take advantage of the R & R then be ready to poke their heads up when the water finally fell.

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4 ESV

Those Black-eyed Susan blooms I mentioned earlier were half their normal size and they typically rise above a preponderance of dark green foliage. The foliage was dead and brown before the rain but the scraggly blooms held on. And, lo and behold, those stems must have garnered every minuscule amount of moisture they could find and telegraphed it through browned and hardened stems just to deliver a life-giving drink to tiny golden petals. They looked really strange, with brown stems and yellow petals, but they offered hope that next year will be better.

One of nature’s critters that didn’t make an appearance and for which my gratitude is never-ending would be the dreaded Japanese beetle. I saw two the entire summer and, if you don’t garden, you’ll never grasp the enormous blessing revealed in that simple statement.

Lord God, you created heaven and earth by your great power and outstretched arm; nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 CEB

Today, I actually saw an earthworm squirming along and wondered how deep it had to burrow to find moist earth and how did it know to make the journey back to the surface when moisture came. Did its underworld flood and send it climbing upward toward the surface once again? How did our robins know that a second or third nest of tiny mouths would be incredibly hard to keep fed when bugs and worms and even seeds were in short supply?

How could anyone see such miracles and not know that there is a God who is right in the midst of every tiny detail of the natural and the human world? He knows that some plants just have to shut down in times of heat and drought to conserve their energy for regeneration. 

Just think about the fact that perennial roots are shipped all over the country, actually all over the world, in bare root condition, looking dry and lifeless. But when we add soil and water and nutrients, they spring forth in new life. How can it then be any more a miracle for them to rest during times of extreme heat and drought sense that better times lie ahead?

And how can we not accept that He will do the same for us?  

Keep me as the apple of your eye. Hide me under the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8 ESV

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