When Miracles Happen Slowly

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From my first meeting with Connor I knew he was someone I would never forget.  He was a 14 year old in the first youth club I was involved with leading, and after we’d chatted for a while and got to know each other a bit, he ended the conversation by saying, “If you ever want me to shoot anyone for you, just let me know and I’ll sort it out!”

I’m almost certain he wasn’t serious, though I was relieved to have got on his good side 🙂  As I got to know him more though, I discovered that he did have a disturbingly detailed knowledge of guns and he seemed to spend most of his spare time playing violent computer games.

He came regularly to the youth club over the next two years and we had some good chats but I was never sure how much impact any of it was having on him.

On the final day of the youth club before the summer holidays we decided to have a beach party.  About 30 teenagers, mainly boys, gathered on the beach and all was going well until one of the boys started messing around and hit someone in the eye with a stone.

Two leaders went to take care of the boy who was hurt and I was left on the beach with another leader and the rest of the young people.  That was when things began to get difficult.

Although it had been an accident, the friends of the boy who was hurt wanted revenge, and the friends of the boy who had thrown the stone were prepared to defend him.  It seemed that instantly the group divided into two opposing sides and, as the tension rose, they began to move towards one another, gearing up for a fight.

I looked at the other leader who was on the beach with me but she seemed oblivious to what was happening.  I knew I had to do something but I had no idea what.  There wasn’t really time to think, so I prayed- just three words: “God, help me.”  Then I walked into the middle of the group of boys and just said quietly but firmly, “There will be no fighting tonight.”

To my amazement, both sides immediately backed off and moved apart!  I stood there in the middle for a moment wondering what had just happened.  I knew that somehow God had given my words authority which had diffused the tension and averted the crisis.

Strangely though, that wasn’t the biggest miracle I saw that night.  People were still upset about what had happened and, although a fight had been prevented, some of the boys were still angry and wanting to take revenge.  As I moved among the group I saw Connor chatting with a few of the younger boys, trying to calm them down, and as I walked past I could hardly believe the words coming out of his mouth: “Violence isn’t a good way to solve your problems.”

I realised that somehow those two years had made an impact on him and changed him.  Just the fact that he was engaging with the younger boys to try to help sort out the problem was amazing but I couldn’t believe how much his attitude seemed to have changed since that first conversation.

I think often we associate the word “miracle” with an instant event, like a sudden healing or the immediate transformation of a situation, and it is amazing when we see these things happen, but the definition of a miracle simply says “an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God.”

Sometimes miracles happen slowly.  

Sometimes they happen so gradually that we don’t even notice.  Sometimes when we’re in the middle of it, it seems like nothing is happening at all.  We can’t always see what God is doing and it can be tempting to give up because it seems that our prayers or our efforts are pointless.

But if we quit, we might miss the miracle.

I am not a very patient person.  I find it hard to wait when I want something to happen, but I am learning that, just because God’s work is often slower than I might like, it doesn’t mean he’s not working.  I’m encouraged to keep going, that the prayers and perseverance are worth the effort and that the result will be worth it in the end.

The miracle is always worth the wait.

“So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”  (1 Corinthians 15:58)

linking with #LiveFreeThursday and Let Us Grow

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19 thoughts on “When Miracles Happen Slowly

  1. What a powerful story! So thankful you were able to see a glimpse of the impact that was happening in his heart and life. Thank you for reminding us that sometimes miracles happen slowly, and to keep going! Sometimes, we can easily get discouraged. I think remembering stories like this where God showed us the miracle in His time encourages us to keep trusting. Thanks so much Carly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Michelle. I hadn’t thought of this story in a long time but I felt I should write about it. I think I needed to be reminded too. I’m glad it encourages you to keep going.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! We’re soldiers and commanded to stay the course. Paying attention to those people He puts in our path and claiming His power in each second of each day. Very powerful and a wonderful reminder. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a powerful and encouraging story. Nothing makes a point – in this case that miracles still happen but maybe not overnight – that a true story that shows the truth. Sort of like a modern day parable. Loved it, Carly!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I LOVE this story Carly! I love that God’s work impacted you and your youth and now you can share that impact with us!mim sure we’ll be able to use your story to impact others too! God is good! Cindy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such an encouraging reminder, Carly. Sometimes miracles do happen slowly. I think I often miss those. What a wonderful example in Connor. Sometimes we easily think our efforts are so futile, but God is still working miracles. Blessings and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Trudy. It is so easy to miss what God is doing when it seems that nothing is changing or things are not happening as quickly as we would like, but I love those moments when we get a glimpse of what he is doing and are encouraged to see that he is at work. Blessings and hugs to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a fabulously encouraging post, Carly! I love how God worked through you to defuse a tense situation. And I especially love how God used you to reach a youth’s heart. Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing at Let Us Grow!

    Liked by 1 person

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