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sharper focus “A muddy miracle”

By Linda Manhardt, Major

I felt my glasses slipping from my face. Both my hands were in the water trying to move a rock, and in a second, the glasses disappeared beneath the rapidly flowing current.

A small canal next to my quarters carries the water that flows from the hills above during the rainy season. This was a torrential rain. It had rained hard for days, and the canal was filled to the brim and overflowing.

Surrounding the training college compound is a seven-foot concrete fence. Behind my house, the canal runs under the perimeter fence, and there is a rebar grate that prevents people from crawling under the fence. The problem is that during the heavy downpours, the canal gets clogged with debris and the water builds up on the other side of the fence. It was beginning to flow under the fence and threatened to knock it down.

When the rain is heavy, I get in the canal and pull out the leaves, rocks and sticks so the water can flow again. That is what I was doing at 5:15 a.m. when I lost my glasses.

It’s strange, but my instant reaction was to smile. I actually felt a sense of peace instead of panic. I felt that God would be glorified in this and an assurance that I would find them where the canal emptied into a pond. I would give him honor and glory for the miracle he was about to perform.

So, drenched and muddy, I walked to Joyville Children’s Home next door and tried to follow the canal to the point where it emptied, about 550 yards away. It was treacherous; I couldn’t see because of the downpour, and I couldn’t find a way through the mud down to where I wanted to go. I gave up and carefully made my way back to the college, asking God what he wanted me to learn from this.

When I entered the compound, I saw a cadet and shared what had happened. I told her that I had seen a cadet and yelled for him to help me, but he had not heard. I explained how expensive trifocals are and that I was sad. Then I went in to take a hot shower. Praise God for hot, running water.

After I finished my shower, a knock came at my door.

A whole group of cadets was there, and the cadet who had not heard me told me that he was sorry, but that he had something that would make me feel better. And then, you guessed it, he produced my glasses.

Miracle of miracles! He had gone directly to the emptying point, seen a large rock, and reached just next to it. In that first attempt, his hand wrapped around my glasses. They had tumbled through rocks and debris, under a road, and through other grates and been deposited next to the rock. And here they were, without a scratch.

I learned that the cadet I had spoken to had shared my story, and all the cadets prayed around the breakfast tables. When they finished eating, they went out in the rain, positioning themselves in the canal about every 10 meters, feeling through the flowing water for my glasses.

Yes, God was glorified through the situation. Not just by performing a miracle for me, but by providing an outpouring of love to do it. He wanted me not to do it myself, but to depend on others. He certainly did have something to teach me.

I have many worries right now, but through this small miracle, I again come to the absolute realization that God cares about even the little things in my life, and can be trusted with the big things.

I heard once that “Worry is assuming responsibility that God never intended for us to have.” It accomplishes nothing.

Cast your worries on him, because the God of the universe can be trusted.Thank you, Lord, for reminding me.

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