What pops into your mind when you think of a miracle? Something life-changing, awe-inspiring, and all around amazing, to be sure. Often we imagine events that are nearly impossible, yet they happen right before our eyes.

But what about the everyday miracle?

I’m talking about the moments that inspire us to stop what we’re doing and catch our breath, that cause us to step back in amazement. Suddenly we realize we’ve caught a glimpse of God at work in our daily life, in the midst of our routine, and it always catches us off-guard.

I call these everyday miracles, because they are special. They aren’t for everyone. They’re personal, tailor-made for your life. Placed in those pockets of time to teach you, lead you, heal you, help you, and grow you. Sometimes they’re small things, and sometimes not. I’ve realized that often they come in disguise.

One that I never saw coming was the day my mother came home from work and told me she had lost her job. Doesn’t sound very miraculous, does it? The hospital where she worked was closing. Our only options were to stay for a year in New York until I graduated, or to move that summer and I would finish school in Minnesota. At sixteen, I was mortified. How could this possibly be a good thing?

We did move, and it turned out to be the best decision we could have made. I didn’t understand it, because I had left my friends and all that I thought made me happy behind in the place I had grown up. Yet back there, even after accepting Christ, I had frequent bouts of deep depression and suicidal behavior. I believe that, in part, the move was God saving my life.

But for me, that was not the most significant miracle.

My mother, brother, and I often struggled to be a family. Our relationships were fragmented, filled with tension and anger. In Minnesota, something shifted in us. We became closer than we had ever been, which is a blessing and a miracle because I genuinely never believed it possible.

And because, less than ten years later, I would lose both of them.

Now, the good memories I have are my treasures. Those are my miracle moments. I can see where God was at work in my life, my heart, and in my family.

James 1:7 tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows,” (NIV).

I’m going to throw a curveball here. Not everything we define as good is actually good for us. So when we read the beginning part of this verse, we must keep in mind that the definition of “good” that James is referring to is God’s definition. Not ours. God sees what we need, what will bring us peace and joy and benefit us in the long-term, not just what will make us happy in the moment.

Think of something in your life today where you feel a need of some kind. Lift that up to him, and then leave that issue in God’s hands. Shift your focus. Be patient, because sometimes it takes time. But at the right moment, when things begin to break through and fall into place, that is where your miracle exists.

It might not be something huge, like moving cross-country. It might be something as small as a phone call from a friend or a letter in the mail. And it might not seem significant to anyone else.

Whatever it is, if it means something to you, it means something to God. And when the pieces fall into place, it isn’t always the way we expect or hope. Yet it is exactly what we need, because that’s how God works.

A miracle doesn’t have to be splashed across the front page of a newspaper to be spectacular. It just has to be a moment in which you and the Lord meet, and he reveals something that he has done and it changes your heart. It causes you to lift your eyes heavenward and give thanks.

It is your good, perfect gift, come down from the Father of heavenly lights.