We all have times when we need a miracle. Life is hard, as it is supposed to be, and sometimes it overwhelms us. Sometimes we just don't know where to turn or what to do. Sometimes we fall to our knees--are even driven to our knees--and we pray to God for a miracle. I have done that many times in my life. I have seen and experienced miracles in my life.

Miracles never come if we sit around and wait for them. Miracles come when we forget about something magical happening, and get to work to accomplish what we need. Someone whose house has been blown to rubble in a hurricane can wish for the house to be whole again, but that's not going to happen. Miracles like that are almost always fiction. People coming to help us and comfort us are miracles. Miracles happen when we get busy and work for what we need. I like the story of the guy in the flood. As the waters rose, he climbed up to the roof of his house. He couldn't swim, so he prayed to God for a miracle. Not too long after that, a boat came by. "Jump in," yelled someone from the boat, but it was full of people and the man on the roof wondered if it might sink if he jumped on, so he waved them on, waiting for his miracle. A little after that, a helicopter came and hovered over him. The people in the helicopter dropped a line for him to climb up into the helicopter. That looked difficult and dangerous, so he waved the helicopter on and waited for his miracle. The water rose further and he was washed off the roof. Unfortunately he drowned. At the Pearly Gates, he was a little miffed at Peter. "I prayed for a miracle," the man cried. Peter looked at the read-out in front of him, and said, a little surprised, "Well, I'm not sure what happened. We sent a boat and a helicopter."

Sometimes a miracle is in the form of someone waving and smiling, and asking us about our lives. Sometimes talking to people helps us understand what we need to do and where we need to be. Sometimes when other people understand what we need, they have the solutions to our problems. Sometimes other people can help us calm down and figure things out. When we're freaked out, it's hard to recognize a miracle and how to use it. Miracles are not always tidy. The sun doesn't always shine on us as we miraculously and magically rid our lives of all our problems.

We are responsible and accountable to ourselves, to others, and to God for what we do with a miracle. There is another story I like. A man was on the roof of his barn, and lost his footing. As he slid down the roof toward almost certain injury and a course in miracles death, he prayed to God, "I need a miracle! Please help me." A nail sticking up out of the roof caught on his overalls and stopped him just when we would have gone over the edge. Whew. "Never mind, God," the man said. "I don't need a miracle anymore." Gratitude for miracles is a very good idea. Recognizing miracles for what they are is a must.

If we're unemployed and we expect someone to knock on our front door and offer us a job, we are very likely to be disappointed. If we do receive a job and recognize that we obtained it through miraculous means, we should value it and magnify it. We should not disdain it and complain about it.

I often get answers and solutions about one problem in my life when I'm thinking or reading about something completely different, or when I'm working on a different project. If I were to sit on the couch and wait for a miracle or if I were not willing to get on with my life and do the best I could, I would miss out on a lot of amazing things that I am taught and that I can accomplish.

One of the purposes of life is to come to know ourselves, and we can't do that if we are immediately and completely bailed out of all our problems. Yes, we need miracles; and yes, we receive them. We just need to be careful about wishing we didn't have any problems, about not recognizing miracles when they happen for us, about not doing everything we can to ameliorate our own problems, and about not valuing our personal miracles when we receive them