When I stop and look back over my life I am amazed by the significant things that have happened. Like when my grandpa helped my mum and I migrate from Samoa to Auckland because I have Cerebral Palsy. My grandpa believed that I would have a better upbringing in New Zealand.
I got a wheelchair when we moved over in 1997. A few years later, I was able to attend school and live in a home suitable for my wheelchair. I would not have these opportunities if we had remained in Samoa.
Or when my primary school teacher invited me to come to her church services. She knew that I wanted to attend a church, but my family didn't have a wheelchair van to take me out anywhere. So, my teacher arranged people from her congregation to come and take me to church every Sunday morning.
From then on I began making good friendships and develop my relationship with God. At this stage I see a pattern where one thing leads to another. Having a disability brought me to Auckland. Then to meet a teacher in my school that would introduce me to a community of believers is amazing.
Later when my family received a mobility van gave us freedom! This enabled my family to take me out on outings, to youth groups and camps with my electric wheelchair. The van came at the right time when I began to go to more church events.
Remembering as it is
The significant things I've talked about and many more that have happened in my life are really great in themselves. However, I am also amazed by how each event plays perfectly into the narrative of my life.
Even thinking about the little things in life, I find myself getting a kick out of realising if one incident didn't happen the favourable incident occurring after wouldn't. My reflections and amazement stopped at the flow on effect of things in life for a while.
Remembering as miracles
As I grew in my faith, I began to see that it was the hand of God intervening throughout my life. Right back when I migrated, my grandpa was doing what Jesus planed and fulfilling a miracle in my mum's and my lives. Every significant thing that happened or happens in my life is a miracle.
Not simply because I have a disability and I have achieved great things, like graduating from Auckland University. However, because I believe that God who created our universe. He is orchestrating every good thing in my life to happen at the right time.
One can believe that God works miracles and see blessings of others, but I think it can take time to realise the miracles in our own lives. I am more grateful and awestruck when I remember situations as great acts of God.
We may just not see it in the moments. However, later on, we can reflect back and be baffled by what God did in that event.
The advantages of remembering miracles
When we realise what God has done in our lives we are more grateful for our lives. We tend to thank Him for what he has blessed us with, in our lives. Furthermore, we can thank Jesus for continuing to work in and through our lives.
Maybe this is what Paul is talking about when we realise that we are in God's care we don't worry. As he says,
Philippians chapter 4, verse 6 - "Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for what he has done"
Remembering the miracles also gives us hope for our future. This article would be too long if I talked about everything God has already done in my life. I'm sure you would have the same problem writing a similar piece.
But I can look at all the miracles God has done and believe that He will do more. This really helps me in times of doubts and times of discerning what to do next in life.
We don't always remember
Deuteronomy chapter 6, verse 12 - "Be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt"
God commanded the Israelite's not to forget what He did for them. However, they did forget many times and did silly things. Life can get really rocky sometimes and the pressures of life can entangle our thoughts. Our emotions run wild and questions fills our head. Remembering miracles in my life is not easy in tough times.
Although, I believe it is not impossible to do so. I just got to remember to choose, but hey, is "easier said than done". Remembering what God has done in my life makes me thankful for my life and what I have. Remembering and being grateful motivates me to keep going and to never give up.
I hope that remembering your miracles can give you encouragement whatever you're going through at the moment.
Manuele Teofilo lives in South Auckland with his parents and siblings. He recently graduated from the University of Auckland with a Bachelor of Human Services and plans to work in the disability sector.