Personal Stories: An insight into miracles

This article is aimed at people who believe in God but are always attempting to see some miracles in order to be sure that He exists. Some people are not impressed by stories of others who received God's help. As a rule, such people wish to see something that would make them believe in God's existence with their own eyes. Sometimes one has to hear, "Well, I have so many problems, I have poor health, little money, no perspective in life. I keep asking God for help but He doesn't help..."
However, sometimes when a person starts to complain about his life for no reason, God allows him to experience even more trouble, and you will know why if you read this article.
I came to Minsk three years ago. It was just the very beginning of the financial crisis but I had already been accustomed to living a modest life. Soon I saw that Minsk was a really expensive city with high accommodation costs and food prices. I shared a room with another girl where there were several icons, among which there were two big icons - one of Our Lady of Kazan and the other of St Nicholas the Wonderworker. I had read that it is not right to ask God for material goods, one should ask for help, wisdom and advice, and the Lord Himself knows what we need. When the ruble weakened and sent prices skyrocketing I began active search for additional work. This was no easy task because I was able to allocate for this work only weekends and evenings, and the recruitment agency told me that it was nearly impossible to find any job that would correspond to my requirements.
Every believer knows that there is nothing impossible for the Lord God. Once I heard the following phrase in a comedy show, “I never ask God for money, I ask Him to let me see that money does not mean happiness.” “Aptly said!” I thought. That evening I uttered these words at the end of my evening prayers for the first time, and then I repeated them the next morning and started to do so every day. Due to the fact that I prayed in front of the icon of Mother of God of Kazan, I addressed these supplications to Her. The Queen of Heaven heard my prayers: I found three jobs, one of which I was offered on November 4 - the commemoration day of the icon of Our Lady of Kazan. I had enough money - but lack of free time to spend it - in a month, so it was adding up. I must say I truly was happy: I was able to buy things I had never dreamt of, I could let myself call a taxi to and from work and started to forget the road to flea markets. Instead of saying thanks to the Lord, I told my friend who called to ask me why I was so busy that it was impossible for me to find time to go visit her, “I asked God to give me a chance to make sure that happiness does not lie with money. As a result, I found three well-paid jobs. However, He does not sound convincing about money because I am really happy. More than that, I have never been so happy in my life!”
Icon of our Lady of Kazan
I was speaking these words in the room where the Kazan icon of Mother of God stood. On finishing my phone call, I looked at it and said, “Who said that happiness does not lie with money? I have always known it was a lie!”
Someone will maybe condemn me of blasphemy but it is better to learn from the others’ mistakes, I believe. Someone will probably learn a good lesson from what I write here. Perhaps, Mother of God was angry with me for these words because the following morning I felt there was something strange with my eyes: they were burning and aching so I could not see anything. When I went out I understood that I would have a hard time going to work: I could not see the faces of the people or numbers of the buses. I was so frightened! As I made my way to work, I began to blame it all on lack of sleep and tiredness. Finally, I got to my work place but I had to stare right into the computer screen and I was still unable to do anything. I had to turn the PC off and ask for a couple of days off and go home to have a rest. Even the sleep pills I took did not help. After having slept day and night, I saw that my weariness was not the reason for this condition so the following day I visited an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) and told him about my complaints. He began to examine my eyesight but I said to him, “Doctor, do not waste your time, I just can’t see anything.”
- Nothing at all? - he asked in surprise.
- Well, I can see those biggest letters in the first line, and nothing more.
- How long have you had this condition?
- Since yesterday.
- Had there been anything strange before that moment?
- Nothing, I just went to bed and woke up - and I cannot see anything.
- Maybe you have sand or dust in your eyes?
- I did not walk out on that day because it was Sunday and I spent all day at home. Where could I get that sand from?
- See, it is impossible for the eyesight to become so poor in just one night, - he said.
I had nothing to answer. I saw that that doctor did not believe me and was thus unlikely to help.
In the end, he prescribed me some drugs and scheduled the next time I was to see him. In a few minutes, I found myself walking down the street trying to figure out what had happened. I saw a crowd gather near a currency exchange. Dollar had risen again but I did not care even though this had been an acute problem for me, like for many others. Suddenly, I saw people carry a coffin with a dead body out of a car and into a house. I envied that dead, and this made me even more terrified. On my way back home I entered the Holy Spirit Cathedral. It often happens that God is the last One who we remember. When drugs become useless, when doctors say they cannot determine the cause of the disease, when we hear that medical skill cannot fight it, we suddenly remember our Heavenly Healer whom we should have asked for help earlier. Our lack of faith and doubts grab us so strongly that we often forget about Him.
It was a weekday and noontime. No service was going on, just the candles flickering and people coming and going. It was dark in the church so it was even more difficult for me to see something. Of course, I knew where the sanctuary was but I could see motley flicker instead of the altar. I could not see the icons but because I often attend this church, I remembered where each of them was. I started to look around and... O Lord! I could not see the icons but there was one icon I could clearly see. It was the icon of Our Lady of Kazan. Despite being almost completely blind, I could clearly see the image of Mother of God in this darkness and at a long distance, moreover, I could see every single letter written on that icon. “Have you had this icon restored or bought a new one?” I asked one of the church warden. “No,” she answered, “This icon has long been here.” All of a sudden, it dawned on me that all this happened to me not because of stress or lack of sleep, and there was no sand in my eyes. It was God’s punishment. It all began after that conversation over the phone and my words in front of the icon of Mother of God. I had asked God to let me see that money does not bring happiness, and He did that. I had enough money but I was not happy anymore. I was willing to give away everything I had, or even more, in order to be able to see the light of God like before.
I knelt before the Queen of Heaven and sobbed. I could not control myself at that moment. People came to me asking what had happened. I was breathless from tears and I could not utter a single word. A group of foreigners entered the church (I could tell it from their speech). One of them approached me, took my hand and gave me something. When they were gone, I saw a 50-dollar note in my hand. I thought that the Lord did not want to accept my repentance and reminded me about my greed for money. I was terrified and I must say I had never been so scared in my life. I trembled and said, “Forgive me, O Lord!” and put this 50-dollar note into a box for donations.
The pain went away on that evening but I could not see clearly. When I woke up the following morning I realized that my eyesight returned. For me, this was a very special day. There was another reason for that: it was my birthday. When I went out, I could clearly see the skies, the rising sun and the melting snow. One can hardly have a better birthday present. This was the first time I thought how strange our perception of happiness sometimes is. We are looking for happiness in the remotest places but it is so close to us. Today I am able to see the sun, the skies, I can hear birds chirp, streams murmur and wind blow, whereas thousands of people are deprived of all this. Moreover, some of them are deprived of this since birth. There are rich and famous and talented people among them. Then I came to realize that health, and particularly eyesight, is the biggest treasure in our lives. It was the first time in my life when I thanked God for being able to witness a new day, to realize what real happiness consists of and to feel myself really happy.

 Helena Gulidova