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Miraculous Stories of 2016

It was a long year full of upheaval but also of miracles. Here are a few.

Miraculous Stories of 2016

“This will be the longest year of your life,” my father-in-law told me last January 1. It was past midnight in Sydney, Australia, where I’d just rung in the New Year watching the fireworks burst over the harbor and the iconic opera house.

My wife and I had called home to wish everyone a Happy New Year, but it would be another eight hours before the ball dropped back in New York City. I was starting 2016 “early”—plus it would be a leap year. “Spend next New Year’s Eve in Hawaii, and it might be an all-time record,” my father-in-law joked. 

Now as 2016 draws to a close, I’ve thought about my father-in-law’s words in a different light. For a lot of us, even those who didn’t start the year close to the International Date Line, I’d imagine this year did feel long—perhaps never-ending.

It seems like the news has been filled with more madness than usual. No matter what political stance we take or beliefs we hold, undoubtedly we’ve been upset by things going on in the world around us. Can we even trust good news to be real anymore?

Tell Us: What Were Your Inspiring Stories of 2016?

According to a recent study by scientists at Baylor and the University of Texas, traumatic experiences actually cause the brain to produce an altered perception of time—events are slowed down in our memory, we recall the hours as having passed slowly. That’s why a rough year in our lives seemingly lasts forever.

Why would our brains do this? Why prolong our own suffering?

The answer suggested by science is instructive. As Science of Us writer Jeff Wise writes, “The rush of fear hormones causes the brain to retain richer memories of what’s happening. This is related to the “flashbulb effect” that enables us to remember every color, sound and smell of an emotionally powerful event. This is obviously useful from an evolutionary perspective: If you survive a life-or-death encounter, it could prove useful someday to remember exactly how you did it.”

In other words, our year gets longer the more we learn from it.

That’s a miraculous thing, if you think about it. I look back at the good stories that I do remember from the past year:

Alas, I won’t be in Hawaii at this year’s end. But I will be praying for a long year ahead. A year that gives us plenty of time to learn, grow, enjoy life’s blessings, right the world’s wrongs, and connect with each other. Our brains know enough to slow time down when we’re hurting. We’re meant to use that extra time the best way we can.

Happy Holidays to everyone! May you be blessed for a wonder-filled 2017!

Be sure to tell us—what were your favorite inspiring stories and miracles of 2016, both in your life or in the news? Share your list with us!

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Walking in Grace 2023 Devotional

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We wanted to let you know that we have changed the name of Daily Guideposts to Walking in Grace —(Don’t worry — we promise it is the ONLY change we’ve made!)

Walking in Grace 2023 is the perfect way to start or end each day, focusing on God’s love, and connecting you to a community of writers and readers. Each daily devotion will bless you with a short Scripture verse that draws you into His word, a true moving story about the joys and challenges of living a life of faith, hope, and optimism, a short personal prayer that helps you put the day’s message to work in your own life, and a unique “Digging Deeper” Scripture for further reflection.

In just a few minutes a day, Walking in Grace 2023 will help you find the spiritual richness you long for in your life.

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