This Christmas I bought my dad a book documenting miracles, Where Miracles Happen by Joan Wester Anderson.  As we read through some of the stories together I remembered that I had experienced my own not so small miracle a couple of winters ago.

I was snowmobiling with a small group of 4 or 5 on West Mountain, which I had done a hundred times before.  The snow was pretty deep that day, which made for some good riding; so deep in fact that when our group reached a smaller hill on the way to the radar site I could not reach the top.  Everyone was playing, climbing the hill, so I wandered off to the south just a little further down the ridge.  The only way for me to go very far was to get as far up the mountain as possible and then stand on the uphill running board and angle up slowly (sidehilling).  I crossed a small ridge separating me from the group by a couple of hundred yards.  As I was now about 75 yards from the ridge, and there was a considerable cornice, I began to turn downhill.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the snow above me break loose.  I thought “Maybe I can out run it.”  By the time the thought ran through my  mind I was hit by a brick wall and lost all awareness of my surroundings.  I knew from my avalanche training that I was supposed to swim with the flow and try to make an air pocket around my head, to give myself more time to breathe under the snow.  So I began to wave my arms around above my head, trying to reach the surface.  By the way, I was wearing an “Avalung” which is a vest with a breathing tube attached.  The idea behind this is that if you get caught in an avalanche, you put the tube in your mouth and breathe through it.  It re-directs your breath so that you don’t form an ice mask in the snow and suffocate.  The theory is good, but realistically, I did not even have time to think about putting that thing in my mouth, it all happened so fast.  I also was wearing my avalanche beacon.

So there I was, flailing about in a moving mountain of snow, very much buried.  I felt as though I might have punched through with one hand before blacking out.

I woke up STANDING ON TOP OF THE SNOW at the bottom of the hill.  There was snow and ice rubble in a big mound all around.  I did not know how long all of this took, but when I woke up I was alone, and the rest of the guys showed up right after that.  I later talked to them and they said that I was by myself for 15 minuets or so.  The avalanche took about 10 seconds.  I did not, nor could I have pulled myself out of the snow, since I was unconscious, yet there I was, without a mark on me, on top of a huge pile of debris.  My snowmobile was pointed down in the snow, completely buried except for the rear bumper, about 75 feet from me.

I don’t remember digging out or anything, but the guys said that I repeated my story about five times while they dug out my sled;  must have had a concussion.

I was absolutely helpless.  I did not even pray for help, but He was there anyway. Miracles do happen every day, and God is all around us.  I want to encourage you all to believe in Him and start looking for Him in your life.  You don’t have to be a saint to find Him, He loves you right now.  The more we look for God and expect Him to show up, the more He appears.  Maybe He will show up in seemingly small ways or huge, seemingly impossible happenings.  With God ALL THINGS are possible.  Thank you Lord, for saving my life.

Merry Christmas all, and if you have miracles to share, please do so.

Matt P.