A dozen years ago I stood on the bowling green in Frick Park with a group of Jewish teachers from my community to listen to Gabe Goldman, an educator with a strong passion for the environment who had recently arrived in town. He pointed out some poison ivy to us, and then reminded us that often, in nature, the antidote to a poisonous or noxious plant is found in the immediate vicinity of the offending species. The solution is embedded in the same environment that produced the problem.
A well-known Mishna in Pirke Avot (5:6) asserts that God works the same way. At dusk on the sixth day of creation, just before the twilight that would usher in the first Shabbat, God created 10 things that would seem later to be miracles. The Mishna, however, asserts that these were no miracles in the sense of violating the order of the universe, but rather things that were built into the fabric of that universe from the beginning, to serve a single purpose.