If You Want Daily Miracles, Empty Yourself And Ask For 'Hand Of The Lord'
By Michael H. Brown
There are all kinds of miracles. There are huge miracles -- healings, rescues. There are times when miracles are so awesome that folks simply don't believe it. Then there are the "little miracles" -- the miracles that are hard to describe, that come as a sequence, the kind you have to "be there" to appreciate.
Whichever you are about to receive (and God has a reservoir for every one of us), we open ourselves best for them when we pray, empty ourselves, work at eliminating all selfishness, and let God fill us.
Make room for God, and He will come -- on a daily basis!
You will feel the "Hand of the Lord."
The Hand of the Lord is the biblical term for God's power in the lives of His people (see Joshua 4:24 and Isaiah 59:1).
"Little children, believe that by simple prayer miracles can be worked," says the most recent message from Medjugorje. "Through your prayer you open your heart to God and He works miracles in your life."
That's quite a promise, but first appreciate that God has to have room to operate -- and that there isn't the room when our doubts and sin and egos block Him. Think of yourself as a bucket. If it is full of yourself -- of your own motives, of your own ambitions and lusts -- how much grace can God fit in? Is He going to inject nectar into muddy water?
This is where "emptying" comes in. Emptying is getting rid of sin, yes; but it is also letting God. It is stepping out in faith. It is doing everything for Him and letting His power flow. When we seek that, we're hungering for the Lord, and according to Scripture, "He pulls down princes from their thrones" and "routs the proud of heart" at the same time that "He fills the hungry with good things" -- with miracles (Luke 1:51-53).
As it says in that same passage, it is then that He shows "the power of His arm."
The Lord desires us to follow Him in as strong a fashion as possible, and that means learning to toss away those things -- objects, ambitions, habits -- that get in the way. When we empty ourselves, He reaches down for us.
Tragic as it might sound, the Hand of the Lord is seldom asked for. We just don't think to do it. In this life (in the darkness of existence here on earth), it's hard to step out with the kind of unselfishness that God requires. Yet when we do that and ask for the power of His Hand (with the same innocent faith as the early Church) -- when we empty ourselves, confess our sins, and purify -- we open a treasure trove of miracles. We can judge if we are empty or full of self by asking a few simple questions. Do we think of ourselves first? Do we look at every situation from our own perspective? Is our first question how something will affect us? Or do we look at everything from the point of view of others?
When we do the latter -- every day, in all circumstances of life -- our prayers cause constant wonders!
Call them the "little miracles," prayers for everyday things, but prayers that are swiftly answered. In Acts, the phenomenal success of the early Church was attributed to exactly this.
And we can tap into it too. We are faithful and empty -- that is, available for Christ -- when we just turn it over to God. Turn it over. You tell Him, "Father, please do this in me. It's too big. I can't do it alone!" Let Him speak for you. Let Him act.
Those "little miracles" -- and often ones that aren't so little.
"God's power under us, in us, surging through us is exactly what turns dependence into unforgettable experiences," notes writer Bruce Wilkerson. "Afterwards, your spirit is shouting, God did that, nobody else! God carried me, gave me the words, gave me the power -- and it is wonderful!"
Often, In Life, We Ignore 'Little Miracles' That Aren't So Little When We Look Back
Often in life we ignore the "little" miracles. Do you realize that God has given us everything we need to create a splendid life and that means He has granted us all the avenues of excellence?
Life itself, of course, is miraculous. We have only to note the birth of a child, or the way our body repairs itself, or the "surface sculpturing" of a bird's feathers (or a butterfly).
Those are things that can not occur without the Hand of a Creator, and whether or not we recognize it, everything He does is "miraculous."
We don't appreciate God because we want clear-cut "proof" of Him -- when in fact His existence is proved in everything around us. Shame on those who, with scientific hubris, deny Him His subtlety!
For example, as we saw yesterday, on whim you go to pick up a book and it opens right to a passage on the soon-to-be saint Kateri Tekakwitha -- the Indian woman from upstate New York -- and then you find out that today (7/14) is her feast!
Don't ignore the little miracles in your life! The more you appreciate them, the more they occur.
Little miracles occur when God sends us "small" signs and when things multiply without our knowing it -- without our realizing it -- or when everything simply falls into place.
You know those days when everything fits like the pieces in one of those old log-cabin sets?
That's God, and everything that falls into place is a little miracle.
Sometimes, the "signs" are more blatant.
"My son Manuel called me from Florida this morning about a cross appearing on an outside small table after this recent rain storm," says Ruth Gouveia in New Hampshire. "The table was previously warped from the heat. It sits under an awning on the patio. After this recent weather the rain dripped from the awning onto the warped table and formed this Cross. He took a picture right away, before it went away."
In Texas, there was a remarkable priest named Father Rick Thomas of Texas. He died recently, but not before leaving a trail of "little" (and also not-so-little) miracles. A Jesuit, Father Thomas was a quiet man and miracles followed him with no pretense -- often so subtly that however major they were, they were not realized as such until later.
Many are those who recount how food would multiply when he organized dinners for the impoverished (he ministered to Mexicans who lived in actual trash heaps) -- how a ham that should have fed twenty fed sixty, with leftovers, or along those lines. The workers didn't realize it at the time, but the ham remained the same size as they cut from it.
In other cases, "empty" urns of iced tea or coffee continued to supply long lines of the poor long after the supply should have been exhausted -- after the urns had been tipped to get the dregs. The miracle was clearly seen when they counted those they had served and contemplated what had happened in retrospect.
Have we not seen that in our own lives -- times when there doesn't seem like any way we can pay the bills -- and yet we manage to do so in a way that nearly (God works along the edge of "nearly") defies expectation?
The tapestry is appreciated when we can see the entire pattern, and sometimes that takes time.
He weaves in and out of our lives in a way that is both natural and supernatural. In his humble fashion, Father Thomas went through life with a passion for helping others -- the poor, troubled couples -- and miracles followed him as a matter of course -- including at least three cancer cures and a healing from leprosy.
Those were noticeable miracles, but this great Jesuit priest also acknowledged it as a wonder when the right parts showed up for an antenna his ministry was erecting or when there was a simple conversion. And you can bet he thanked God for it!
Gratitude increases the little miracles.
When Miami won the National Basketball Association title this season, one of the stars, Dwayne Wade, thanked God for making it all possible. When asked how he obtained so much mental strength, the hoop star responded: "It comes from God. God has given me the ability to be in this position, to be a key component on one of the best teams in the league, playing in the NBA."
The sign of that strength was a championship.
Oh, the signs He gives us.
"A little story you may find interesting," wrote Deacon Jim Giltrap of Limeport, Pennsylvania.
"For thirty-five years, a woman in our parish had secreted the Host that she received at Holy Communion, slipping it into her purse. When confronted, she explained that she would not consume anything with germs on it that the priest had touched, meaning after he had placed his hand in blessing on the children with their parents in the Holy Communion line.
"After some time and much persuasion through an intermediary, she finally agreed to bring the box of hosts she had kept at home to the rectory. After a detailed instruction on the many articles of faith that were in jeopardy in this situation, she agreed to discontinue her practice. The pastor buried the box of hundreds of hosts in the rear of his vegetable garden. Now, year later, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, we find a substantial, healthy stand of wheat has arisen on the spot.
"Can anyone tell me how ground wheat flour, mixed with water and baked in an oven, could produce a large handful of wheat? I think this Corpus Christi Sunday 'sign' is another beautiful way that Our Lord smiles on us and the foibles of our human nature."
[resources: The God of Miracles and miraculous novena Mary, Undoer of Knots]
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