Your Kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
A few years ago I heard my brother-in-law talking about “The Secret”. He spoke with such elation and excitement. As I heard him describe it, I recalled a book I had read years before titled, “Manifest Your Destiny” by Wayne Dyer. My brother-in-law and Wayne Dyer were both speaking about the Law of Attraction. I was intrigued and very interested. I bought a copy of The Secret DVD and watched it.
As I sat there with a pen and notebook, I recalled that I have heard almost all of this advice before – in Scripture.
Ask. Believe. Receive.
Be Grateful. Be Joyful. Visualize.
All of these messages are from Our Lord. They’re really no secret.
As a Catholic, we sometimes forget that our faith not only values suffering. Sometimes God wants what we want.
I love the fact that the only miracle story in all four Gospels is the story of the loaves and fishes. Jesus brings abundance, even when we don’t see how it could be possible.
Now, I am no theologian. I am just a simple Christian who loves her faith and often finds comfort in it. As I watched and listened to “The Secret”, I heard three main themes. Each theme reminded me of a bible passage (or passages). I would love to share how these themes reminded me of God’s word!
1. Ask. Believe. Receive. More than once, Jesus directs us to ask our heavenly Father for our heart’s desires. In Matthew, 7:7, Jesus literally says “Ask and it will be given to you . . .”. And again in Luke 11:9, “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; . . .”
In each of these passages, Jesus reminds those who are listening of parental love. Our parish had a priest for years that would end almost every homily by telling us how much his parents loved him, then he would add, “BUT THAT LOVE DOESN’T COME CLOSE TO THE LOVE OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN HAS FOR US!” I loved when he reminded us of that! He would often quote the hymn, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, what God has ready for those who love Him.” That song makes me feel so excited about God’s love!
Jesus not only stressed that we should ask, but that we should also believe! I just re-read Matthew 17:14-21 and I found some relief as a former teacher. As a teacher who often found myself so frustrated with my students, it’s a relief to see that Jesus got frustrated with His students too!
A man asked Jesus’ disciples to heal his son, but they could not. The man then went to Jesus who then healed his son. The disciples later ask Jesus in private why couldn’t they heal the boy. I picture Jesus wanting to -and forgive this urban dictionary phrase but, slap them upside the head. Jesus starts his answer to them by saying,
“Because of your little faith…”.
I see Jesus saying it while He was throwing His arms in the air and shaking His head. I feel like he was wondering why don’t they listen?! I remember how I felt when I would collect homework from my high school students and how some would not have their names on their work! I would be beside myself wondering how a 10th grader still didn’t think to put his or her name on his homework or her test! This must have been how Jesus felt when he said to them,
” …I say to you,if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move. . . .”.
Jesus was saying, “Believe”!!!! I think He was also saying, I’ve told you this a million times!!!
2. Be Grateful. Be Joyful. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus heals ten lepers but only one returned to Him to say thank you. Every time I hear this reading I think, “I would have thanked Him!” Somehow I think we all believe we would thank Jesus if he healed us from leprosy. As I reflect on that, I think Jesus was letting us know that we could all be a little more thankful. That leper that returned to Jesus to say thank you, didn’t just say thank you. He “…returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him . . .”(Luke 17:15) That’s not just saying thank you, that is feeling thankful so much you feel like celebrating! That is a happy gratitude! We could all be and feel more grateful! Last year I bought a gratitude journal and I am so glad I did it. Almost every night I wrote down what I was grateful for and I want to order another one for this year. There are other places in scripture that talk about gratitude. Here is an article I found if you are interested in reading where the Bible mentions being thankful.
3. Visualize. Seek Abundance. Let’s go to the Wedding at Cana (this is prayerWINEchocolate, isn’t it. How could I not bring up the Wedding at Cana!?)
Most of us have heard the old expression, “God gives us what we need, not what we want”. And this is often true. God is our Father, and like any parent, we don’t give our children things just because they want them. However, sometimes we do!! I’m going to go out on a limb here and say no one at that wedding NEEDED wine to help sustain their lives. They already had wine. Jesus made MORE wine! And not only did Jesus make more wine, he made GOOD wine! So good the headwaiter commented on it. And by the way – six jars that could hold anywhere from twenty to thirty gallons – that’s an abundance of wine! That’s a celebration!
Before Jesus suffered and died, he performed so many miracles. The one miracle story recorded in all four Gospels, the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, is a miracle that demonstrates abundance! I once read a reflection on this passage written by Elizabeth-Anne Stewart. Stewart stated that, “The multiplication of the loaves and fishes demonstrates that grace is not bound by either logic or arithmetic.” She later states, “In [Jesus’] presence, scarcity becomes abundance . . .”!
I believe Jesus desires us to dream, imagine, set goals and ask Him for help in attaining them! Think about what you want, ask the Lord for it and believe that He will bring it about! While you wait, give thanks for all that is good! I know there are times when it’s difficult to be thankful. But there is always something to be thankful for! The last thing we ate, the bed we slept in, a friend, a family member . . .
From this day forward, let’s not be afraid to ask the Lord for abundant blessings!
What abundant blessings have you already received? Please share in the comments!
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The book Manifest Your Destiny is also a great resource.
I first heard of Wayne Dyer when I read his book “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem“.