Repaint

Few days ago, our house went to a not-so major makeover – we just finish repainting our yard. And now, we fall in love with its new look that we spend breakfast and even dinner there. The colors make it look as if it was new, though our house has been with us for almost 9 or 10 years.

Yesterday, while having breakfast with my family. I remembered the days before work completion and was somehow reminded by God about its similarities with our journeys and seasons:

1. You have to make a decision.

The repainting won’t ever happen unless there was a decision made. Even the color was decided first before going with the repainting job. Similarly, in our journey or season, either we are given such decisions or we don’t have control over the next journey that life offered. Though we cannot control the events that’ll happen to us, we can always make the decision to take the journey with God – holding His hand every step of the way. We have to decide that we will take this path if it if and only if God was with us. Any journey taken with God, whether be it decided or fated, we can be sure His love will cover us.

2. Trust the process

The week before we started the paint job, our house was turned upside down. My father took out all the things in our house, sorted out what are the things we needed and kept them, then thrown or gave things that were not necessary. Our house seemed like a dumpsite. I never liked how it looked. It was messy. But when you look at our house today, it doesn’t have any hint of that mess. And sometimes we are also in the middle of the mess. Everything is turned upside down and we are left frustrated, angry, and most of the times without hope. We cannot seem to see the end of the mess that we want to give up. I want yo encourage you to trust the process – that ugly, painful, frustrating process – because surely it’ll come to an end. And when you get to the end, you’ll be glad that you didn’t gave up. That the mess is necessary purging to something great. If we had given up sorting, we won’t reach the point where we get to enjoy breakfast and nice stories at our yard.

3. Trust the Planner

My mother, youngest brother and I searched for color combinations that’ll work with our house. I knew my brother knows the color that we liked so when my father comes into play with color decisions, I know he can tell him what color to paint. I never saw the color being painted until the third day. It was morning and I have to go to the office when I saw the bright blue color – this was not what I have imagined. I told myself to keep quiet as I can hurt my father’s feelings if I blatantly told him it was ugly. But I can’t help it, that I told him jokingly – “Papa, I don’t think it would work…what’ll be the color of our gate it our house is bright blue?”, then he calmly responded “It’s not yet finish, it’ll be good.” With his answer, I was a bit comforted – I told myself to trust him. Days after – I saw the house again and he was right, it was good – actually more than good. In our journey, we have plans and we lay them out – and sometimes those plans get ruined. Let’s be honest, we hate it when our plans get ruined – we then question God why did this happen when we already have planned it all. Instead of complaining, it should prompts us to trust the Planner. We love to complain, I do, and thankfully He answers us in calm and cool manner that just makes us trust Him. More than trusting the process, we have to put our whole trust on the Planner for He knows well what He is doing. His plans would never fail and most of all He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Repainting or repairing something maybe messy just as our journey, but if we take the decision to go with it as long as God is with us, trusting the process and most importantly trusting Him – then we can be sure to enjoy His work at the end of it.

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Take Heart

Hi! It has been more than 2 months since I wrote. I was actually going to write last December, but I got too scared and prideful to open up of my struggles within.

No one ever said this journey will be easy. If we are to look at our lives on a different view, I can say we are always at the target of attacks. Doubts will start to creep in, disappointments will haunt you at night, and the past will keep on knocking at your door.

There are better days, days in which you just don’t want to end, but that’s not the reality we are living in. I pleaded to God for help – actually it was more of ranting, haha! I was asking Him why I am where I am now, because I just can’t seem to comprehend. I’ll be honest, at some point I doubted that all of this is for my good – because it’s getting harder for me to see the good. My vision of a good future was blocked by the things in my life that doesn’t seem to work. It made me feel that I lack in all aspects – I feel stupid, I feel like I won’t ever have good relationship, and I feel defeated. Everything doesn’t feel right.

I gave it a week to shake it off – sadly it did not and now it has been two months. Now, I can’t say I’m back, I’m still struggling and fighting to hear His voice and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just can’t and I don’t want to stay long in this position.

He listens, I know He listens. It’s just that I don’t and I’m so stubborn to do it my way. He cares, because if not then we won’t ever have moments talking to each other. He waits patiently for me to talk to Him again. I think, His heart is also broken seeing that I am not at my best. As a good father, I think if we can exchange position so I won’t feel the way I do, He would. But then again I won’t learn anything, I’d just keep on having the life that I wanted myself that might just make me into a selfish person.

I know He is teaching me to let go and submit to His Lordship. He wants to transform me from glory to glory that purging of my old self is needed no matter how painful it would be. That I should no longer hold on to who I was and stop listening to the lies and declare victory because He is with me.

Even though life is not going the way I wanted it to be, or I am not where I thought I would be, or don’t have the things I need and want – I can’t blame Him. Because deep in my heart, I know what’s important is my encounter with Him, our relationship that gets stronger as we walk together in the valley of death, in the tunnel of darkness, in the sea of uncertainty. I can trust in Him and look forward for a bright future ahead. I trust and know deep in my heart that where I am not is not my final destination. Who I was will never be who I am. What my past, disappointments, failures, and even accomplishments won’t define me. Because who I am is already defined – His daughter whom He loves most.

And I don’t think any Father would just let His child stay at their worst, but He will teach them to stand on their feet. Just as when a father teaches you to ride a bike – at first you’ll ride with training wheels, but there will come a time when we have to take them off and our only guide will be our father. He’ll hold us and little by little he’ll let go. We then ride, wobbly and slow and most of the times we fall and cry and he’s there to help us stand. But we don’t stop because we fall, he will urge us to keep going until we can learn to ride by ourselves, no matter how bumpy, wide, narrow, or uncertain the road are.

I know that deep in my heart no matter the situation I am in He is with me. He has carried me before, and I know He’ll carry me through over and over again. But I have to fight and declare His goodness, grave, mercy, and love in my life. I have to decide that I won’t stay defeated, lost, and loathing instead I am redeemed, forgiven, and victorious.

Yes, I fell, but He got me up. I’ll keep going no matter what because I don’t depend on me but on God. And He will carry me through. 😊

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Let God Fight For You (Acts 18 Devotion)

Acts 18 is one of the chapters wherein God’s promise is really evident. To further appreciate it, we can read at the previous chapters and see Paul’s journey as he spread the gospel.

We knew now what happened with Paul – he was imprisoned, beaten, and stoned that he even almost died. We can imagine that he must be really tired from going from one place to another as he has been to many places God told him to go. Not only that, he was harmed. He might be regularly harmed that it actually look like it is already a norm.

Again, let’s put ourselves in Paul’s shoes – I believe he might have prayed for deliverance from all this pain and suffering – that it might be possible for him to just pass through a country and peacefully preach the gospel. I would also like to think, he would want to defend himself every time he was being physically hurt – he would want to fight back. But he followed God wholeheartedly and with full obedience – no matter what the trouble might be in this new place.

But during his stay in Corinth, something different happened. Lord told him on a vision:

“...“Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”” – Acts 18:9-10

If I were Paul, I would just shrug this vision off and say “Ugh, beating is normal. But thank You!” or probably ask God, “Why just now?”. Why not spare Paul from the start? He’s been through too much – Why just now? I believe the answer to this is, for us to see how powerful the Holy Spirit works in Paul’s life – I don’t think a normal human could survive all that, but because he has the Holy Spirit within him and He has God, he can do all things. Instead of questioning God, Paul got bolder to preach the gospel and just followed God without hesitation.

But, that peace did not last long. After some time, there he was again on the same situation – being brought up to the tribunal and maybe be stoned, again. People were just attacking him, let’s just hope verbally, and maybe he was reminded of God’s promise, we don’t know – but we can clearly see Paul was ready to defend himself. What happens next is just amazing:

But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” And he drove them from the tribunal.” – Acts 18 14-16

Paul didn’t even have to utter any word, God intervened through Gallio. He was not harmed in any way. How faithful and true to His promises God is! Just wow!

From this, we can have three points to ponder on:

  1. God got us covered. There are battled in our lives where in we don’t even have to say something or do something, but just plain trust Him. And we have to accept that some battles are only fought by Him, and all we have to do is just let Him fight for us. It’s God telling us not to stress ourselves out, He got us covered. He will be the one to fight our battles, and we just have to focus on Him. And just as He promised, He will be with us and no one will be able to attack us.
  2. When God give promises, it might not be on our own timeline, but surely He will come through. God might be building up Paul’s faith through the challenges which produced his endurance. And the same is true with us, God wants to builds us up first – our character, our heart. And then when the perfect time comes, when we are ready, His promises will come forth in our very eyes. He is never late, maybe early at times – just trust in His timing.
  3. Lastly, obedience is the key to God’s promises unfolding. If Paul stopped and stayed silent because he’s tired and terrified and too hurt – he wouldn’t be able to see the promise come true. Our obedience is the key to all this, God is generous to give all that our hearts desire, especially if it’s according to His will, but we must be willing to follow where He leads.

And if we think, the story ends here – keep on reading Paul’s journey especially when he got back to Jerusalem, you’ll be amazed of how faithful God is. That what He promised is not just a one time thing, that even after, God’s mercy is still evident.

I pray we be the same – the same heart, same obedience,and same faith. That we open our hearts to God’s leading and let Him move us towards Him. To listen, obey, and have an expectant heart to see His promises unfold our very eyes. And let’s not do this just because we are promised, I pray we be inspired by His unending love.

God’s Reminder

I can’t relax. It was not I who took the exam, but I felt the same way when I did while waiting for my brother’s exam results. Ever since Thursday, I was checking PRC’s site relentlessly – praying the result was released already. It just usually take them three days for it – but somehow, this exam was different.

9PM came, then 10PM – still none. My mother was more than anxious than I am – maybe that’s because she’s excited – because alas we are all professionals. 11PM came, still PRC can be accessed easily, meaning still no results. We decided to sleep, and hope that when we woke up, I’d be greeting my brother “Congratulations!”.

Never did I intend to woke up in the middle of the night – but my excitement seems to have kept me up. I checked whenever I got woke. Friday, 9AM – still no results and now asking what took them so long. My past time was refreshing PRC’s page. I knew then they would release it by 9PM or else it would be release on Monday.
Coincidentally, I am attending Single’s Night – I knew I won’t be able to check PRC’s page from time to time- however while I still got the chance, I still do.

Quarter to 9 – the last time I checked – still none and it was time to worship God. It almost felt like God is telling me, “My daughter, relax – I’ve got this. You’ll have what you’re waiting for. But while you are waiting, seek me first.”. I let go, and just praised Him.

After the praise and worship, I manage to got a hold of my phone – when I opened it, there it was – a message telling me my brother passed –  To God be the glory! I can’t contain the happiness, it was as if I too passed the exam. But more than that I was reminded that most of the times, what we want, especially if God also wants it for us, will surely come – but how we wait for it, anxiously or we immerse ourselves in prayer, praise and worship – affects us. And I believe God wants to remind us to focus on Him first, let go of these things and just worship Him. Because in the most unexpected time, place, and person as well – He will deliver the desires of our hearts.


“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭ESV

Congratulations to all the new Engineers! May God use you‬‬ for His purpose! To God be the glory! 

Pursuit of Relentless Faith

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
– 2 Timothy 4:7

Just last month I had the privilege of joining a Single’s Getaway – held in the chilly weather of Baguio City. I was really excited to join as this was my first ever camp in my *toot* years of existence (Haha!). I expected to meet new friends and of course to have a whole different encounter with God, especially during this Season of Preparation. True enough, my expectations were not just met, but highly met by God. I was able to know many people – got out of my introverted comfort zone, did some small (and big) conversations that paved way to establishing godly friendships and most especially deeper relationship with God.

We are very blessed to have Pastor Jansen Morados as our speaker and he preached about Relentless Faith. After the sessionsI’ve got this renewed sense of faith and saw it’s importance not only in this season, but all throughout the season God will place us in the future.

But first what does relentless mean? According to the dictionary relentless means  oppressively constant; incessant; persistent – in other words it does not stop, continuous, or never ending. And faith as we know “…is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). But how then are we going to pursue relentless faith?

1. Acknowledge that we are in the fight

First and foremost, we must know that we are in a fight. Though not physical, this fight is deemed to be the most important fight of our lives, for it is spiritual. Especially that we are now called as His sons and daughters, even called by our own name (Isaiah 43:1). We should be spiritually aware of the attacks that will cause us to divert from God and His will.

Acknowledging that we are in the fight also has the need to acknowledge that we cannot fight alone. We need other people (Proverbs 27:17) and most importantly we need God. Aside from that it is also important to know the end battle – we are already victorious. Isn’t that great? Nevertheless, that should not stop us from being in the fight, still.

2. Just keep going

I had a different outlook of this battle when Pastor Jansen revealed to us that 2 Timothy 4:7 does not implore us to win. Yup! Surprised? Me too, it said that we just have to be in the race and finish it. We don’t have to do any winning because this battle has already been decided. We are on the winning team – we have already won, with Jesus raising to life. And nothing will say otherwise.

Even so, the enemy would want to distract us of that truth by telling lies (John 10:10). Lies such as:

  • “You’re just a mere human, you’re weak.”,
  • “You need to prove yourself to God.”,
  • “You’re not part of the team.”

Or maybe implant doubts in our hearts by asking questions like:

  • “If He really loves you why is there a need to wait?”
  • “If He does love you, why is He not giving you what you wanted?”
  • “Do you really have to put your trust in Him? Maybe you can do that yourself.”

Fortunately for us, that’s just about it, a lie. So just keep going and choose wisely whom to listen. Because who we listen to sets the pace in this race.

Again, I cannot stress out the importance of this, the battle’s already won just be in the fight, just keep the faith.

3. Anchor your faith to our immovable God

The same God who parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21) is the same God that holds our future in His hands. He is unchanging. He is the only thing constant in this world – and with that, we can surely anchor our faith in Him. Just as a boat anchored on the sea, no matter how hard the waves hit – it will stay still, not because the boat is perfectly engineered to stay still, but because of where it is anchored to.

Aside from that, we can be assured of His love for us. A love so unconditional – that did not let us be eternally separated from Him. A love so pure, He even sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins (John 3:16). And yes! That’s how He is. And that’s how He will always be. That is our Father in heaven.

 

Oh the wonderful pursuit of relentless faith – it does not only strengthens us, but deepens our relationship with our Abba. It makes us discover His heart more intimately, like a love story blossoming to its happily ever after. The pursuit of relentless faith is continuously believing – holding on that no matter what the situation is at the moment or in the future, the things we hoped for will be true, in His perfect time.