Though it tarries…

ecclesiastes-3-11

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.” – Habakkuk.2:3

God tends to give us promises that might be near and far. Some seem too good to be true, like Joseph’s dream of being a king. But when we are absolutely convinced of His promises and that He will do them as He has planned, we have such confidence in His ability. As they say in the world ‘good things are worth waiting for’, God’s best are always worth waiting for. 

God’s promises to Abraham, Joseph, David… they all had to wait and hold tightly to that vision that He had once given them. 

Abraham had seen the vision of having a son when he was about 75 years. At this stage it was already impossible considering his and Sarah’s age. But God had to make it even more impossible by making him wait another 24 years, so that Abraham’s faith grew stronger and stronger until he was crowned ‘father of faith’ (Romans.4:16) 

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” – Romans.4:20-21

The same for Joseph and David; the kingdoms they were promised at a young age were only obtained after many years of suffering and pain. In the case of Joseph, contrary to his vision, he became a slave in Egypt. And in the case of David, he had to flee the very king he loved and who was also his father-in-law. These two men however, had such strong conviction that GOD never lies and that He has a time for everything. So they waited patiently for Him, avoiding the shortcuts the world had offered, for they feared and revered the Lord more than others and more than their dreams. 

For these great men of faith, the waiting was painful and the pressure immense. They often felt they were going in circles with no end point, just holding on to one end of the thread. But they knew one thing – that He who promised was faithful to keep His word! The waiting made the promise more precious, more beautiful and God used those years to build their characters so that they were equipped enough to accept those precious gifts. This is God’s way! 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah.55:8-9

 

 

Do not sit on stolen idols

teraphim“When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods.” – Genesis.31:19

Genesis 31 tells the story of how Jacob fled Laban’s house (the place where he served for decades). During this flight, Rachel decides to steal her father’s household idols without telling anyone. Later in the chapter when Laban finds out they had fled and that his idols were stolen, he follows them. Although he didn’t harm them as he was warned by God, he searched everywhere for his precious idols. “Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them. ” (verse 34) Scripture does not explain why Rachel stole those idols, but we can see she was not willing to give them up.

As children of God we are called to leave all our idols and trust wholly in our heavenly Father. Yet, how many times do we peak into those stolen idols when we think God is not looking. We know that anything we put trust above God has become our idol (how many idols have we collected like this), ones that give false sense of security. How long until we get up from our seat, take those idols and throw them off our tents and lives? God is all we need, He is our sufficiency and who makes us complete. Those stolen idols were never ours, we are children of the light, so lets not covet the things and ways of the world.

Sing over me

6358748036944186621892622963_musicMusic is powerful; the words that hang with the sweet or strong melodies could have a life saving or life destroying effect. David used songs to praise, worship and plead with God; the psalms are true testaments of how important songs were to David (Psalm.1-150). God can use various methods to speak to His children. One of the many ways for me is through songs. God uses specific songs for each season and occasion of my life that is so relevant either to encourage, uplift, teach me or just to praise and worship Him. Thus, I have many songs that I associate with a certain time in my life and how God has been so faithful to me through those.

Songs are used for various reasons these days and it’s worrying to see that the world is using it as a main tool to clear the path to hell for many vulnerable people, particularly children and youngsters.  Music has a power to affect our emotions and how we feel about the words spoken within the songs. Whether we are just loving it because it has nice beats or just for mere enjoyment, the words will stick to our minds and some how affect our way of thinking on the subject being sang about. 

As one preacher said, “GIGO – Garbage In Garbage Out”, whatever we fill our minds that is what we will produce. You cannot grow what you haven’t sown. Let us allow God to fill us with His praise, allow Him to use songs to comfort us in times of need and to fill our hearts with shouts of praise in times of joy. 

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans.12:1-2

Possible is not impossible

 

impossible-just-wordI once read a phrase 

Something that a word uttered

“I’m possible”, said the Impossible

The first part made it difficult

“I am”, signified my ability

When I saw matters

Through the eyes of probability

0 in 1 was the chance

A place where hope can’t be found

 

I had to drop the ‘I am’

It only revealed my weakness and shame

Making my impossible possible

Chaining all my hope in its jail

 

But where can I find this ‘possible’

If looking inside me has made me crumble?

 

I gazed up to the heavens

And faced towards Him

“With man it may be impossible” He said,

“But with God, all things are possible”

 

For Him,

No distance is too wide

No mountain is too high

No burden is too heavy

Nothing can make Him weary

 

For He is,

Strong, powerful and mighty

Sovereign, kind and holy

Awesome loving and wonderful

Just and faithful

That is my King!

 

So it’s no longer ‘I am’ but ‘Him’

For with my God all things are possible!

“For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” – Romans.11:36

 

 

Rejoice with Habakkuk

 53627-dance-in-the-rainBe joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans.12:12

Consider your bad days, what do they consist of? The shower goes cold, the kettle doesn’t boil, you miss the bus or your car breaks down, you’ve made some silly mistakes at work (unintentionally), customers are not happy with you, it starts to rain and you haven’t got a coat… your life seems nothing but a mess! Sometimes right from the start till the end you may experience things that annoy you, upset or stress you.

Yet despite all this, we are asked to be joyful, patient and prayerful? How can you be joyful and your day is all gloomy and nothing seems to go right?  How can you be patient when all you are experiencing is bad thing after another?

The prophet with a funny name, Habakkuk once said:

“17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.” – Habakkuk.3:17-19

I often asked myself the question why do such things happen and there could be a lot of reasons. But it seems that Habakkuk knew a secret that allowed him to ‘dance in the rain’ of misery as it were. Despite all the discouraging problems that he described, he said he “will rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God my Saviour”. Why? There is nothing to be joyful about losing your crops and your animals! He answers it in the following verse; Habakkuk knew who God was to him. God was His strength that enabled him to tread on the heights, so he can see past the gloomy present situation.

Praise or thankfulness has a way of lifting us up to the higher grounds to see things beyond the momentary mess, because it reveals to us the greatness of our God and who we are in Him. Only then can we find the joy that Habakkuk described, the kind of joy that makes you dance in the rain. Praise is also a massive declaration of faith in God’s sovereignty.

Still i will praise You

my eyes may grow dim

Gazing on the sky

Watching and waiting

For clouds that may never appear 

 

Still i will praise You

Your faithfulness is true

i know You will come through

 

The fig tree may fail to bud

And no grapes be found on the vines

When the earth is all dry

And fail to produce the crop

While the stalls and pen give away

Their sheep and cattle

As it’s all left barren

For everything is broken

 

Still i will praise You

Your faithfulness is true

i know You will come through

 

The Father of lights shines through

To mend every broken heart

To straighten every crooked path

To breathe new life

To the cold and empty land

 

Still i will praise You

Your faithfulness is true

i knew You would come through

 

If You hadn’t risen

i would be most pitied

But now i live to tell

The glorious splendour

Of Your majesty and grace

 

Again i will praise You

Your faithfulness is sure

i knew You would come through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of ME

“Give it a try, you got nothing to lose” a phrase we hear quite often. Yet it is in those moments that the true feelings of our hearts are revealed. Why don’t we try? Because we are afraid of failure. I absolutely detest that word, as I know everyone does. Failure reveals that we are weak, that we haven’t got it all together, that we are somewhat unable and inadequate. It’s not a great place to be, because it’s uncomfortable and because we are not in control.

We like structure, organised schedules and chaos is something we try to avoid, because we lose control. But that’s what we are, chaotic people. Even to the most organised people who think they are in control, there’s times when things just get out of hand. That’s the world we live in. 

Nevertheless, we can dance in the rain, we can glory in our weaknesses, because, His word says:

 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” – Matthew.5:3

Again Paul says in his writings:

“I take pleasure in weaknesses, in reproaches, in hardships, in persecutions, and in distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” because Christ told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” – 2nd Corinthians.12:9-10

When we haven’t got it all together, when we feel lost of a plan and which way to turn, He is faithful to show up and do the leading. We may not like it cause we are only led one day at a time, we don’t see the end from here, but all we need is FAITH as small as a mustard seed. 

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
 nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
 so are My ways higher than your ways,
 and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah.55:8-9

WE CAN TRUST HIM. 

So here at the end of me, where all my knowledge and my plans can’t help me, i can trust in HIS great wisdom. Amen. 

The new enemy is Busy

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm.90:12

“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” – Victor Hugo

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” – Zig Ziglar

TIME, is a very important factor to our daily living. It measures the span of how long something takes. Heard of the term “time flies when you are having fun” but how about when time really drags or when there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day?

In the current culture that we live in, we are all running around like headless chicken trying to sort out this and that. We carry with us a long list of to-dos that we may never get to complete. This in turn leads to frustration and depression. Some how life seems to be chaotic and this chaos seems to be more prevalent in young adults and middle aged people. Consequently, I see a lot of anti-depressants given out like adult candies to this particular age group.

Phrases such as, “get your priorities right, … first thing is first” echo in my mind, but how easy is it to put this in practice?

Setting attainable goals seems to be the way forward with this, but when lead by the Holy Spirit you are more likely to achieve those goals and if you didn’t you know that God’s grace is sufficient even when you are weak and tired. I believe that even in this area, being secure in God’s love makes all the difference on how you perceive things, whether good (to be thankful and not proud) or bad (to rely on God’s sufficient grace and not be frustrated).

If our motives are right (to honour God), God according to His good will won’t dishonour His name, He will be glorified through these weak and broken vessels.

“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians.5:15-16

Further reading: Billy Graham: 4 Steps to Using Your Time More Wisely

 

The crossroads

Everything has a beginning and an end, at least so it seems. One thing starts and once you took forever to adapt, it’s finally time to move on. Another thing starts, with its own highs and lows, but then again that comes to an end as well. Life seems to be a cycle of many events that start and end. And through this process, you meet various kinds of people and learn a lot of things that may help you deal with the next cycle better. I realised that these many cycles are not mutually exclusive, but actually a narrative of one event that is unique just for you. The narrator is God. I have also realised that there is one Strand that connects as these ‘circles’; He is Jesus. I am reminded of this verse in Hebrews.13:8 (the first English Bible verse I learnt by heart as a child): “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

So as I approach the end of one chapter in my life and look with hope and faith in my Father for the future, I find rest and “peace that passes all understanding”. Because, wherever I am, there He will also be, blessed be His name. Amen! 

Greater treasures

When God asks us to give Him the gold we hold so tightly in our hands, our immediate response is often regret; as freed hands are not used to such liberty, we stretch them out trying to grab what may come in our path. Thus, that sweet surrender turns us to an even deeper bondage.

The reflex mechanism of the human mind immediately followed by letting go is quite interesting. We have to have something! How can God ask that of us? But His promise was never to leave us with empty, bare hands. As we open our clenched fists and give whatever we held so tightly, it is so that He can give us greater treasures, more precious than what we held so dear. Open hands can hold more than clenched fists.

May God help us to trust Him more and more as we face at our insecurities and questions each day. Amen!