The past few weeks have been tough. Sometimes life just makes me want to run into the arms of Jesus. Yes, it would be nice to disappear for a while, and just be surrounded by the Lord’s presence.
This is one song that always brings tears in my eyes.
Deserves my utter devotion. Jesus Christ.
Indeed Jesus is the lover of my soul.
When I was at church yesterday, I was inspired to paint this picture. It was initially supposed to be a storm. Before I was able to paint the raging waves and a vessel in the midst of the storm, I sensed the Lord telling me to paint a blooming garden instead of the raging waves int he sea. So while painting the garden, I finally understood why.
Instead of focusing too much on the storm, the waves around us and even the vessel that’s in the storm, keep your focus on the One who is with you in the storm. For it is He who is able to calm the storm outside, and the storm in you.
When you abide in Him, you will bear fruit regardless of where you are. It’s all about Him.
John 15:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Mark 4:39 New King James Version (NKJV)
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
I’ve found out that it’s so easy to sing “I surrender all” without really surrendering. In fact, I think one of the most difficult Christian hymns is “I surrender all”. The flesh constantly wants to do things “my way”.
In a long ride home, I was put in a difficult spot where I was asked if I’m married. When it’s a short question, it’s easy to answer a simple “yes” or “no”. However, when people start to probe further, it gets very uncomfortable. I find myself lying to them so that I don’t have to answer the questions. [Dear readers – especially married readers, if you have single friends, please don’t ask them whether they’re married unless you really didn’t already know. When you get the answer, please do not probe and remind the person how slim his/her chances are as he/she gets older. I’m sure he/she already knows. Please don’t ask if he/she wants to meet another single friend of yours, unless he/she requested for introduction. Please don’t ask whether a girlfriend/boyfriend is in sight. Please don’t say that your friend is being too picky. It’d be best to stop where he/she answers a no.]
There are reasons why they (also speaking for myself) are still single. Some reasons are obvious, and some other reasons… well, it’s best for you to ask God because we ourselves don’t know.
During worship, I saw a vision of a girl using her hair, wiping the feet of someone. Then I was reminded of Luke 7:38 And she stood behind him at his feet, and she was weeping and she began washing his feet with her tears and wiping them with the hair of her head. And she was kissing his feet and anointing them with ointment. I sensed the Lord asking me to return to Him ~ just as I am and accept that there are questions that I will never have answers in this lifetime. I have the assurance that He will never leave me and that He hears my heart. Just trust Him. So leave all the frustrations behind and embrace His shalom peace.
It’s just a single word but very difficult to do. Surrender. The Oxford dictionary describes the meaning of this word as to “stop resisting to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” That is of course only one of several explanations but surely sounds familiar.
During worship this morning, I sensed the Lord telling me to go to Him and surrender. Yes. Surrender my fears, worries, burdens etc… but also my desires, plans and hopes. This reminds me of a friend I once knew whose favorite saying was, “I die daily”. The act of dying to self and acknowledging that it’s all about Jesus.
My prayer is that I can let everything go at the foot of the cross. Surrender my wants and plans and just cling to His promise that He knows His plans for me and that He has plans to give me hope and prosper me. I don’t see it today and I might not see it tomorrow but someday, in hindsight , I will be able to say that it is for the best. And when I get reminded again and again of what I do not have, may my heart and mind only focus on what He wants to accomplish through my life.
I would like to believe that 2018 would be the year of new beginnings for me but I still see myself very much stuck where I am. Sometimes I wish I can go into a deep sleep and wake up with no memory of painful episodes of my life.
A friend of mine commented that I should get a job in Europe since I’ve always dreamed about visiting the different countries in Europe. It’s not like I don’t want to go but I am carrying such a big and heavy responsibility here. Yes, I know what they keep telling me. “May the Lord reward you for your sacrifices.” Yes, I know He will reward me but I do wish that the reward is now and not when I’m in heaven, or too old and grey to appreciate it.
A few days ago, when I was in one of those odd hour work-related phone calls, my contact reminded me of what I don’t have. Yes, she was rubbing salt in the wound that just never recovers. I wasn’t really angry with her but I was angry about being reminded of it. A big part of me just wanted to say, “yes I know I don’t have it. It’s likely that I will never have it. Are you happy now that I admit it?” That would be the first thing I ask the Lord when I see Him face to face.
I’ve not given up my faith but denying that I have questions will be a lie. Sometimes I wonder how different my life would’ve been if I had stayed in Canada and not returned. Nowadays I just wonder if I’ll still be physically strong and able to travel long distances when I’ve fulfilled all my responsibilities here. Will God redeem my time and enable me to live my dreams in Europe when I grow old ?
While many stayed up late to usher in the new year and probably woke up with a hangover after late night partying … , I slept early and was woken up past midnight by loud fireworks. Then when I went downstairs on the morning of Jan 1, my dad called out to me and I realized he had fallen down. I had to call my mom cause it takes two of us to lift him up. A while later, I realized I probably injured my back muscle when I lifted him from the floor (even with my mother’s help.) So, I had to go for a traditional Thai massage.
That was the 1st day of 2018 for us, and a sore back for me. If I make it through 2018 without going insane, it will be truly by the grace of God.