Beneath the Willow Tree

There was a willow tree in the corner of the field. It is nearby the bank of a river. Beneath the willow I’d sat down, escaping from my routine life. The cold sand waiting for the warm sun rays, until they featured in the stipulated alignment of the earth and sun.

Serene beauty, with reflections of the blue sky above can be seen in the water. The trees nearby started to shed their leaves. However, these willow trees are filled with greenery still producing my required clean air. Their sweet yet small fruits are ripening.

In that calm and clean water, I could see fishes enjoying the water. From my bag, I took out my fishing hook. I used bamboo sticks as my fishing rod. Laid my bait as I lowered down the hook for the fish; when the fish pulled my stick I suddenly pulled it out. And there’s a fish swallowing the hook.

At last, the sand gets warm. The story book that I read gets more and more interesting. Yet there’s one problem I could hardly know all the word meanings. I’m just learning yet I felt contented. The place was like a safe haven for me.

Beneath the willow tree, I was as calm as I could. I wanted spend my time alone. I wanted to be in peace, at least for some moment. No living creatures are welcomed here. Except for those birds calling each other to share their foods I kept for them.

willow tree near the brook
Willow tree near the river

Sometimes, I would take a quick nap rejuvenating myself in the world of dreams. The sound of winds, coming from the leaves, could be mesmerizing. It was mixed with fragrance of nature. When it gets warm I’d hang my clothes in the branches of the willow tree.

In no time, I gathered my catches and few belongings and get up to resume my work. Time does fly when you are in peace. In those moments of hard work and worries, time seems to remain constant. The dazzling sun seems to dwindle; soon it will disappear behind the mountains.

I’d picked some of the mustard leaves to bring it home as I inspect every nook and corner of the farm. So that when I get home I could see appreciative faces. It is not an obligation but I wanted to contribute for our large family’s meal.

Once again, I glanced at the willow tree, which seems to be enjoying the evening breeze. When its small branches and trees moved, side to side, following the breeze; there is a sense of relief inside me. I took them as waving goodbye to me for the day.

Safe Haven No More:

Today, in the shade of my room, I revisited the place I once used as my safe haven, in my mind. It was not easy to experience that kind of serene environment. Things have changed, physically and mentally. The atmosphere has been filled with undesirable influxes.

The silence, or should I say semi-silence, are interrupted by the activities of people. Inside the room, there are no fish to catch. The occasional breeze hardly comes by. Even when it comes, it is the polluted city air which if possible, would be neglected without a single breathing.

Serenity exists only in a dream by now. Pain has eluded the calmness of life. There’s hardly any place that can be used as safe haven. Bad news and crime reports filled the morning newspapers. Once again I longed for that place; that calm place beneath the willow tree.

Living creatures, man and animals, around us intruded our privacy. There’s a need for conforming to the diktats of the law. As Jean Jacques Rousseau puts it, “man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains”. We are bounded by our worldly needs in the walk of life.

When you wanted to do something good there are people who’d take advantages of such moves. In our everyday life, we have been ambushed by many things that we need to settle score with, from time to time.

Just when I was about to close this chapter I heard a group of people shouting at each other. I looked out to check where it was heading; it seems to be one of those exaggerated negligible tiny issues again. By the way, shouting, making noise, and disturbing the peace of each other is an habitual practice of the residents, in the city where I lived.

Peace of Mind:

There are many interpretations on the kind of peace, which the prince of peace Jesus Christ had brought to this world. As it was proclaimed at the birth of Lord Jesus Christ, which we celebrated as Christmas: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14)

The first and foremost, the most important peace at the same time, was we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been justified by our faith in Him. (Romans 5:1) While this peace is meant for all people, it was only to those who accepted Him as their Savior. It brought peace of mind to those who are saved.

The kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is for us to pursue the things which would bring peace and edify one another in the light of the Lord. (Romans 14:17-18)

With the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we can be peaceful with one another. At the same time, it is important that we first have peace of mind inside us. However, the work of the evil afflicted us from losing this peace in our journey of life.

Now the peace of God will soon crush Satan underneath your (our) feet. (Romans 16:20) Our God is not the author of confusion but of peace. The time will soon come when peace from God will prevail throughout the universe and beyond.

There are times my mind wanted to rest as it did beneath the willow tree. Beneath the reign of God, we can have peace of mind. May the peace and grace of Lord Jesus Christ be with us! Amen.

Born With A Purpose

Irrespective of what we do, if we serve our purpose in life, we’d be a blessed person in the end. Our life, which is the means, would justify the(our) end.

Longevity is a blessing but not everyone could have it. Still, a lifetime whether long or short doesn’t determine our purpose; it depends on how we perform our menial or noble work.

Brevity: life is made of it. Nothing lasts forever. The longest day of the year is still one day; nothing more than that. The longest lifetime of any creatures was still a brief moment in the sight of God.

In the brevity of life, where little things are simply stitch together, we are made for a purpose. Nothing deters our worth, we are planned. God has created our inmost being; knit us together in our mother’s womb. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalms 139:13, 14)

Our life is God’s good gift to us. Circumstances in life, good and bad, reveals our potential. Life in itself is the greatest opportunity. Opportunists we all are, although political opportunists are not appreciated as they can hinder growth.

Struggling with our Purpose:

The problem lies in not knowing our purpose. There are many lives shriveling day by day as they are unable to use their potential.

Not all persons could be CEOs yet the jobless are not worthless either. In our own level we can serve our purpose. Serving our purpose would give us sense of achievement even in our most unwanted situations.

Some days of the year I could spent wondering whether I served my purpose or not. In the countryside where I was born, there was no or less facility to take care of newborns. Yet I survived to this day by the grace of God. I have this faith that before I could serve my purpose, here on earth, my God wouldn’t take my life. And that’s my prayer too.

It was my own prerogative in assuming that securing a noble job, which would raise our financial status and providing for our family needs, would be my purpose of living. Or at least my purpose of leaving home for better opportunity, it doesn’t seem to be, as of now.

Our purpose could be way beyond our thoughts and what we wanted to do in life. It could be lowly or doing odd jobs but serving our purpose would be our greatest privilege in living one life.

Our birth might not be foretold, as in the case of Jesus Christ, but we are here with a purpose. We might not discover yet me might be serving or on the path of our discovery. Here, I know one thing: We can help in understanding our purpose(s).

A manger: Born with a purpose
A manger; for reference purpose only

Born with a Purpose:

The birth of a king was foretold through the prophets, number of times, in the Old Testament. It doesn’t matter your acceptance, a king was born some 2000 years ago.

He was born in Bethlehem and first laid in a manger. Born of a Virgin Mary was baby Jesus Christ; the God who came in human form. He did not have a noble birth.

The baby Jesus was born with a purpose: to deliver his people from their sins. Without mentioning the Cross, a Christmas would be incomplete. Because His death on the cross was the ultimate purpose and completion of His life on earth, as He declared, “It is finished!” (John 19:30)

As it was told, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save His people from their sins.” What does Jesus mean? Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the LORD saves.

From the king who did not have a noble birth to spending his whole life with the lepers, downtrodden, outcast, and lowly people, there would be nothing to expect much from Him.

We had known the aftermath and the superiority of Jesus Christ. However, if we’re among those who lived during his birth, nothing extraordinary would be expected of Him.

Despite the temptations and rejection He had received from His own people, Jesus Christ still fulfilled His purpose. That too, in a very short span of time.

In just a little over three decades, He fulfilled His purpose of coming. Again, it reminded me of the brevity of life.

Despite the brevity of His life, He changed the world. In that 24 hours, on the Cross of Calvary, He changed the fortune of the world, I repeated.

Jesus Christ doesn’t need richness, wealth, status, and good amount of time in fulfilling His purpose. We know He is God who is superior over humans but in His birth as a human, He has become one amongst us. He was the Son of Man who endured all kinds if hardships in His short span of life.

Our Purpose at Christmas Time:

As the years’ Christmas is nigh, decorations and preparations might have started in some peaceful countries. It would be soon followed by a celebration worldwide; some would celebrate it as reminder the Birth of Savior or as a normal festival.

As the streets, shopping complexes, and the churches are lit up in attune to the celebrations of the first Christmas where the angels had lit up the sky in declaring His worth!

When you sit under the mistletoe, take some time to think of the purpose of Christ’s birth. Then go on to think about your purpose of living this life. Let’s make our wishes and prayer made known to Him.

Should we already know our purpose or fully surrender to His will, keep hanging on to it till the end. He came to deliver mankind from our long impending sin.

Our God has tremendous plans for us. Our life is created with choice. It is only the beginning of an everlasting life.

As there could be a high point of our life there would be a low point as well. In our adversities, our sufferings, our financial struggles, it is my prayer that the purpose these afflictions be made known to us.

As we face the world, it was His purpose, in His grace, of making us whole again and reconnected with Him, and beyond.

Getting Ready

Before the time comes I wanted to get ready, if that’s possible at all. But it happens most of the time before I could get ready.

I don’t want to get embarrassed, amongst people, by these seizure attacks. When I have this aura, which warns me of the possible attack, I am very happy. Yet my happiness couldn’t save me either.

Sometimes my SOS pill helped me avoid such circumstances. If it is going to happen; it happens. The most important thing is I wanted to finish my job or inform someone in any case I wouldn’t recover.

If I’m out from home, there are times I’d call home to let them give a check on me every five to ten minutes. Nothing can be ascertained but anything can happen. If it’s just another aura, then it’s way better.

When I’m with my children alone at home, I’d tell them if something’s wrong. My children would pray besides my bed, which gives me comfort. And God really did hear his prayer, which keeps me safe, most of the time.

When my God had cared and arranged help in my worst days, I am really grateful. He’d lead me home in those uncertain moments.

Getting ready to run
Getting Ready

In my living with epilepsy, this is one of the many lessons it taught me. In any way possible, I could, I wanted to avoid unprecedented seizure attacks but one thing is inevitable, I could not stay safe all the time. Although there are some embarrassing moments, I was quite blessed enough, as I was saved from embarrassing moments.

Getting Ready for the End:

Talking about death is not always pessimistic. It can otherwise make us appreciate our lives, which inculcate optimism in our living.

Should we be clear about our beliefs; what we expect after death, it would help us in living a happy life. Each day of lives would be numbered. We’d give thanks to the Lord for the gift of time.

Let’s get absorb in this matter and devote out whole time thinking about it. No, that is not my purpose of writing this. We should live like we could never die but get ready like we could die any moment.

It might be clearer this way: It is hope, time and again here, that I’d awake again should I have seizure attack but with impending pain on my body. However, some episodes did change my analysis of my problem. Recovering, really, is not in my hand. Should it be time for me to go on there’s nothing I could do about it.

The problem here is I could never be ready for such unprecedented episodes. But I have this faith that if something more than unusual happen in life, God took control of everything. The only thing I should be concern about is meeting Him again.

We shouldn’t be left undecided about our future. One must be certain about our belief. If someone does not anticipate life after death or meeting our Savior, let’s say it his choice now. But someone getting caught not readying for anything could be a disaster.

Apostle Paul, talking about the Day of the Lord, wrote to the Thessalonians: For you are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. (1 Thess. 5:2-11)

While citizens of every order are busy for (International, national, and local) “Peace and Safety” destruction will come suddenly on them. (My emphasis added) No one knows about the times and dates of such extent.

How do we get Ready?

Here in verses 8 to 11, the Apostle Paul gave a very brief yet meaningful instruction on getting ready so that no one should be surprised like a thief. Let’s read:

“Putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

Salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ is the best way of getting readied being mentioned here.

For every beginning there is an end. If a flower blooms today it will wither in few times. If someone is suffering there will be time where suffering ends.

Some of the things in life are certain, those certainty we weren’t interested. We are more drawn to those thrills of uncertainty.

In the meantime, let’s work hard; not simply remain idle and disruptive. Let us help the weak, love each other in brotherly and sisterly love, and be patient with one another. V12-14. Let us be thankful and optimistic each day of our lives.

Being prepared or getting will enhance our productivity, which will increase our appreciation of life. Lest we go empty handed to our Worthy Savior.

Getting ready is the most appropriate thing we can do on our own; we don’t need to involve others. There is no need of investing huge amount of time and money but our own heart. It is more of a state of mind.

In his very own words, Jesus Christ had alerted the disciples about being getting ready or readiness at any hour. Here, let’s read again:

You must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect Him. (Matthew 24:44)

It becomes a least likely trend of many people who are too much anxious about this timing. Some people, in the
very unfortunate way, ended up taking their own lives, which is against conforming to the will of God.

In the process of getting ready, we should not be too much anxious of God’s timing. In His most appropriate timing Jesus Christ came on earth to save us. And in His most appropriate timing He would call us unto Him.

When we are young, healthy, busy in our own work, and with few difficulties in life we tend to think less of this important aspect of life. Still it is a good thing, I would say, because it shows we’re happy.

However, some people still missed this aspect of life even in their worst situation. They are blinded, circumstances had blocked their view: their wisdom, their riches, their dilapidated life, could become their evil strongholds. But the abiding grace of God is always kind and nigh.

Let the grace of God be with us while we get ready for His Kingdom!

Letters from My Father

My father wrote letters to me; more often than any girl would. It was written with love. Neatly written in his very own hand but with severe curves, which could take time to read.

Letters from my father
Actual photos of Letters from My Father

Today, I was submerged in a plethora of emotions, thinking back at those good old times. My father would use papers from the workbooks from my siblings; a one-liner and neatly summed up writing contained.

I put them in between my books and re-read them from time to time. At least, he’d enquire what he’d written to me, the next time we meet. So, at least, I’d read again before vacation time begun.

It was his handiwork so I have this feeling of attachments whenever I read his letters. In that way, the sudden long distance between us was easier to bear. It was his way of making us feel special.

Going back few years, we thought we’d be providing together for the family in anyways we could. I was blessed to find work in our locality. So we thought we’d be together and we’re happy lots.

But then I set out for University education in faraway land; more than 1500 miles from home, with bad connectivity. The dilapidated transport system, leave aside the very high airfare, could take us some four days, approximate, to reach back home.

Brief contents of the letters:

Occasionally, that envelope reaches me. The letters could be long while some are short and straight to the point. The long ones I called them sermons, and the short one my father’s wishes for me.

My father had, always, included quotations from the Holy Bible. His sermon summaries or base Bible verses are included. He wanted me to write back my thoughts base on the given verses.

In some of the paragraphs I was updated of our family financial status, family members and their performances in whatever field they’d undertaken. The neighborhood news, entwined with humor, was always a treat. I was always delighted to get hold of his letters.

I felt sorry because his letters could not comprehend me: in his love and guidance in the light of the Lord. I did things I’m not supposed to, sometimes, in some ways. But he accepted me through and through.

My father always mentioned he misses me a lot. He trusts me to stand alone and be true to our belief. To keep his teachings should be held more important. At first, when I failed I looked at his letters in regretting what I do.

That much impactful was the value of his words. His expectations and non-expectations were stated. He reminded me, time and again, not to worry so much about future.

There would times when my replies would be negative and unpleasant. My meager introduction in studying Political Science, as we’re busy with those trends of ‘Critical Analysis and Compare and Contrast’, might get reflected in some way.

My feel good factor:

My father doesn’t want to let me feel bad. He knows I was alone. He’d never write hurtful words. When I need correction he’d chose those extra sweet words. In that faraway land, he simply reminds e of his principles of home.

He reiterated his prayer for my well-being and even for my finding a good partner in life. Every morning and night they, not only him, they pray for us, he informed. Fear not! God must be with you, he said.

Your mother has always been beautiful, lovely, and gentle he wrote with a slight hue of humor. The quiet, kind, hardworking, and loveable character of my mother was once again appreciated. And I love this part.

When he told stories of character from the Bible, I would say just give me the text I have my Bible with me, jokingly, so that he might save time and energy.

Father wanted me to feel good whenever I read from him. And that’s the beauty of life without internet and telephones because let my mind wander to be with them.

About work and lifestyle:

Crop failure or status are a must tell. God has provided us this far so we’ll lived on, he encouraged, when crop didn’t do well. Let me put out one sample here:

You work hard; we’ll do the same, here at home. Let’s see how far we can make it. In the end, we must learn contentment in what we get. Be careful not to turn away from the path you’d followed since your childhood.

Whenever I wrote back I need to get him updated of the city where I stayed, my college lifestyle and the likes. What I had enjoyed about the pave and what not, are a must tell. This practice has enlivened me in many ways.

He always ended with a loving note which got me emotional at times. But I was warned before that it’s not for that purpose.

Living it Out

Some repetitive I was quick to point out, which my father said was because he wanted me to live it out wherever I am. The way it should be with reading the Bible and being living with and living it out.

Sermon outlines and my inputs are requested when Christmas or some special days approach. In this way, I’d rendered my thoughts for him, which also provide a good time for thinking on the Lord’s.

The letters looked worn out now. But they’re still with me: some in my mind and some physically. They are always special to me. I am undecided about putting it out, word to word.

the end of my father's letter
My father signing off his letter

I am thankful for the time he devoted in talking to me. He’d do anything for my well-being. But we too have clash of ideas, at times. My father always signed off his letters with benedictions.

In all these times, I rediscover his advises are always for my betterment. And I was sad I couldn’t follow all of them.

When we meet again I wanted to get more of him and his love. I am glad for his timely letters and his love for me.

That last time where I delivered eulogy at my father’s funeral program I did not shed tears because, deep in my heart, I believe he lived on in his Savior’s arm!

The Sensitive Plant: Touch me not!

Sensitivity could make us delicate or otherwise callous. While it is one of our innate quality, it can be hugely influence by occurrences and changes in the body.

Now, plucking the leaves of the Sensitive Plant, without letting it fold inward or droop in, wasn’t easy. It required lots of accuracy in approaching and moving our hands.

There is a rumor amongst us that anyone who can pluck the leaf, before it fold-in, have a good fate ahead. It’s just a rumor among children, and I don’t know why. Since the plant has unique sensitivity, it was easily agreed to.

It was more like a game, which needs lots of patience and accurate release of our nerves. Once the leaves folds in, we have to wait for a while till it gets open again. And we search and moved to another plant.

About the Plant:

For starters, the Sensitive plant is a perennial herb of the pea family. The given scientific name is Mimosa Pudica. It is a Pan-Tropical weed found mostly in Asian countries, South and Central America.

shame plant; open and droop-in
The Sensitive Plant: Before and after it is touch

It is known in different names locally, mostly depicting its unique characteristics. It is known in names such as – the Sensitive plant, Touch-me-not, Shame plant, Humble plant, Lou-nuak, etc., etc.

When you touch the plant, if it can fold-in by itself, it implies that the plant’s defense mechanism is working fine. At some extent, we are also given self-defense mechanism, which keeps us safe in many situations.

Now leaving about the plant, I want you to focus on your inbuilt senses. These senses provide our adaptability in circumstances, which was seeded in us by our Heavenly Father.

Sensing Around Us:

Quick reaction to people’s action and movement can deplete us in showing out the beautiful side of a person. Although this particular plant is created to be in this nature, we can learn something important about controlling our temper here.

There are some people who are real sensitive. Before we know, they’d fold into their own zone, which make it difficult to work with them. There’s nothing to worry if you deal with them cautiously.

This sensitive plant has thorns too. It is a clear signal of “touch-me-not” being displayed to the world. Several times, I’d personally witnessed the plant piercing my legs while working in the field.

“Be sensitive to each other’s needs – don’t think yourselves better than others, but make humble people your friends. Don’t be conceited.” (Romans 12:16-21) If you read more verses here you will be instructed on handling certain situations.

These types of plants, although it benefitted them, are creating nuisance by their simple presence. We should be aware that we possessed thorns to someone while performing teamwork.

However, these plants still has its valuable uses; it helped in maintaining nitrogen fixation in the soil where it abided. Our God has a purpose for all of us. No one’s useless.

More importantly, out of the thorn and unique plant a beautiful flower blooms out of it. It makes the world beautiful although it might be tiny. We are valuable in our own way!

Open up again, as the plant did, less you might miss the true intention of people around you. These sensitive plants did open their leaves again after few moments.

Lastly, appreciate all the creatures of God despite their characteristics features.

Sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit:

Now, I want your sensitivity be turned towards the work of the Holy Spirit. If we could’ve heard and follow the directions of God by being sensitive towards his words, it would the greatest benefit for us.

While God has been working throughout our life, it would be a colossal loss to our existence should we be insensitive to His works.

Some of us have hardened heart, which are insensitive and more likely to ignore the work of the Holy Spirit. Strongholds, in any form, could harden our heart.

We’re in bondage once, but no more. We’ve been freed to have a relationship with Him. No more dumb to hear Him nor separated by evil forces. We could be sensitive towards Him. Being senseless is dead.

When we’re sensitive towards the Holy Spirit, we become sensitive towards His work. We try not to become a stumbling block to the weak and take care of our rights; not to misuse it. (1 Cor. 8:9-12)

The Bible says: “and so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.”

Enormous amount of sensitivity and caring for others are involved here. As a saved person, we are no more an agent of the dark but an agent of the light. There are certain things we should not touch!

It is my firm believes that excessive or unwanted sensitivity could be healed by Jesus Christ. So touch me now, my Abiding Savior!

Dear readers, should you be longing for the touch of the Master; May you get touch by in Jesus’ name. Amen!

One More Step: Closer

On a foggy winter morning, getting up from a warm bed wasn’t easy. It is easy surrendering ourself to sleep inertia.

“Get up now. It’s devotion time,” said my parents. Devotion, that’s how we say it locally.

It basically involved going to church or prayer house for giving thanks and praying. Although it was a good way to start a day, we are reluctant to getting ready every morning due to the cold weather outside.

“Please, get up now! You have to study when we get back.”

“Paa, can’t we just pray here inside our house?”

“We can do that. But not now. I’ll tell you the reason on our way to church.”

So, we got up, get dressed, and walked down few blocks before we reach our church building. It was really cold indeed.

Stepping out on a foggy winter morning on our way to church braving the cold. Determination
Stepping out on a foggy winter morning

Now, my father had told us the reasons. Some of them I could still remember:

In maintaining closer relationship with God, we have to sacrifice something on our part. Here, it would be leaving that warm bed, which requires physical movement.

We need to step aside in seeking if we wanted to hear His voice. Our family member, at that time, was more than a dozen people which means there was a possibility of disturbing each other.

In our imperfect world, there will be times when you need to have the determination to be with God. God is everywhere, which is true. But in order that you might get closer to your heart’s extent, you need to step out of your comfort zone.

Relationships are not one-sided. It is our contribution and reciprocation that makes a good relationship. We cannot simply sit idle cutting the good cakes at one place. We need to move forward or fall back in our search for a good relationship.

Once we realized we’ve been save by the blood of Christ, our eternity-long relationship with Jesus Christ had just begun. When we get absorbed in our own personal whims and ambitions, our relationship gets hurt. And that would be the best time to take one more step closer to Him.

Moving out, from our comfort zone, towards Him shows our determination to spent time with our God. While physically stepping out might be symbolic it plays an important role in our spiritual life too.

Out of comfort zone does not necessary implies physically being very active in the public realm. It is more of a situation inside our heart.

There must be so many things we might have missed, which happened or not happened, in our normal daily life. It is because we tend to take the place of God in our life and start ruling ourselves. We know that we cannot have all the fun without our self-determination put to work.

This important life lesson from my father was useful in my later life. Several times, through the wilderness and happiness, I was able to spend some time alone with my God. I am still looking forward to spending more time with Him.

This initiative from my parents led me to step out from God in seeking His presence; my time alone with God. It was in the form of visiting Prayer Cabin, Churches, and at home all alone. It was a great privilege to spend such times.

Stepping Closer:

Here, you must’ve been familiar with the burning bush in Mount Horeb, the mountain of God. Moses saw the bush was on fire but it did not burn up. He got over near the bush checking out the strange happening. (Exodus 3:3-5)

It was from within the bush the Lord called out and gave the special task of delivering His people from Egypt. In short, Moses gave in to be part of God’s mission although he was adamant at first. On being part of His mission, Moses had the privilege of witnessing God’s work in his very own eyes.

In the contemporary world, watching the Holy Spirit working from distance would not benefit us, which many of us did.

When the Pool of Bethesda was stirred up, only those who stepped in were healed. A bystander would not get healed nor would they experience the work of the Lord, done through His angels. (John 5:1-7)

One Step Away From Safety:

In 2 Samuel 3:27-36, we read about the death of Abner’s death, which was followed by Kind David’s lamentation.

Abner was stabbed to death by Joab, in the gateway of Hebron – the City of Refuge. Once inside the city of refuge, he would be safe. Abner was a very brave soldier who guarded King Saul. Joab wanted to slain Abner to avenge for the death of his brother Asahel.

King David lamented: “Should Abner have died as the lawless die? Your hands were not bound; your feet were not fettered. You fell as one falls before the wicked.” So close yet so far to safety.

Should Abner do something on his part he could have escape for the moment. For this incident happen at the gateway of Hebron, this was a City of Refuge during those times. (Read Numbers 35:9-34 and Joshua 20 for City of Refuge)

The moral of the story is: stay inside the City of Refuge, which is our God. When we are outside the city, we are vulnerable to the work of evil.

Do what you can, on your part. Be willing to take one more step closer to God. Be safe in His presence!

There are times we simply can’t wait for God’s miracle to happen in our favor.

A Thankful Heart – 2

“Papa, I have something for you in my bag. We have to give thanks,” he said. He was smiling bright as usual.

“Let me see?”

“Not now, when we get home.”

We climb up the stairs until we reach our floor. Once inside, he opens his school bag and showed me a ‘Certificate of Merit’ which he got from a competition in his school.

“We have to thank God for this,” he said.

“Yes, very well said. I will do the honor.”

“No Papa, I will say it by myself. I know how to.”

So, we closed our eyes to be in one heart. He thanked God, in the name of Jesus Christ, for every minute detail of His help during and before the competition.

As a dad, it was a proud moment to cherish for me for a long time. It was more of my son’s thanksgiving attitude that I would cherish more. It was a good lesson for me too.

A thankful heart is more valuable than gold. It cannot be bought nor can it be stolen.

My five-year-old son prayed for God’s help every night. He even asked Him to stand with him so that he might not fear standing before the audience. I heard him praying every night.

At least, we should thank God when we get what we asked for. Although we missed tons of things in our prayers; I meant we get more than what we deserve. Should we get only those things we asked, we would not have survived this far.

There is always, always something to be thankful for. We can be thankful for the people around us. Without their understanding and their help, life would be really hard. They are the one who makes life worth living.

What about thanking God for all the works He did behind the scene? In other words, for those blessings that can’t be seen, or even felt, we can be thankful.

Whether in our good and bad situation, we should be thankful. Not only thankful, we should give thanks. That’s how the Bible tells us to be. Let’s read here:

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God for Christ Jesus in you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20)

Sometimes we should be thankful for the adversities we faced on our way. For they could make us stronger in faith, it could be a renewing phase for our old and harden attitude.

However, it should not be taken as an obligation to be thankful. It should stem out straight from our heart. And that would be more acceptable to our God.

Yet we can ask God to give us a thankful heart. Or we can ask for revitalizing our once thankful heart. For it can get minimized in our busy schedule of life. We can spent some time alone and reflect on the work of God in our life.

It might be intended or unintended but a thankful heart keeps away the work of evil.

So this is about living a daily life. If I didn’t tell you the biggest reason to be thankful, it would be incomplete and misleading.

The most important reason to be thankful would be because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ paid for us on the cross.
With full of grace, mercy, and love, Christ Jesus was crucified. He took the pain for mankind. He was buried yet rose again from the dead. The price for our sin was paid, and gets us connected to the Father again; a place was assured with Him, one day.

Let us give thanks for this act of love for saving mankind!

Let us be thankful for everything!