Shielding Me Compassionately

Cold waves blow for some days during the winter season. Winter season and summer season can both be extreme in the place I live. The winter hasn’t been kind to me although it lasted for a short period of time. So I shield myself in my affordable way.

My woolen cap, compassionately hand-knitted by my wife, came in handy for me as I need to shield myself from the cold waves. Especially after my brain surgery, it pains my head inside-out although I wouldn’t talk in detail here. The cold waves seem to entering my head from where the surgeons had opened my skull.

Sometimes it feels odd to wear my woolen cap, day in-day out, wherever I go. But I need to shield myself to protect my sensitive head, which saved me from the resultant excruciating pain. I hope it will take some more or less time to shield myself.

My woolen cap, in some other’s head, might not bring that much amount of comfort as it did to me. For this simple yet very much-needed accessory I am more than thankful.

Woolen cap: a shield for winter
My woolen cap; a temporary yet essential shield

Now for starters, let’s define what shield or shielding is, in very short. That, we might get a brief view of what we are talking about:

Shield, in its verb form, is to protect from an unpleasant experience, danger or risk. While in its noun form, shield is an object or thing providing protection or a safeguarding tool. It is more of a cover, shade, security, shelter, and many more.

Shielding Ourselves:

Since we cannot live without protection, we build houses, fencing, and the likes, to protect ourselves from immediate and intervening threat or dangers. At some level, we play diplomacy at the cost of shield ourselves and our countrymen from intervening outside interest, which may harm our well-being.

Everyone work hard so that we may shield ourselves from unprecedented mild disaster, by gathering wealth and through some insurance covering our life. We secure jobs, shielding ourselves at some level. Some of us blew our chances due to their own incompetency in handling matters, health, work and family, relating to it.

But our real shield is from and the Lord. Blessed is he who takes shelter in the Lord. As king David declared: the Lord is my strength and my shield. The Lord is their shield and their help to those who trust in Him.

Jonah’s Temporary Shield:

Now I wanted to take you again for a short moment into Jonah’s life, as mentioned in the final chapter of the Old Testament book Jonah. (Jonah Chapter 4)

Jonah was sent to the City of Nineveh. In short, God blessed his efforts and the Ninevites repented from their sins; so God spared them from destroying their city, which made him angry.

He set up a camp outside the city’s wall. Strangely, God graciously caused a leafy plant to grow over his shelter; gave him shade for his head to ease his discomfort. He was very happy about the plant less he might fainted from the scorching heat of the sun.

The next day, however, God provided a worm to chew through the plant; so that it withered and died. When the sun rose, he was left to expose in the scorching heat; the sun blazed his head and he grew faint. This made Jonah very angry again and he wanted to die.

He rants against God, the Bible has recorded, for destroying the leafy plant, which was his shield from the scorching sun. The Lord, however, told him that it was only in His grace he provided a shield for him. He has no right and reason to rant against the Lord; he was shielded by God compassionately.

Although God did this purposefully to teach him about His care for the inhabitants of the city, we can learn a lesson from here: It was in His grace and compassion we are provided our timely shield and shelter.

Our Refuge and Shield:

Our God is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and abounding in love, and relents from sending calamity. (v.2b) In Him, we are shielded, given shelter and comfort, protected and lovingly cared.

The Lord sees our needs; and the Lord provides for all. Even in our most unlikely situations of life, He shielded us. We have no adequate ability to protect ourselves – physically and spiritually. We are bound to perform very badly without the grace of God.

The problem could be that sometimes we rants against God not realizing our life’s shielded only by the abiding grace of God. He is the provider and He is free to take it back if it is for our own good. Our God rarely take it back nor terrorized his people without a reason.

Our God is compassionate; He knows our need. He shielded us lovingly in His care so that we may not perish on the way. He neatly shielded us, which keeps us safe from the work of the devil. Our Savior doesn’t want the devil to toy with our life.

We should be happy, and let me make it personal, I must be happy. He is the Lord God who is shielding me compassionately through thick and thin; the One who keeps me safe, lovingly and graciously.

Blessed is he who took shield in the full armor of God.
The word of God is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Blessed is he who takes refuge and shielded in the fortress of the Lord.
For them, the Lord is their salvation and their stronghold.
He is our stronghold in times of trouble
He shields all who take refuge in him;
They lack nothing!

Let’s take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Let’s remain grateful for the grace of God and His compassion, through which we are shield.

© 2018, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Only In His Abiding Grace

Few days ago, my medicine supply chain developed a snag as I try to fill my stock for the next month. There, usually, was no problem in getting my prescribed medicines.

I am getting better, I would say, but I need to maintain drug level in my blood. One cannot simply stop taking medicines abruptly or without consulting doctors. And that we already know.

It took me few days to get my prescribed medicine, this time. A few phone calls and e-mail exchange with the manufacturing company followed. In the meantime, I inform my supplier the information I could gather and it was resolve now.

Rarely did I think of thanking and contacting the drug manufacturer if this snag doesn’t develop lately. I have been taking this particular medicine, everyday, for the past two years. However, my regular intake of medicine dates back to ten years ago.

As these medicines become an integral part of life, for the time being, I hope, it is important to get what I need. Here I wanted to stress here that we tend to forget the One who is working behind the scene for our well-being.

When we get what we wanted very easily or possess them in our hand, we don’t think much, which mean we don’t thank much either.

Only by grace; only in God’s abiding grace we get our needs. We lead normal lives, which rarely developed a snag. A repairable snag may occur, which draw us closer to Him; holding on to Him tightly.

Inside The Head:

A visit to diagnostic centre was always followed by test reports. Imaging and blood test reveals what our naked and pure observation cannot detect. When the test reveals nothing we feel good, but it can reveal more than that.

The cells and electricity in our head are beyond our control. Some cells become thicker while some could be thinner than the desired level for healthy life. And if something goes wrong it can lead to prolong treatment procedures.

When our body metabolism works fine; when the momentum of electron and photons, inside our head, are well maintained, only then we function as normal human being. The very delicate parts of our body are beyond we can take care of.

In parts, the functioning of our organs could break. The work of the Lord was declared in several books of the Bible. Job declared: “(You, Lord) clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews. You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.” (Job 10:11, 12)

In His abiding grace, our God work behind the scene for our wellbeing, up keeping, healing, and caring. When our life is smooth we tend to forget about talking to our Creator. But when it developed a snag or was flawed, in some part, we realized we have been blessed throughout the whole time. And that’s the upside of suffering.

Many times, our poor condition of living: poor health, starving spirit, poor financial situations, grieving, unexpected loss, and many more lead us into the Wilderness of Life.

Developing a snag in desert
In the Wilderness of the Desert

In the Wilderness of Life:

Our God, sometimes, allows us to venture through the wilderness of life. But in the wilderness of life, as pilgrims in progress, we mostly find His abundant grace like never before.

While some of us might thirst physically, some get filled spiritually. God talked, usually, to man in the wilderness, but I am not downplaying other times where God visited man. The Israelites have seen their God in work mostly during their time at the desert, in the wilderness.

In the wilderness, life is hard. Few people chose to live there. But sometimes, it can’t be avoided. In the Scripture, God’s people were familiar with desert life. They lived there but He provides their needs. In that way, they know that He was God; their Provider, Savior, and their Rock of Refuge.

Today, people hardly live in the desert literally. But technically, there are many people who live in the wilderness in the comfort of modern surroundings. Some people choose to experience desert-like places while some are bound by circumstances.

When we are in the wilderness, or going through hard times, we are reminded of our dependency on God to sustain our life – spiritually and physically.

Even when we live in a place of aplenty, we sometimes need to learn lesson in the wilderness, so that we’d sustain our life amidst the blessings we received. If not our blessings won’t last long or it might slowly kill our life, losing the salvation we have in our Savior.

In God’s Abiding Grace:

In God’s abiding grace, we have an oasis of life. From that oasis we can draw our needs, which will sustain our life. Further, if we fetch more that oasis we can become a channel of blessing for others.

Only by His abiding grace we are freed
Only by His abiding grace we are redeemed
Only by His abiding grace we aren’t destroyed
Only by His abiding grace our life’s sustained
Only by His abiding grace we can stand up before Him
Only in His abiding grace we become an heir to His Kingdom

Thus we can become a kingdom person. It is a great privilege all men are entitled in the blood of Christ, but not all men possessed.

When we are in the wilderness, dry desert or dry spell of our spiritual life, He filled us with the “water out of the rock”, which serves as our spiritual nourishment and refreshment. Our God is graciously and willingly our refreshing fountain in our life’s journey.

In His gracious interposition, God led the water flow out of the rock. (Exodus 20:10-12) He merely did not quench their thirst but redeemed them, Israelites. Our God provided, abundantly, for His people in the desert, and guided them safe through the pathless wilderness to the Promised Land.

Isaiah wrote: “They (the Israelites) did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.” (Isaiah 48:21)

In His abiding grace, our God is ready to take that extra step for humans if it is for the goodness as well as the glory of His Almighty name. And having said that: His working ways are beyond the wisdom of man. Our acquired wisdom could make us closer or farther away from Him.

Since our life and its resources are limited, channeling our needs, might develop a snag at times. Yet we are given the greatest ‘gift of God’ – the living water, in His grace. (John 4:1-26) Nourishment for our dehydrated body parts, organs, and spirit.

In the wilderness of life, whoever drinks the water from Him will never thirst again. Indeed, we can become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

© 2018, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Abiding Grace: Finding the Zeal for Living

It is my prerogative in His abiding grace; to always start my days with, at least one verse from, the Scripture. It renewed my hope, giving me the zeal of living, even in my worst circumstances.

There are times though, when I go by my own conveniences getting absorbed in other things. At times, my minds got usurped by what is happening around us. Too much focusing on the happening around us might distort our zeal of living.

Some of the Synonyms of zeal are: passion, enthusiasm, eagerness, fervor, love, and many more. In brief, zeal can be defined as the energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause.

In my free time, I would glance around the world through printed media. Hate-crimes are rampant in every corner of the world. The flamboyant lifestyles of some people adversely affect thousands of people, either directly or indirectly.

Distortion of facts, even in religious matter, to suit one’s living and in fulfilling their selfish ambitions becomes a threat to humankind. More and more people claimed to follow God by only befitting or letting down their faith.

Spreading false prophecy, distorting anything on the way; by way of playing the so-called diplomacy has been disheartening. Each day we are closer to the end of time. Especially to those who do not have hope of “life after death” or unmoved by the promise of life after death, they are in their prime.

In a world of distorted conscience, if I do not believe in the promised privilege about our eternal glory after death, it would be disturbing to spend each day. What really does the world has to offer? It is for you to think.

It might sound foolish to someone who enjoyed fitting in the systems of the world, as it is. I have been through some of the enjoyment but it’s not worth it. In the end, you wanted more. Either you ended up with guilty feeling or you get stuck.

Our body has been in its declining mode once it reached its peak. However, our mental strength in keeping our faith just started heading towards maturity. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, states, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25)

The time, for my Savior to take me home, is worth waiting. Getting home, from a journey full of challenges and unfulfilled dreams – that’s the reason behind getting the zeal to live on. For someone who is really in Him, life is not burden but enjoyment.

Should you ask me how do I still have hope and have the zeal to go on? By now, I hope, you get it right.
Faith, without His abiding grace would get lost on the way. Yet even when there seems my faith have been lost, in His grace it gets renewed again and again.

Consider the word of the resurrected Christ in these verses, even before His Crucifixion:
“Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). Christ had also taught His disciples, His intention, for all of mankind: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Abiding Grace: Beyond the Likes of our Heart

“I don’t like you, Dad.  You’re not good to me today.”

“Oh Really? What’s the matter? What do you like?”

“You don’t allow me to play.”

“Yes. Let’s practice your poem for 10-15 minutes, before you play.”

“No, Dad.  I like to play now.”

“Okay.  I will let you do whatever you like, guaranteed.  But let’s practice, first.”

“You’re real bad now, Dad.  I don’t like you.”

He looked around the house, for a while, seeking support probably.  Since there’s no one, he turned back.

“I’m sorry, Dad.  Let’s practice.  But let’s play together when we’re done, please?”

“No, my dear son let us play first.  When you’re happy, we’ll practice.”

“Thank you, Dad.  I love you!”

You already get it, I hope.  By the way, that’s me and my five-year-old son bargaining for a deal.  A father would never want to upset their children.

Let us play with blocks
Scattered playing items for children

When my children did not liked me for few moments I feel pained, it hurts.  I wanted them to like me and enjoy my company as much as I liked them.

In the meantime, I often wanted to say, at least in my mind; I gave up my career to be with you because I love you.  I am also human.  However, I try my best to not tagged myself with this tagline.  A likable dad, I wanted to be.

Many times, we don’t like the company of Jesus Christ in our daily walk of life.  We would have our own reasons.  We are not free, unable to do what we like.  Will our attitude be hurtful?  I think so.  He laid down His life, in the worst manner undeservingly, for us.

We, as a human, have our own liking.  It comes from inside and sometimes out of nowhere.  It might not be wrong to say, we like to play it our own way.  When things don’t go as we liked, we get upset.

For as long as we can play the way we liked, we tend to forget to talk to our Father, our Heavenly Father.  We don’t want to learn lessons, the very much needed lesson, for our future endeavor.  We like to avoid teachings as much as we could.

Once our path seems rocky, when we hit some stones on the road, the journey was not smooth anymore.  Then we began looking around for help.  Still, not willing to submit in His ways, at least for now, we looked around, which is a good sign.

We vent our anger and ire at our Creator; we are not struck dead, right there.  When we can express our displeasures in complete sense not trying to cause harm, it can be a huge step for building relationships.

Like the father-son relationship, we could be with our God, who is our Father.  The shedding of blood, on the cross, has made us His son.  A father seldom do things that will simply hurt their children.

In His abiding grace, He listened to us dearly, waited for us patiently.  But what will not serve us good, we did not get.  We need to get adjusted or change our approached.

Giving in, letting His ways inside us, would be the first thing to do.  It will please our heart in the long-run, beyond the human mind could foresaw.

 

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Getting our Needs

Talking about needs?  Money, food items, clothing, and the likes, came flashing in our mind.

Money displayed
Money; hard cash

“Daddy, since you are no more going to your office, who gives us money for my School Fees?” enquired my son in a very low voice.

This morning, we get up early as usual.  We get him dressed in uniforms, we prayed for him, after breakfast.  There is time for small talk.  Just then, he enquired about it.

The simple yet accurate answer could be, “Your mother is working.  She earned money for our family.”  But today, he was asking more than that.  In our city, school fees are enormous, especially in private institutions.

When we prayed, this morning, we asked God for providing his School Fees and our other needs.  Also that, Our God must help him in his learning process.  That might be the reason why my son was asking me this question.

To our amazement, our son still remembered when the two of us – me and my wife, were working full days.  He talked about it more often.  Although we do not earn in abundant, it was easier to manage our expenditure, during those days.

Now, when I told him, “Our God provided our needs.”  He nodded his head in agreement.

And he responded, “Really? Woooow!”

It was followed by some act of happiness, and it was a good feeling watching him, chirping his way into a very good mood.

In His abiding grace, our God has provided us our needs, indeed.  It was a good reminder for us, as much as for our son.

basic needs
Needs for healthy living

Needs and wants, seems to come from the same category, are different.   What we wanted are diverse and can be gigantic.  There is no limit to it.  However, our real needs could be paltry although the amount kept increasing with the progress of our civilization.

We now lived in a world with too many good options for caring our own future.  It is a good thing to worry for our future endeavor yet caring too much for the future could be tiresome.  It can lead us to worry lots, which will eventually degrade our happiness.

When our small investments or assets are under performing, way below our expectations, it could be tiresome.  For it is written:  “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”  Refer to the “Do Not Worry” sermon in Matthew 6: 25-34.

When we were young, we possessed none.  Not even a single bucks, sometimes.  Yet we eat and were filled.  Our parents loved us and our parents loved God; that is how we get our needs.  By now, I hope, we already know about trusting in the Lord.

All our needs are provided beyond our mind could fathomed.  Yet not all we have wanted or desired.  For our own good, does our heavenly Father worked for us, in His abiding grace.

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Abiding Grace: Finding Hope amidst Uncertainty

Uncertainty, undeniably, is one of the ingredients in the walk of life.  It happened for a reason, may be.

My son just came back from school.  As usual, I enquired as to what they did at school.  They played and they enjoyed, which was good.  When we sent our children to school, we want them to learn something.  If their progress can be seen, we become happier.  Anyways, it doesn’t happen that way, always.

My Son doing his homework
Children; Writing practice

Some worksheets, they brought along, to be done at home.  At times, children simply didn’t follow our instructions.  And we forget they are just starting.  As a parent, we are uncertain about their future.  Parenting was never easy – you get discouraged one minute, you get happy with full of hope the other time.

Imparting knowledge, for some of us, isn’t easy.  That’s why we sent them to school, to get help while we raised them.  We want our children to blossom into stars.  However, several rounds of ‘test of patience’ needed to overcome first.  Amidst that uncertainty, we have hope when we rested the matter in God’s Abiding Grace.

investments calculation
Calculating Investments

Investments, in all its forms, had an uncertain future.  The sales person feed us good return for every policy or investment plans.  It is their job; they are trained for that purpose only.  It is us, the investors, who got stuck, if it goes awry.  We might not reap the fruit in time.

Like others, in our pursuit of happiness, we tend to invest amidst uncertainty.  We must take a risk yet it can take us into bondage.  Being unable to get rid of any investments due to unforeseen reasons is also hard to bear.  Yet, in His abiding grace, we have hope that at least we might be delivered in time.  In any type of the outcome, God’s grace is behind what led us till today.

Emptiness seen glass
Empty glass

Emptiness, inside the heart, can eat up our body too.  Several times, when I wanted to commune with God, it seems God was far away today.  When our emptiness is not filled by the Holy Spirit, it is as good as a half-dead person.  When the cup is not filled, we have nothing to offer our surroundings.  In this time of uncertainty, God’s abiding grace still abided with us although we did not feel it.

We wanted to perform good things yet we ended up doing bad things.  Without His grace not a soul will live.  Waiting silently to transform us, to fill us again, will give us hope amidst this uncertainty – the dilemma or unpredictability.

When we’re let down or we felt let down beyond our normal living, it is more difficult.  In the evening, as usual, we go out to spend time in a park nearby.  My children, in their prime, were active.  They wanted to play with me.  At times, I am unable to play with them as much as they wanted.  It isn’t easy to be in that condition.

Playing with Children in the park
Playing with Children

For every person, I hope, it is our dream to spent time with, play with our children till they get bored.  It was uncertain when would Daddy get fully fit to play with them into their hearts contentment.  Yet you don’t want to let them know of all your difficulties.  It is their happiness that comes first.  Time and again, it is my duty to give them hope and assured them of His abiding grace.  One thing is certain amidst all uncertainty, Jesus Christ died for us.  He set the path right for all of us.

Let me end herewith that in every sphere of uncertainty in our walk of life, God’s grace is abiding.  He did all the necessities unseen to our earthly eyes.  It’s just that we didn’t observe God’s work or might be ignoring it.

Let’s try to make uncertainty be just a phase in our journey.

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Abiding Grace: Words for the Soul

Why do we study?  Simple answer could be; we study so that we may gain knowledge.  Employment is the byproduct of that knowledge.

All employed persons are not learned and all unemployed persons have no less knowledge either.  How our learning has shaped us, as a person, is what matters.


Word by word, we learn how to read.  While reading we study, which is a part of our learning.  We learn to upgrade our thought, to shape our mind, and bring about change in our society, in the least.

There are words that are all-powerful; the Words of God.  His words are filled with love, mercy, and grace for every soul.  Powerful beyond imagination; to the saved and unsaved souls, even in their dilapidated state.

Studying the Holy Bible
Studying Words for the soul

Theologians study the word of God to get better understanding of the Words, which would eventually bring them closer to God.  Yet not all theologians are filled by the Holy Spirit in their search for His fillings.  It is open to one and for all.


In one bout of my Status Epilepticus; I came to witnessed how powerful His words are!  In my semi-conscious state, I was told, somehow, I was uttering words, which would not have happened in my fully conscious state.  And I had difficulty in recalling them.

During my ICU (Intensive Care Unit) stay, God’s presence visited us in the form of His words.  For some days, I was unable to have clear thought of anything and I could hardly recall what was really happening.  In that moment, hope came alive in the comfort of His words.

Several Bible verses came into my mind in time, which I told my wife or my attendants to read it out for me.  Those verses came at the right time and served it right for what was most needed.  Unfortunately, I am unable to recall all the verses in detail.

One after another, the verses came: the Name of the Book, Chapter, and Verses in detail.  I was so ‘blessed’ to study the Holy Bible several times in my normal condition, before I could even think this is bound to happen.

Just in time, came the verses like a flash of light.  I listened to the word of God, which give me hope even in my worst physical condition.  With great hope and assurance, I can slept peacefully again and again, in His words.  Some of the verses I could still remember are from; Lamentations 3:22-25, Ezekiel 37, Psalms 91 and many more.


Here I wanted to emphasize that even when our Brain do not function properly, our God has till provided His words of hope to the soul.  So I am urging you to study and thrive on the Word of God, which would keep you going beyond the thought of human.

His word is a living word and He is also the living God.  When flashbacks of our life happen before us, we will need it the most.  So when we have time let us read, study and learn, as the school students learned, from word to word.  It will serve us good.

Word for every soul, laid bare to all of us in His flesh, during those earthly journey for a short span of time.  Let us study, meditate, and learn from the Word of God – the Holy Bible.  So that even in our most unwelcomed abnormal conditions, our mind might still pick up God’s word from the scrap of our memories, for our comfort.  Rather than studying other words, which might simply haunt us.

It’s only words, some may say, but it’s all powerful.  And His words will drag us closer to Him in His abiding grace.

Words; powerful enough to build a new relation with the Almighty!

 

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.