Our Reading Time at Home

My son joined me as I was reading my daily dose of devotionals. He was learning how to read. We were struggling with those repertoires of vowels.

When I hold the book in my hand, he’d simply take a seat beside me, pushing me slowly. So, for the next few moments, we are going to spend some time together. We change our place of reading, from time to time.

Many of the words are difficult for a five-year-old to read. The vowels did have many sounds. They were important because the vowels were the letters that really make the sound out of a word. But we go on. We even prayed for the vowels to go easy on us.

In reality, we are following the instructions of their teacher in the schools too. They pressed hard on reading practice at home. Since English is not our native language, we are speaking indigenous tongue; we have to learn several languages.

I am happy because he came out of his sheer will of learning. Although it consume much of our time, it was worth trying, spelling the long words and trying to make the most suitable pronunciation out of them. Sometimes it might sound silly. But is it silly? I thought not!

Reading daily devotionals at home
Our reading time at home

In the meantime, he would say English reading is really hard. However, I assured him that in few times he would be as smooth as the news readers. Most things are difficult when we learn, many times, I assured him.

It requires a lot of patience followed by encouraging words from me. Sometimes, we wonder together where these words have come from. The laughter and the thoughts that followed our reading times are worth more than our struggles.

The Good Part of Our Reading:

Now let me tell you the best part of our experience. But let me tell you that we are still struggling.

When we’re done with our reading, we’d revisited the meaning and lessons to be learn from our devotional readings.
He insisted on telling him the Bible verse for the day:

“Papa, now tell me our Bible verse for today with the meaning,” he said. To which I quickly, at the same time happily, read out the given verse again and again.

We would revisit the stories around which the verse was taken. He was more than willing to listen. One more thing: explaining those difficult words and their meanings are valuable.

The best part is that it’s a good time teaching Christian values straight from the Bible. When we understand the words; why it was recorded or written, to whom, for what purpose, and its implications, it is good for the soul.

Explaining the Given Verses:

Our reading task can be arduous but it few minutes of uphill climb we could understand them all. Some of the words in the Bible are deep-rooted. But when we asked the owner of the word, we can have a sufficient understanding of the words.

Here, in this short space, I cannot share you those multiple verses we read every day. But I wanted to share you one:

One evening, we are reading about a topic on rest; the rest we are invited to have. (Matthew 11:28) For a young child in his tender age, who’s hardly weary and burdened, it takes time to let him understand in its truest sense.

We started by saying that our world is full of weariness, pain, hunger, debt, poverty, disease, illness, and death. Now he stopped me, there are few of them he understood. For example, he knows what hunger is – when he is very hungry and I did not give him something to eat. That’s really difficult, he said. It is because it could take times preparing the best meal for our children.

He also understood illness and few more. We always pray for daddy to get well. When we pray for someone and our self, God really did work in the best way for us. The reality is, God’s ways are His ways, we cannot understand in its subtlety.

Jesus Christ invited us to have this rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” And we need this rest!

We are entitled to have this rest, in His blood, even during this life. While our pains and worries would be wiped away in its entirety when we attended the new heaven and new earth. (Rev. 21:1-5)

Everyone Needs Rest:

We spend some more time listening, to the type of worries and pain, from a five-year-old. Sometimes we burst out laughing listening to the list; but all the listings are given due important. Maybe, I will write some other day.

In our walk of life, we wanted many things. All the things we wanted are not a necessity for living. But when our wants are not fulfilled it can caused weariness in our living. Our wants can be misunderstood as our needs too.
So, in several certain situations we need understandings from God, which would eventually give us rest!

Even in our reading exercise our eyes can get strained. Straining in our eyes can be simple for some, but it caused uneasiness and sometimes pain. We need to take a short break from our reading period.

In the end, our reading together, with my son, is one of those moments that would be sweetly cherished. It is a privilege to enjoy special time with our love ones. This experience taught us certain lessons, as a parent, and as part of our Christian Living.

© 2018, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

The Lighter Yoke

It is time for them to learn how to carry a yoke. They had grown up. It can took us some time to let them mastered the art of plowing the land. At a very young age, we started working on our paddy field cultivating rice.

We used water buffaloes for plowing the land. They suited well in the narrow terrain of a paddy field, even in the slopes of the hills. In the process, we saved fuel and money.

They can carry the yoke at ease once they are trained. It can be difficult, for us and for them. They are more than hesitant to carry the yoke at first. Yet they never forget the art of carrying a yoke, even when they are being let off once the cultivating seasons are over.

Once they can carry the yoke, they become more valued. We did not want them to get drained of all their energies. They are fed in time and taken cared.

It was not about enjoyment, they are toiling in the field for us, their owners. It never was a sort of punishment to let them work, they are serving their purpose. And we loved them a lot.

Along the way, I had observed this: when they showed their willingness to work, their yoke seems to be lighter. It might not be lighter but they get treated well in the process.

Carrying a Yoke:

Carrying a yoke is inescapable in the life of these domestic water buffaloes. We have a purpose while domesticating them. It becomes a responsibility on their part.

We, humans, are bounded by yoke in our life too. Life in itself is a yoke. In the meantime, our yoke could be lighter. That’s a possibility. God, our Creator, would work out His divine purpose in creating us. But with Him, side by side, our life could be easier and less burdened.

Now, I heard some people saying; ‘accept Jesus Christ as your savior, your life’s miseries will disappear’. I am not denying it. (That is for another topic.) But here I wanted to focus on carrying the yoke with Christ.

The Offered Yoke:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened. I will give you rest. (And it doesn’t end there.) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” We have to carry His yoke. In order to really get rest or the miseries disappear, we had to be trained and mastered the art of carrying His yoke with Him.

It implies that we need to don a new yoke, which also means that all the burdened of carrying a yoke did not disappeared, in a fortnight. If His blessings are the main reason for letting Him inside our heart, we will not get rest! (Matthew 11:28-29)

Carry on the yoke with Him, the once burdened yoke would become easy and light. We will be carrying a lighter yoke, until that day we would be fully stripped off the yoke, in His heavenly abode.

Freedom from sin was attained once we let Him into our heart. But from that day onward, we are continually afflicted by the work of evil.

Affliction came in different form. The synonyms of affliction are: suffering, distress, pain, hardship, misfortune, adversity, sorrow, misery, and many more. These synonyms are, in one way, the forms of affliction.

These afflictions would harm, and caused us pain, but they are on the side of the defeated group. The head has been crushed but the body still moving.

Our yoke could be lighter by being with Jesus Christ. There could be some big burden to carry while on the run. But the offered yoke could be attained from time to time, even if it seems hard to carry with Him all the time.

To the Lighter Yoke:

Sometimes I feel my yoke is too heavy to carry on; the family obligations, health not improving as desired, the under-performing investments, and the likes. But I am blessed to have moved on the lighter side of the yoke too.

It is my desire to learn and mastered the art of carrying this yoke. To really take the yoke offered by our Savior: The transition period could, sometimes, takes time. That is emptying self for the Holy Spirit to take over. However, it is an achievable goal, indeed.

Switching over from the heavy yoke to the lighter yoke can calm tense moments. We have our free will to do it so. There is a verse in the Bible which encourages me a lot.

When we feel deeply burdened let us focus on this: “For My yoke is easy and my burden is light,” declares Christ Jesus. (Matthew 11:30) Let us exchange our yoke so that we would feel lighter.

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

I am hurt!

“I am hurt!” said my five-year-old, stumbling on the ground. Anxious at what I do next.

He galloped past me. I had reminded him, many times, to look out, follow my footsteps, and go slow.
I waited for him to get up by himself, which I hope would make him tougher. I also wanted him to learn something from this unwanted situation.

“Do something, Papa? I am hurt, I am in pain,” he uttered repeatedly. And I know he is hurt.

I picked him up and rub his pain gently with my hands. The pain doesn’t go in haste. I have no healing power. But he got comforted, at least, emotionally.

In my helplessness, I rushed him home. We did not bring first aid box with us while jogging in the park. We did not expect this to happen either.

On our way home, I remember myself reiterating the need to learn from mistakes. Here, it would be my forewarning to look out the path and not to gallop unnecessarily. I also knew that it is something irritating in this kind of situation, when the accident already occurred.

This incident reminded me of my relationship with the Lord. There are many instances where I wanted the Lord, my God, to do something quick in my anxious moments. Being the Almighty Father, He is and was never helpless.

Many times, I feel like crying out loud, “My God, I am hurt! I am in pain.” And I already did it because I had cried out in my mind although I did not say it out loud.

Do something, please?
I am hoping you must have plan B, in this. But some of your plans are too hard to bear. Give me strength to carry on till I reached my life’s purpose. I remember pleading hard for His intervention.

Although the waiting and His ways can take time and uncomfortable, Our God –Jehovah has His purpose for all of it. If there is a lesson to be learned in being hurt, it is even more worthy. He has all the solutions for it.

Physical hurt, although not easy, was sometimes even better than being emotionally hurt. Specifically speaking for myself, most the hurts I’d suffered are mainly due to my fault, and I accepted it.

Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob, in the Bible had a rough path in his journey of life. Yet he remained faithful to the One who leaded him through and through. At last, Joseph seemed to have found employment in his long struggle.

However, Potiphar’s wife plays spoil sport in his life. Wrongly accused, he was sent to prison. Consider these few cases:

Just when we started to feel secured and settled, some of us lose our job, although due to different reasons. It can be really hurting at times. However, I believed God has better plan for us. It depends on us being able to submit to Him even in those situations.

Out of the blue, an ex-flame of either side of a couple showed up hurting the smooth family foundation. Sometimes, they ended up tearing apart the marriage. In this, we being hurt and our tears are not unseen by God because He has a purpose in every marriage. Stay closer with Him.

For now, someone tried to live responsibly when illness strike the determination. In the point of no return we stand yet it is hurting to stay in the same place. When you are too hurt to even give it up, God listen to our pain.

You wanted to move on saying you will be able yet you still get hurt. Even more hurt when you try to cope with losing some you have loved so much, Our God will pick you up and hold you in His arm.

When someone, most unexpected, let you down or downplay your existence, remember you are still more than valuable in someone’s eye. You might feel mistaken, unnecessary provoked: you get hurt and it’s not easy to overcome, remember Our Heavenly Father can feel with you.

Not an earthly father He is but someone who calmed the storms of life in His might too.

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,”
declares Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 11:28)

Christians also get hurt yet rest is assured. We are allowed to suffer, sometimes, inflicted by evildoers.

‘Believe in Christ, dear friend. You’re worries or you being hurt would get healed,’ some may say. For a true believer, it is true. But to reach a level as such one must be deeply close with Christ. There is no point in following Him if we wanted comfort in our life.

Pour out your heart and let your hurtfulness be known to Him, He will deal with it. In His ways, He will deal with it. We would be blessed if we can closely follow in His footstep.

It is painful to get hurt, physically and emotionally, but it can lead us to be a better person. Stronger in life and closer to Christ Jesus, we can become!

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.

Give me Rest!

At a very young age, we started working in the family paddy field.   We grow rice to meet our essential need for food grains.  It was not meant for commercial purpose.

For starters, rice is grown in a water-retentive soil, with a reliable source of water for irrigation, and a way to drain the water when it is time for harvesting.  Growing rice is the main source of food grains in the region.

Paddy Field in the slope of the hill
Paddy Field in the slope

From dawn to dusk, we spend our time preparing the field suited for planting rice.  I felt blessed to have learned, lived, and experienced the art of farming in the field.  It takes a lot of hard work to garner a good harvest at the end of the season.

First, it was making the cultivation bed or terrace ready, which needed hard work the most.  We used self-made Langkawn in ploughing the land.  Since we do not use machine, the work need to be done physically.  The process took huge toil on our physical as well as our mental strength.  Looking back at those time, it easily fits into our story time with my children.

In the muddy soil, we started our work very early in the morning.  Every stroke of our ‘wooden-handle spade’ made us nearer to the most awaited lunch time.  With no more energy left, I remember lying down in a pool of muddy water many times during the period.  However, I needed to get up again so that I can have a hearty meal and take rest in the shades.

We were filled with mud and dirty water.  However, when we washed in the clean water we become as fresh as new.  Let me tell you something here that it always reminded me of the cleaning of sin by the blood of Jesus Christ.  For it is written:

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.1

There is something to do in my part; I have to get up from that mud-filled soil with the tired body.  So that I may get rest, very much-needed for my well-being.

The hope of getting rest for a while in the noontime keeps us going, although the hope of getting a good harvest seems like a distant dream, for now.  However, if there is no natural calamity for that particular year, a good harvest is assured at the end of the season.

Now, with the preparation of the cultivation and planting being done, it looks like a very promising return will be garnered at the end of the season.  Even the sight of it provided attractive scenery, with its clean and lustrous green look.

Let me conclude herewith what has been offered to us with open arms.

“Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”2

1 Isaiah 1:18b, 2 Matthew 11:28

© 2017, Thuam Siam Ngaihte. All rights reserved.