Hold On To What You Have

‘Take it easy, hold on to what you have,’ they encouraged me, ‘we’re here to help you.’ As a young child, we’re learning how to swim in the nearby river bank. For a learner, it takes tons of hard work to stay afloat in the water. When I try to swim, I sink fast, for few days.

They, especially my elder brother and friends, sometimes my paternal uncles, assured my safety in any case. They will not let me drown; and I know that too. But when I have very few or nothing to hold on to, it was disheartening.

We don’t have floatation devices in the countryside where we lived. We learn it the hard way, I would say. Sometimes we pushed each other in the water to test our ability, yet help is ever ready.

In no time, I have to master few techniques to hold on to; less I will get drown or become a laughing-stock. At least, I hold onto what I have and stay afloat, before I could swim as fast as others. It was a very wonderful experience indeed.

When in water, without any floatation devices, it requires consistent movement of our hands or leg to stay afloat. Since the viscosity of the water body is not large enough to keep us afloat, we need few works on our part.

By the time I have something to hold on to, I could move forward to swimming although it takes courage and lots of movement of the limbs. In due course I mastered the art of swimming. Now, just a flickering my legs can keep me stays afloat.

Should I give up before I could swim, whatever the reason it might be, I’d blew my big opportunity of enjoying swimming especially with friends. And it would be shameful as we lived in small village nearby the river where almost everyone can swim.

A duckling swimming
A duckling; learning how to swim

What Do We Have To Hold On To?

Now, if I am to hold onto something, first, it’s important to know what I have to hold on to. There should be something worthy of holding in our journey of life. While our material possession will depreciate with time, our values in the eye of our Creator stay the same.

In more than three decades of my life, I really have nothing in this material world. I possessed very little to none. What I have earned are used up in no time. Now with no job at hand, I’d accumulated no wealth. Those insurance policies I have purchased during my working days are either surrendered or discontinued.

Moreover, my health concerns me a lot. Yet I have been on to the path of recovery, I hope, which makes me happy. A little bit of broken brain but blessed to have functioning brain; that’s a privilege not all could have!

There’s something more than just being healthy-wealthy and rich. Well then, there’s nothing worth talking about our materialistic possession which is worth holding onto. I don’t know if you agree or not.

Sometimes we have to count what we don’t have, at the same time, what we lose. It is more important now, for me. This make us appreciate what we have and value our very small or even none possession of anything viable.

Should I count them earlier, what I can really hold on to, it could have been more. But still I am happy, for those I have lost and what I gain. I can lose some since there was a time I have some.

I have the love of my family which makes my living very beautiful. And there are these good friends I’d met and had at some point of time in my life’s journey. I must hold onto them. The beauty of life is that honest and loyal people around us don’t need maintenance for holding onto them.

I treasured them, yes! I don’t want to lose more; less I may fumble. I wanted to hold on to them. In their love my heart finds peace; in their care, my life’s needs get sustained.

With so many intrusive and influxes of unwanted or unwelcome occurrences, it is my priority to hold onto, and together, my family. If and ever I could do that with subtlety, which will require a certain amount of wisdom and intelligence with strong fervor of love.

I shared you mine so that you can have a glimpse of what you have, in your prosperous or collapsing and depressive life. Further, I will go onto the vital feature that you and I must hold onto. Let’s hold onto what we have or don’t have for whom: For us, for our-self, and for our Savior.

Hold on until I come:

Now let’s get onto what I really wanted to convey here: I really don’t have anything to hold onto except for the salvation I had in Christ Jesus!

Except, for enduring some pain, poverty, and adversities there nothing much to boast about in this material world, for me. For some of you suffering souls and recovering souls, it might be the same. Although we have our own ways of suffering and withholding several tests, there’s hope.

Our God had seen us. And He knows we have little strength. Yet we have to hold onto His name and not deny His holy name. We are promised to have victorious crown should we hold onto His command and endure patiently, in the name of Jesus Christ.

“I am coming soon,” it was written to the Church in Philadelphia. “Hold onto what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Revelation 3:11)

We aren’t demanded more; we should hold on to what we have faithfully. Holding on to His salvation we have attained though our Savior will be sufficient for securing a victorious crown. Nothing more than that! So we all have our chances, we still have something to hold on to.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches,” He added in His revelation to John. If not, we might have lost our victorious crown, on the way or in our journey, which is mention here.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul had stressed hard on the need to self-discipline. In other words, holding on to what we have. Here let’s read:

Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

There is Hope:

There could be moments in our life where we feel we have nothing to hold on to. Other time, we perform our task at hand with no specific inspiration. Some of us have our ‘Red Sea Situations’ too. But there is hope.

It will be a good way to remind each other of the promises we have in our Savior-Jesus Christ. I’m standing on the promises of God. There is a clear implication that deliverance of the faithful will occur in conjunction with His coming.

One day we will be duly rewarded and help is on the way, soon, very soon. When our sufferings and adverse situations loom large, we might be tempted to think as if we have nothing worth to hold on to: we have our Savior.

When the going gets hard let us not lose hope. The dark night will soon get over, if it’s His will. For everything there’s a purpose. Let’s hold on to what we have!

Moving Forward

Much before I could master the art of reading, my grandfather had already feed us the stories of Bible sequentially. I am moved by his narrations. He is my favorite story-teller too. His profound insights of the scripture always came in handy.

My grandfather is an avid reader of the Holy Bible. He covered, back-to-back, the sixty-six books of the Bible 34 times and counting, as I inquire today. Come what may, he moved aside and take forward his devoted time.

In that way, my grandfather always found ways to move on from hard times. I envy his cravings for communion with God. It is the best way of spending our time and finding solidarity with our creator.

I can still remember how my grandfather narrated the mighty work of God; by freeing and bringing out the whole nation of Israel from the slavery of Egypt to the Promised Land – Canaan. It was a journey where God is really at work.

Tell them to Move On:

Let me fast-forward to what happen when they arrived at the Red Sea. News came that Pharaoh had changed his mind and it spread like fire. He was coming after the Israelites with his army.

Panic set in. Pharaoh’s armies were in their tail and before them was the vast Red Sea. They were thrilled at the vastness of the sea. Their sight saw no space for moving forward; they were terrified. They started blame gaming to Moses and they cried out to the Lord.

Train track end at sea
Train track end abruptly; can’t move forward

There is no road ahead for now. But the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to move on…they will go through the sea on dry land.” Moses did as the Lord commanded and they cross the sea on dry land, in short. (Read Exodus 14)

They moved on; they were safe. Their cries were turned into celebration. Miriam and the women took timbrel in their hands and dance exalting the name of the Lord. (Exodus 15)

Moving Forward:

Our God sometimes allows us and bring us into “the Red Sea situation” in our life. We cannot simply move forward from certain situations. It is beyond the wisdom of man to fathom the pain and adversities of mankind.

The vastness of the ‘sea’ thrilled me. I am unable to see a way out in my ‘Red Sea situation’. I have no wisdom left in me that could curve a way out, even in the near future. Focusing on the intensity of my problems, sometimes, make my living very tiresome.

Yesterday I visited ‘Intractable Clinic’ as a follow-up, which gave me hope of me getting better with time. The reality is that such visits are a necessity for managing my health so that I could perform my daily responsibilities. It, very much, limited my role-playing in several ways needed.

I panicked easily when I encounter something un-normal when I live by my sight. When we live by sight, we act on what we can see, which is very shallow. Those projects and investments which were started with high hopes can become our ‘Red Sea situation’.

I don’t want to go through that pain, that brain surgery, and the after effects. But I have to move on. Move on is the advise here. The strenuous part is trying to decimate the insecure heart in submission to God.

In my journey of life, I have encountered such situations where there is no way out without God. It is He who provided water in the dry deserts, which give back life to the dry bones. He is able!

The sick and unemployed tag is something which is disheartening, but not always. I’m sorry I’ve revealed a lot, it seems.

Sometimes my broken brain belittles my life. It has been weaken associating with pain, from time to time. I can’t take it anymore! I’m afraid to move on! I don’t want to, but I have to go on. By trusting in Him, I did. And I will move on ‘till I get into still waters.

The Red Sea situation turned into celebration of the work of God. If by our mere suffering if God could get exalted; it would be worth the pain. No one will get glory except God!

Deliverance Assured:

We may cry, we may groan but His deliverance is timely and perfect. The problem is, we tend to forget the Almighty’s work, even after reassuring and showing us His faithfulness.

Our God is the one who make dry land appear out of a roaring sea. For our God, road closed sign could be an opening of a new joyful and happening era. God set the stage; He knows our needs.

Some are strained financially; some are weak physically, while some are drained emotionally. When all the aspects of life are in the doldrums, it’s the real Red Sea situation. We all have our situations but our God wanted us to move on! That, we put our trust in Him; growing each day.

The devil works in innumerable ways to instill fear and discernment in our heart. But if we keep waiting on the strength of the Lord and keep moving, we will survive. If we give up on moving forward, we would be consumed.
One day, when we are getting past our ‘Red Sea situation’ we will count the work of the Lord, in jubilation.

Once a deliverer; always a deliverer, is our God! Let’s move forward!

To Die Or Not To Die

As if in our hand, some of us tried toying with our life. When we hit rock bottom with no chance of recovering, we are tempted to think about it.

It might be unnecessary or unbelievable to even think about ‘to die or not to die’, but let us talked about it. The more relevant question must be the timing; now or when?

A year ago, I have my tryst with death too. For some hours I’d remain unconscious. It was not a great moment to recall the pain, when I become conscious again. But let me put a few here:

In that bout of my status epilepticus, I was given a chance to live again. All the things that worked together on that particular day cannot be a coincidence. The hand of God was surely involved, I would say. From the unknown vegetable vendor to all needed timely helpers and help I have received, it was clear that it was God who spared my life.

Seventy percent of patients who experience such episode resulted in death. It was written in the research paper I had read. I have made some research on my own about my illness. However, my doctors advised not to indulge in that process so I had deleted all my sources. If not, I could have shown you their findings.

Had I not regained consciousness I would have been dead, simple yet nerve wrecking. But I would be with my Savior, resting in His arms. People might say how unfortunate we would have been or otherwise. It’s just my supposition. Life, here on earth, will end there abruptly.

Purpose of Life:

I find no reason to boast or take pride in calling it our own life. It’s my life’, that’s how we called it often. We are not the owner of our life. God has a purpose in creating us.

Job, in the Bible, says, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) God’s purpose cannot be undone. There are many verses to show God has a purpose for every man. “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5). Insight, from God, is needed to find it out.

For a believer, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Let me put it here about purpose of life. We wanted to talk more about the problem.

The Problem:

As I was recovering, my physical being was not restored at one go. It takes time to be able to leave the hospital. The pain, distorted eyesight, and other problems are not easy to bear. It is something normal to happen in life.

When something unusual happened: health not improving as we’d wanted, the unending financial crisis, our prayer not materializing, difficulty caused by choosing the wrong educational course, and many more, could makes us worry.

Many of us wanted to die instead of suffering more hardships and pain. But we should remember that to die is not the solution to everything. Sometimes, I also wanted to die, to take rest with Him, but I still have so many things to do; my purpose not yet fulfilled.

For those of us who lived with constant pain and difficulty, the journey could get challenging. But remember Jesus Christ is nearby you, watching you closely.

In our pain, He is pained. In our joy, He remained joyful. He wanted us to fight the good fight and overcome victoriously. In our suffering we are not alone although most of the time we seem to be alone.
When my purpose is fulfilled I would be taken home, even if I am not ready. So, don’t be tempted to die before the time comes. The time will surely come.

To Think About:

When this thought ‘to die or not to do’ loom large on your mind, take your time out. Remember our God is besides you when you endure that pain. Sometimes, He speaks but the Devil makes us difficult to hear.

What did Jesus Christ do when He was in the middle of His suffering? He had bore it all. Someday, our suffering will end. Someday, we will meet Him too.

Remember that Hope and Faith are to be use at its largest extent in our earthly life. Hope for good time to happen in future by putting faith on the Lord.

When you think you are no more valuable or no one values you anymore, remember there’s someone who valued you and gave His life for you. I am also in this suffering, from time to time, so I can tell you this.

Leave the matter to God. Let His will be done, even in our most difficult moment. It is my prayer that our God would sufficiently take care of us, even when it seems He is not working.

Again, let me end herewith the word of God, what Jesus Christ has declared, for you to ponder over:

“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus Christ) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:9-10 with my emphasis added)

Let us try to make the most out of our life. That, we might live joyously but not beyond the permitted limit.

Words spoken on the Cross

The time has come for the Son of God to bear the sin of humanity. His disciples are in awe of His words.  They were told what was going to happen next. Still it was hard for them to believe.  Jesus Christ was their Master but then He had to accomplish His great mission.

Jesus Christ prayed in the garden of Gethsemane; His soul exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.  “Let this cup pass from me, O my Father, if possible, nevertheless not as my will, but as you will.”*

In short, He was sentenced to death by the so-called righteous. Jesus Christ was condemned by the righteous.  He was tortured, bored His cross to Calvary.  He was lifted up on the cross, naked and humiliated.

Jesus Christ carried the sin of humanity with Him, so that we may live. I wanted to take you back to Mount Calvary to show empathy with His words.  I want to list out His last words as Jesus Christ was being crucified on the cross:

Here is your mother (John 19:27)

He saw His mother weeping at His feet.  He entrusted the disciples to take care of His mother, as He was on a mission.  Love for His mother as a human must be there.  He was very much concerned with what His mother has gone through.  Can you see the emotional pain both would have experienced at this time?

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)

Vengeance is mine, declared the Lord.  But still, Jesus Christ seeks forgiveness for the evildoers to His Father.  The ‘evil inside us’ caused us to do things we don’t even understand.  Did you imagine what causes the human race to do such cruelty on another human being?  That needs to be conquered.  This is the height of forgiveness that we are being offered or we can enjoy because of the sacrifice of the Son of God Himself.

Truly I tell you; today you will be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)

Jesus Christ was hanged between two thieves, who were crucified because of their own sin. He spent his whole life with the outcasts, tax collector, prostitutes, and the downtrodden people.  To the two thieves, the law of the mankind had awarded them death.  Earthly beings cannot grant you life apart from death.  But here, the thieves had their golden chance for life, which the other still denied.  It marked the width of God’s mercy and salvation.

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani.  (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)

When Jesus Christ bore the sin of humanity, the weight of sin was too much to bear.  God did not love sin.  Many times, we feel forsaken when we sinned.  The loneliness we experience, the emptiness was all because of sin.  Atonement for our sin was made by the blood of Jesus Christ.  In sufferings, if God is by your side you will find solace.  It signifies how sin had distance us from God.

I am thirsty. (John 19:28)

He was a human being.  He was dehydrated, lip parched.  These words reminded me of the conversation between Jesus Christ and the Samaritan woman.* Jesus Christ told her; whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.  The source of living water was drying up for you.  By His thirst we became welled up.

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. (Luke 23:46)

In His sufferings, Jesus Christ shows the model of prayer.  Into yours I commit myself, use me, shape me, and mold me, to be useful for you.  I surrender all.  I surrender all my beings to you. 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.**  In happy and in hard times, in sickness and in health, I place my life at your hands.

It is finished. (John 19:30)

Jesus Christ uttered these words.  God in the flesh breathe His last.  A powerful word of victory has been declared.   He offered himself fully to God on behalf of mankind.  This is the word that changed the world.  The fortune of the world was overturned, for those who believe in.  A plan was fulfilled, salvation was made possible.

Now, many of those who are present and taking part in the scene did not recognized what was really happening.  Some cast lots for His cloth.  Some saw the unusual things as they unfolded.  They stood at His feet facing Him.  Just one person, the centurion, was recorded saying, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”

Please consider these few questions: Where did you stand? Did you believe Him? Are you still a bystander near the cross?  Does it mean anything to you? Are you among the righteous that condemned Him?

*Matthew 26:42, John 4, Romans 12:1, Mark 15:39