Yesterday

Jesus asked,  “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” –  John 4:48

These words worked like a solid slap on my face yesterday. I was preparing to sleep. I prayed but didn’t open my Bible. In my prayer, I said I’d read when I wake up and that I needed to go to a ‘Singles’ event at church. So that meant I had to wake up at 4pm. I need to be in Ayala before 6pm otherwise, I’d miss the event because of traffic jams everywhere. But I had the urging of the Holy Spirit. So I opened my Bible.

It was a slap because Jesus said this to the same generation who never believed in Him. He even got angry in the book of Luke and said, “This evil generation keeps asking me to show them a miraculous sign. But the only sign I will give them is the sign of Jonah.” (Luke 11:29, NLT). So, yes, it was a huge slap. It also seemed the words jumped right out of the page and gave me a one-two punch.

The Holy Spirit allowed me to feel what Jesus felt. I thought, “I didn’t believe Him. After all He did, I’m suddenly not believing His promises.” It shocked me. Rocked me to my bones. I had to slam my knees on the floor. I kept asking for forgiveness. I’ve sinned greatly. I’ve sinned greatly by not believing that His plans for me will succeed. I’ve sinned greatly by not believing that His promises will be fulfilled. I kept asking, “Why? Why? Why am I in this situation? Why am I not believing? Why am I not believing the Lord, my God? Why am I not believing the only Man who stayed true to me since the beginning of time?”

I had to repent. It was wrong, so very wrong of me not to believe, to doubt Him. I said, “I’m sorry Jesus. I’m so sorry to hurt you. I’m so sorry for thinking I’m any better. Help me with my unbelief. I believe. I believe. I believe. Holy Spirit, help me with my unbelief.”

I was ten years old when my mom introduced me to my step-dad’s family. Since then we would spend time with them every summer. Less than a year before my mom got pregnant with my little sister, we were at my step-dad’s place again. Only this time, my mom and step-dad kept on fighting. You hear them yelling at each other all the time and my step-dad’s mom would always say nasty things to my mom. It was a difficult time. As a young girl, I’m not allowed to speak while the adults are talking. So I kept silent. One sunny day, they were at it again. I’m not used to people shouting, yelling at each other. My life with my mom was very quiet. Since I have no place there, I ran away with no money, no clothes, no nothing with me. It was midday.

I kept on crying. My prayer was, “Lord, no one wants us to be there. They’re saying all these bad things to my mom because of me. No one fights for us there. Why do we have to stay in that rotten place? Will You fight for us, Lord? Will You fight for me? Will You stand for me? Did you really choose me? Did you choose me to feel all this? Will You make it rain so I know You’re here? Will You make it rain, please, so that people don’t see me crying?”

Believe it or not, it didn’t take long. Suddenly, the sky darkened and the wind blew hard. In a short while, it was raining! That was the first time I fell in love with the rain. It felt like God is so tangible and playful when it’s raining and He can hide me from crying. It was like the rain was a symbol of God’s very presence. One of my favorite Pastors from the previous church, Pastor Bobot Bernardo shares the same belief with me. He had a very good preaching associated with the rain which I still keep with me. I love taking his preaching outlines.

I mentioned that moment because the same thing happened again yesterday. After crying so hard, suddenly I can feel the wind. A little later, my sister was yelling, “Umuulan na! (It’s raining!) I cried all the more. God seemed to tell me,” I accept your repentance. Just believe in Me.” And then I cried harder. It was so sweet. And then finally I fell asleep. I slept real good. Woke up at 7:30 in the evening.

When you believe all the hatred, self-pity, doubts, lies the devil so annoyingly whispers at you, you tend to do the worst things. When that happens again, you get down on your knee and pray. And then open your Bible. The devil trembles when we kneel down in prayer. Find security in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Call upon the name of Jesus. There’s power in that Name.

Reading some words of comfort from everybody, I was greatly encouraged. I didn’t think anybody cared. I didn’t think anybody noticed. I thought an old friend turned his back on me. I believed the lies of the enemy that I was done wrong and that was it. I was done wrong, yes, but I’ve got all these godly people praying for me. Waiting for me. Waiting with me. They’re all behind me without me knowing. Cheering me on. Encouraging me in their own little way. Reminding me to forgive. Telling me to “Hang in there, Angel.” I’m thankful for an awesome, loving spiritual family. You’re all heaven’s gift. I’m so sorry to let you down. I pray, by God’s grace, I can make it up to all of you. Please keep praying for me. I, in turn, pray that God would bless you more than you’ve blessed me.

Thank you for yesterday!

Advertisements

Tragedy and Success

What is tragedy?

For me, it is knowing that God made you for a special purpose but failing to really understand that. That after all the yelling out loud God is doing through the people around you and the circumstances that surrounds you, you just deliberately ignore God’s voice. You do whatever you feel like doing. Even if you know it’s not the right thing to do.

As a young worship leader, it was one of my biggest fears: to NOT become the person/woman He so intricately, carefully, beautifully designed me to be. I just cannot afford NOT to be what He so wants me to be. Even now, with and in all things I’m faced with I want to make sure, and I ask God’s help all the time because I am still a work in progress, that I present myself as the woman God created me to be. It’s not always easy. But because Jesus is with me, I can smile, be joyful in all things because He carries my burdens.

What is success? 

I am not the most successful person on earth financially speaking. In my family, we help each other in everything. By God’s grace, we lack nothing. God provides for all that we need. We’re not materialistic people too. So when other people come to us with their ‘new’ gadets, we show off our ‘durable’ phones and give them a wink and a smile. I’ve personally taught my siblings that at the end of the day, these things are just distractions from things that really matter. Like, chatting endlessly while we enjoy our fresh fruit shakes. Or eat our mom’s meryenda for us. Laughing out loud while watching Ironman movies, or Die Hard movies, or Real Steel or Warrior, or LOTR movies for the nth time because we say the exact lines on the film. Quality time. Encouraging each other in the faith. Talking about the wrong things other people did to us and correcting each other for any wrongs we’ve done. It’s best to hear it from us than from other people.

I had to ask God time and time again what success means to Him. I got a very simple reply: It is doing  the will of my Father with all my heart, mind, body, soul and strength.