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Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Funny how the topic of marriage has become an increasingly popular and often discussed one among many of my friends, more so in the recent past. I suppose the older we get with our statuses unchanged, the more pressure to be married by hook or by crook, to find that clichéd Mr. Right (or Miss. Right) and live happily ever after. I can understand this well in our Indian culture, with me being in this category myself – well, not exactly, but somewhere there… Anyway, all this talk about wanting to find the love of one’s life got me thinking and I decided to blog some of my thoughts.

To most of you reading this blog post, it is no news that I have been down that road many a time only to be hurt & disappointed (and vice versa to the concerned parties, I’m sure). I am presently at a point in life where I am just content to be single & let Jesus take that place rather than face more hurt & disappointment, although that is easier said than done. However, that does not mean I have been written off the “charts” or am no longer a fish swimming in the deep, wide ocean. The difference is, I’m no longer desperate to “get hooked” or to go find “the one” because I’m pretty confident anyone worth marrying is going to come find me! Moreover, like I quoted an unknown person some time ago, I do believe “A girl’s heart must so be hidden in Christ that a man has to seek Him to find her.” That’s the only kind of man I want to marry after all of my bitter experiences, and nothing short of that will do – a man who first seeks God & the kingdom of Heaven and finds that all the rest falls in line.

One of my friends recently asked me, “What do you girls expect? Jesus?!?” I thought about it, and the truth is, yes! :o) Well, at least for me… I sometimes wonder what a hot dude Jesus must have been while He lived on earth – son of a carpenter and carpenter Himself… I don’t think He ever needed a workout because the natural must have been gazillion times better. 😛 What??? Call it blasphemy, burn me at the stake if you like, but I’m pretty sure Jesus was HOT, in fact way HOTTER than any currently existing piece of male flesh for sure! He totally burned it up, and He still does for me, for real. No, I’m not kidding. I really mean that. I am completely in love with Jesus, and if anyone wants to win my heart, they’re gonna have to beat Him. So there! Ha! 🙂

That said, let’s be practical… marrying Jesus ain’t gonna happen as long as I’m on this earth, so here’s the next best option: a dash of Jeremy Camp, a pinch of Lincoln Brewster, a whole lot of Jesus on the inside, and I’m good to go. Wishful thinking? Maybe… but what am I going to lose by thinking?

So… to tie the knot or not? That is the question… As I pondered this, God showed me a fruit tree with a ripe red fruit hanging on it. I felt like that fruit myself, ready to be plucked. Now, let’s not allow our imaginations wander away & border on disgusting here… but a ripe fruit is good for several things: to be eaten as is, or to be made into a jam or juice or jelly or some other edible product. And with that, a ripe fruit would have served its purpose. But what if… what if… nobody actually plucked that ripe fruit? Would it have failed and not served a purpose? Over time it would fall to the ground, begin to shrivel, rot, and gradually become nothing but dirt. Sad.

I think the analogy is pretty clear, the plucked fruit resonating with the much-desired, fanciful married life while the rotted one represents the unmarried life of misery. But wait… what’s that I see? Several months, maybe even years, down the line I see a shoot springing up from the dirt. Tiny, green, easily mistaken for a weed, but a shoot nevertheless… In a few more months or years, I see that shoot grow into a large tree itself, bearing flowers, fruit & being a home to many a bird… much more than it could ever have achieved, had it been plucked and eaten or made into some other fancy foodstuff. Did the uneaten fruit not serve a purpose? Indeed not! I believe both the eaten & the rotten served their purposes just as had been destined even before the world began.

So here’s my conclusion: to be married some day remains a great desire. However, let not anyone who might not ever get married assume that his or her life is meaningless and has failed its purpose. In fact, God may be able to achieve greater, mightier things in and through your singleness than He could have ever achieved through your marriage. And for the married or marrying, I’m not done yet… eaten fruits must also have their seeds or cores discarded, which at some point reach the dirt too… and we all know what happens after. Therefore, eaten or rotten, you serve a purpose; serve it well! To tie the knot or not, it matters not.

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This was supposed to just be a short post on a couple of things God taught me during this week, but as it turns out, is not. 😉

1. Faith:

I finally learned what it means that Jesus is the author and “finisher” of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). It’s a term my Dad used a lot in his prayers and sermons, but I don’t think I ever quite understood it too well until this week. I’ve been learning a lot about faith lately, and I clearly understand that “without faith it is impossible to please God”. I also understand that God has made it easy for us to have that faith because He Himself is the “author” of our faith. He Himself puts faith in us when we accept Him into our lives, which itself is a step of faith.

The Bible talks about us having faith as tiny as a mustard seed, and even that little faith being enough to move mountains. So I went with that thought. I imagined a tall transparent glass with just one tiny mustard seed in it – pitifully tiny, insignificant and incapable of anything big in that large glass. That’s how my faith is more often than not. However, this is what I learned… that no matter how small, insignificant or incapable of anything our faith is, God completes it for us, in other words, he is the “finisher” of our faith. It’s as if He fills that tall glass with Himself and thereby makes all things possible. I imagine the glass being filled up with water (symbolic of the Holy Spirit). Try it practically and see what happens… you will see that the mustard seed no longer remains at the bottom of the glass, but rises up bit by bit to the very top and floats there. So it is with our faith… no matter how small, when we realize that Jesus Himself completes it, our faith rises to meet the challenge. We are emboldened with courage just knowing that He completes our faith and we are not in the struggle alone… and suddenly ALL things become possible for us.

2. It’s not about us and our capabilities; it’s about Him and His infinite abilities:

This sort of goes hand in hand with what I learned on faith, and I’ve seen this happening through this last week as I’ve ministered to people with various needs, most of them beyond me and my own understanding. I’ve seen God use me despite my inability in certain situations, and give me the right words at the right time for people that He brought my way in His perfect time. I know that none of those were co-incidences or mistakes, but divine appointments. In one particular situation I didn’t feel very “knowledgeable” regarding the situation, but God gave me His wisdom to deal with it. All it took was for me to say, “Here I am, Lord. I’m available. Use me. If you can use anything, Lord, you can use me!”

I was moved by a dialogue towards the end of the film, Prince Caspian (yes, I am a HUGE Narnia fan, in case you don’t already know that). After the war is won, when Aslan meets with the children, he tells Prince Caspian that the time has come for him to be King and rule over the land. Prince Caspian is overwhelmed and says something like, “But I don’t think I am ready yet”, to which Aslan’s reply is, “It is for that very reason I think you are.”

God is not looking for people who think they have it all together and are content in their self-sufficiency. God is looking for people who know they are not capable in and of themselves, but He is able. We need to always remind ourselves that it is never about us and our capabilities, but about Him and His infinite abilities! And be available for Him to use.

3. Obedience:

1 Samuel 15:22 says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice”. Along with faith, knowing that it’s all about God and being available for Him to use, goes obedience. We have often heard people say, “Delayed obedience is disobedience”. So true! I have been learning that too this week. It is better to obey God no matter how crazy it might seem.

Last night I heard God tell me something that sounded like He was out of His mind. I was like, “What??? No, no, no… there’s nothing I can do about it. Thank you for telling me, but I don’t see how I can help with that.” But I couldn’t bring myself to ignore God’s voice and eventually found myself doing the outlandish thing He told me to. Now, this involved another person too, and even if I had done my part in obedience, the buck stopped with her if she thought I was out of my mind. To my surprise, she not only took me seriously, but was also obedient to what she said was the Holy Spirit telling her not to just brush it aside as some nonsense like she would have normally done, but to act on it. What our obedience achieved, I am yet to find out, and I sincerely hope it saved a life. However, the point is not what we achieved, but that we were both obedient to God and his voice. John 10: 27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” What is God saying to you today? Are you one of His sheep? Are you following Him?

4. Look Inside Yourself!

The fourth thing I learned this week is something very personal, but I want to share it all the same, knowing that many struggle with this question. We often wonder why God doesn’t “show” Himself to us and reveal Himself visibly. Why is it that God shows Himself to some stranger who has never even heard of Him, ever, but won’t show Himself to me??? I remember reading once that God, more often than not, needs to show Himself to those that don’t believe and those who would find it hard to believe if He didn’t. However, for those of us that have a strong faith and believe in Him even without having seen him, it is not necessary for us to see Him. I made myself content for a while thinking, “Oh, I must have great faith that God doesn’t need to show Himself for me. Cool!” And that was cool… but there came a time not too long ago, when I asked the Lord to show Himself to me and He did in a very strange way, so much so that it freaked me out for a bit, wondering what the strange Presence in my room was. His Presence remained in my room several days, and I would see it every night. But after a while I stopped seeing it. Then the other night I asked the Lord to show Himself to me again, and this is what He answered, “Why are you looking here for me? Look inside yourself!” Whoa! That was pretty amazing to me, and a necessary reminder that He is inside of me, working in and through me. When others see me, I sincerely hope they see Jesus inside of me.

Now, I’d like to make it clear that God is very capable of showing Himself to anyone, and in different ways to different people. For me at this point in time, this is what He chose specifically for me. The only reason I am sharing it is because I know many people have the same question on their minds, and I hope to encourage you not to stop seeking after Him, but to wait patiently, spend time in His presence, and in His time, He will reveal Himself in His own way.

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Warning: This post might challenge your thoughts, commitment and decisions. Read at your own RISK.

A couple of days ago I posted this to my Facebook status:

“Will I ever have to jump off a cliff? …will God ever ask me to jump off a cliff?” – Missy, The Shack. What if God asked you to jump off a cliff? Would you? Good questions to ask. Difficult ones to answer. Of course, “jumping off a cliff” might translate into different things to different people, depending on their circumstances.

I have begun to read The Shack, apparently a book that has evoked many a debate. Seeing that people had much to say about it’s controversial content, I decided to read it with an open mind and slowly plough through it, taking time to chew the cud on every thought rather than just read it cover to cover. The quote above was the first of many interesting thoughts that I paused to ponder over.

I wonder how often we expect God to ask us to jump off a cliff, to take a risk. Not very often, I must admit. As far as most of us are concerned, we content ourselves with thoughts and songs of assurance of our safety and God’s protection over us – good things, no doubt, and very necessary. Here are a few lyrics I can think of immediately:

“I’m so secure, you’re here with me…

So close I believe, You’re holding me now

In Your hands I belong

You’ll never let me go…”

“Safe am I, safe am I

In the hollow of His hand

Sheltered o’er, sheltered o’er

With His love forever more

No foe can harm me

No fear alarm me

For He keeps both day and night.”

Often times I sing these songs to myself when I need assurance of God’s protection over me. It’s very comforting to know and feel that God has engraved me in the palms of His hands. But then, as I ponder over these thoughts, I also wonder about the practicalities of being in God’s hands and Him never letting go. I mean, doesn’t He have a zillion other things to do with His hands? Like fishing someone out of deep water or miry clay… or reaching out to touch and heal someone with leprosy… or holding his hands out against a storm… or breaking loaves of bread… or getting nailed to a cross??? These are just instances found in the Bible… and man, if I am to be in God’s hands with Him never letting go all the while, I really don’t think I would be as comfortable or “safe and secure” as one would imagine! Think about it! It’s going to get pretty uncomfortable for me… by placing myself in His hands, I am also making myself vulnerable to circumstances and situations that He chooses to use His hands for… and that undoubtedly means many great risks. Is that something I am willing to put myself through? Ha! Who would imagine that “security” in God’s dictionary is more often than not spelled R-I-S-K??? Are you even sure you want to be held so close in His hands right now? 🙂

I think it’s high time anyone who is serious about their commitment to Christ evaluate all that it truly involves and choose for himself/herself the road he/she will take. That is my challenge to anyone who might read this post.

I say this having faced my share of “risk” and having jumped off a cliff not too long ago. For me, it translated into leaving my comfort zone and stepping out into new territory without any idea as to how things would go or what the future held for me. For sure, it was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make, and not everyone understood why I had to do what I had to do. I know that to date, some think I made a big mistake and may even be angry with me or hold ill feelings against me for the choices I made. Others who could see to the heart of the issues knew better and have supported me and prayed for me all along. For a long while I did not want to face the rest of humanity, save a handful of near and dear, for fear of what they would think or say and the questions I would be asked. If anything, my situation seemed to only go from bad to worse. In fact, at one point, every step I had climbed up to that point and every strong pillar in my life began to crumble and fall, so much so that I had no where else to reach out and cling on to for dear life but above.

P1010703

P1010704However, looking back, I can now see that God honoured me for the decision I made to do what He asked me to do unquestioningly. I don’t want to boast about my deeds, but God’s faithfulness to me despite my many mistakes and shortcomings. All it required was my obedience no matter what, and He worked all things (including those mistakes and shortcomings) out for my good although I could not see or know that then.

I can also testify that being in God’s hands has been as thrilling as a roller coaster ride, if not more. You never know what to expect, what God will ask you to do next, where He will send you, and whom or what you will have to encounter. If you’re an adventurous person, I’d say it’s the real deal!

Christine Caine from Hillsong Australia has been doing a series on “Stop Acting Like a Christian & Be One!” at LifeChurch. A lot of challenging thoughts, and this week’s challenge has been to be willing to take that risk, to step out of your comfort zone and be willing to go where God sends you and do what He asks you to do – no matter what it takes. She shared about how many times she herself has merely escaped bomb blasts and terrorist attacks with the kind of work she is involved in. Not quite what any of us think is part of our “calling” – something we prefer to leave to others with that kind of calling to do. “As for me, I’ll just sit here behind this desk… sure, I can pray for those who face such risks… isn’t that the best thing I can do?” Well, I hate to say that if God has truly called you, it is NOT without risk. There is always something we are asked to do that we are not quite comfortable doing… it’s a daily choice we make for ourselves, either to walk in obedience to Him or weave our own ways of folly and miss out on the wonderful things He has in store for us.

I remember vaguely reading this story about a guy who went rock climbing and as night came, lost his grip and fell. He hung on to his rope for many hours in the dark, always fearing the worst and praying God would somehow save him. To his surprise, He heard God audibly tell him to let go of the rope. “What??? You can’t be serious!” was his response, and he continued to hang on to the rope that would likely snap and give way to his weight any moment. And so he hung that way in fear and dread, almost freezing himself to death, not to mention starvation, all night long. When dawn finally broke, he looked around to see if he could find a way to safety, and much to his amazement, he found that he was hanging a mere 3 feet off the ground! If only he had listened to God’s voice and let go of the rope, he would most certainly have foregone the nightlong torture he had put himself through. How foolish he had been to discredit God’s voice and choose his own folly instead!

I’ll wrap up with that thought. I don’t know which person reading this post today might be standing atop a cliff, with God asking you to jump off. Like I mentioned in my Facebook status, it might translate to different people into different things, depending on their circumstances and situations. If you’re that person atop the cliff today, what would you do? Are you willing to take that leap of faith in obedience?

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kite_runner

I’ve been catching up on all the reading I missed out on the last several years for a variety of reasons (mostly time, resources and other distractions) and just got done with The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Having already watched the last quarter of the film I imagined I had spoiled it for myself, but on the contrary I must say I quite enjoyed the latter half of the book. It has been one of the best-written fictions from the East that I have read in a while (that list including The White Tiger, Slumdog Millionaire or Q & A, and Three Mistakes of My Life). I must also add that I appreciate that Hosseini could describe rather dark incidents without the grossness that authors like Aravind Adiga thrive on, a grossness that completely puts me off.

The book to a large extent deals with the father-son relationship and the concept of redemption. Usually books affect my mind and sort of have a cathartic effect on me, particularly because I tend to identify with some character in the book. This time, however, the character I identified the most with was probably Sohrab who makes his entry only in the last few chapters of the book. The reason being, in the past I too have often slept my worries off, or chosen silence over communication… I too have merely resigned myself to my fate, like a lamb lead to the slaughter and felt “tired”, as in sick and tired of life, wishing I could have my old life back. But no, I have never attempted suicide or even considered it an option. I am thankful I no longer feel that way, my life having radically taken a turn for the better. Still, I could understand Sohrab’s character and emotions more than any other.

Quite a few times in the book I stopped to think about how different my values are compared to some of those related in the book, particular the concept of redemption that runs like a jugular vein through the entire story. The extent to which Amir had to go to redeem himself in the book is rather sad… sure, it makes a good story, and I applaud the fact that he was able to give Sohrab a new lease of life almost at the cost of his own, but Amir’s main motivation being one of self-redemption worries me.

The concept of being redeemed by our deeds is something I have never been able to bring myself to terms with. To me, it completely defies the very existence of God and His work in our lives. At the least, it makes God out to me a mean, unforgiving being who derives sadistic pleasure from our suffering – an image of God I simply cannot and will not accept simply because it is too bizarre to be true. I have always been taught and do firmly believe that Christ Himself redeemed us by shedding His blood for us on the cross, thereby paying the penalty of death for our sins once and for all. There is nothing more we can do to be “redeemed”, other than believing in what Christ did.

I found the following stuff on redemption on www.gotquestions.org:

Everyone is in need of redemption. Our natural condition was characterized by guilt: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Christ’s redemption has freed us from guilt, being “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

The benefits of redemption include eternal life (Revelation 5:9-10), forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), righteousness (Romans 5:17), freedom from the law’s curse (Galatians 3:13), adoption into God’s family (Galatians 4:5), deliverance from sin’s bondage (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:14-18), peace with God (Colossians 1:18-20), and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). To be redeemed, then, is to be forgiven, holy, justified, free, adopted, and reconciled. See also Psalm 130:7-8; Luke 2:38; and Acts 20:28.

The word redeem means “to buy out.” The term was used specifically in reference to the purchase of a slave’s freedom. The application of this term to Christ’s death on the cross is quite telling. If we are “redeemed,” then our prior condition was one of slavery. God has purchased our freedom, and we are no longer in bondage to sin or to the Old Testament law. This metaphorical use of “redemption” is the teaching of Galatians 3:13 and 4:5.

Related to the Christian concept of redemption is the word ransom. Jesus paid the price for our release from sin and its consequences (Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6). His death was in exchange for our life. In fact, Scripture is quite clear that redemption is only possible “through His blood,” that is, by His death (Colossians 1:14).

The streets of heaven will be filled with former captives who, through no merit of their own, find themselves redeemed, forgiven, and free. Slaves to sin have become saints. No wonder we will sing a new song—a song of praise to the Redeemer who was slain (Revelation 5:9). We were slaves to sin, condemned to eternal separation from God. Jesus paid the price to redeem us, resulting in our freedom from slavery to sin and our rescue from the eternal consequences of that sin.

I am fully aware that to many minds, the idea of one NOT having to DO anything in order to be redeemed is practically unthinkable. There has to be SOMETHING I’ve got to do in order to redeem myself from my mistakes and my sins! Well, I’ve got both good news and bad news for those who think that way. The bad news first: there is NOTHING you or any other human can do on your behalf in order for you to be redeemed. The good news: “There is a way to be good again” – because Jesus has already done EVERYTHING that could ever be done to redeem you – it’s simply a matter of accepting that and walking in that faith. Too easy? Well, yes it is… And I thank God, He made it so easy for me to be free of my past, to no longer be bound by my sins, to be forgiven, to be redeemed! Today, no matter where I’ve been, no matter what I’ve done I can hold my head up high and live my life to the fullest, knowing that Christ has already paid the price and has set me free.

That said, I don’t mean to say that had I been in Amir’s position I would not have made the effort to rescue Sohrab and give him a good life. The difference would have been that my intention of doing that would not have been to redeem myself. Rather, I would be doing it simply out of love for another human, the same self-sacrificing love that Christ was an example of, the love that caused Him to lay Himself down so that I could be free, the love that Christ not only commanded to show a fellow-human but also flows through my very being, with Christ Himself as the centre of it.

I know all of this probably sounds strange to some. The other day I was confronted by someone on Facebook who commented on my friend’s status about having had a great talk with Jesus. Her comment was, “You make Jesus sound like a real person!” and my response was, “But He is a real person! He lives… He walks with me and talks with me… you ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart!” I was on fire that moment, and all I longed for was for the other person to see how true and real Jesus is to my friend and to me… I wanted her to experience it too. And that still is my prayer for the millions across the world who have never had that experience. I pray that people will be able to taste of it themselves and know it is true and real, to find forgiveness, release, acceptance, freedom, redemption, and a “way to be good again” in and through Jesus!

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I’ve learned in all my difficult circumstances to stop and ask God, “What do you want me to learn from this situation?” – something my Dad set a great example for. I admit that I haven’t spent as much time as I used to with God of late. I’ve been so caught up with travel and work that I’m way behind my Bible reading schedule too. So, is this Your way of telling me I need to focus on You and spend more time with You? Am I drowning You out in all my busy-ness and leaving no room for Your voice to be heard? Forgive me, Father. Speak Lord, Your servant is listening…

“I forgive you. You have to forgive yourself and let it go.”

I do.

So… I take my laptop for servicing, and they find that there is no external or internal damage, but it turns out the Hard Drive has crashed – that too, more likely because of my having installed Norton Anti-Virus than my dropping it! What a relief! Thank you, Jesus! So much for all that guilt and self-condemnation! Either way, lesson learned:

1. Don’t install Norton AV on a Mac and then drop it down a few days later.

2. Don’t be careless and drop your Mac anyways!

Retrieving data would cost a bomb, so I agree to having them reformat my Hard Drive. But then a couple of days after reformatting, it crashes again. So this time they have to actually replace my Hard Drive. Thankfully, my laptop is under warranty, so the next day I receive my laptop ship-shape, all updated and in working order, with a brand new HD only minus my files, and I haven’t had to pay even a single paisa!!! Whoa! I’m amazed! Datalogics is THE place to go for anything Apple in Chennai, and Mr. Diwakar rules!

(http://www.datalogicsindia.com/)

 

Then I stop to ponder how symbolic the whole situation is of my own life and where it has been. I had made a mighty big mistake but a few months back and put myself through the torture of blaming myself and trying to figure out what I had done wrong and what I could do to make things right. Oh, so much shame, pain, guilt and self-condemnation, not to mention the anger and bitterness! Over the months I had learned to accept my mistakes, forgive the other people concerned and ask for forgiveness myself – both of God and man. That done, I thought that I had learned all I could from my mistakes and that time would heal, but I was wrong.

Like my laptop I was at a fragile point in life and despite having taken all the precautions I thought necessary, I was on the brink of crashing under pressure. Nothing I could do in my own might could ever make things right – not the mind, not the will, not the knowledge or the power. Trying to reformat my system wouldn’t be good enough either, because somewhere there would always be a bad sector and time and again I would only keep crashing. Only He could take my corrupt, messy, wounded heart of stone and give me a pure, clean heart of flesh, a heart that could love again and be loved in return. All the trash of the past would be wiped out and I could begin again with a clean slate. No doubt it would be difficult to rebuild from scratch, but it would be well worth the effort. It was just a simple choice I had to make, and it would literally cost me nothing. I had a life-long warranty in Him.

So… I begin afresh by forgiving myself and letting go, giving it all up to my Maker and letting Him give me a complete change of heart drive.

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Well, last night was more peaceful for me for the sole reason that I let go my fear of having the lizard running around my house or jumping on my bed, and decided to sleep no matter what. Besides, I was really exhausted after a long day’s work and some shopping in the sultry heat of summer.

However, I felt really low for some reason and found that I had a fever all of a sudden. Couldn’t think why I was having a fever for apparently no reason, and I was worried because I am just recovering from a second bout of hepatitis. I immediately thought of what my good friend Tara told me on Monday. She recently moved to Delhi and when I called her, she asked me if I’m doing ok health-wise and if I’m happy because she had a disturbing dream about me not looking very happy. When she shared it with her friend Christina, Christina told her to pray for me, and so together they had prayed for me. I really appreciated that. I thought it was very wise, discerning and thoughtful of them both.

Many times I myself have had disturbing dreams about someone I know, and I’ve learned that sometimes God gives you such dreams so you can pray for that person and either warn or counsel them.

Anyways, I text messaged Tara immediately telling her that I wasn’t feeling too well and to pray for me, and then I myself decided to pray. I searched my Bible for something on health, and the first thing that I found was the story of the woman who suffered from bleeding (Mark 5: 25 – 34, Matthew 9: 20 -22, Luke 8: 43 – 48).

Luke 8:43-48 (New International Version) www.biblegateway.com:

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[a] but no one could heal her. 44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

I was amazed by that passage. I’ve read the story ever since I was a small child, but for the first time, I realized that sometimes healing doesn’t come because of medicines that doctors prescribe (vs. 43: “but no one could heal her”), and neither does it come by extreme prayer and rebuking of an illness (vs. 45: Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”) – although those are good too. But sometimes, all it takes is just enough faith to touch the edge of Jesus’ cloak, and know that you will be healed. And the powerful words of Jesus are such a comfort, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

It took a lot for me to summon that courage and pray, “Lord, right now I’m reaching forward and touching the edge of your cloak in faith. Let your healing flow through me and heal my body, mind and heart.” And that was it.

I woke up this morning as fit as a fiddle, no fever, no pain, no worry of falling ill again.

This little instance has taught me a powerful prayer of healing. I hope someone who desperately needs healing, be it in their bodies, minds, or hearts, will find the same healing in Jesus that I did just by touching His cloak.

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I’m a very impatient person by nature. I love things done on time and absolutely hate it when people arrive late for a meeting or keep dilly-dallying before they can get a job done. For me, things should be done as and when I ask for them.

Many of us are this way when it comes to things we need. We want this and we want that… and we want it immediately! When we find it hard to make both ends meet, we want a raise in salary that very month. Even as kids I’m sure we demanded toys and chocolates on the dot… “No, now!” is what we would have cried, throwing tantrums if we didn’t get our way.

Seems like impatience is imbedded in the veins of every human being, and to get it out of our system is quite a complicated task!

This is especially true when we demand things of God. Often we pray with the sincerest of faith, expecting miracles to happen – but nothing does (at least that’s the way it seems). We ask God for healing from a sickness, for help in a relationship that’s all messed up, to do well in our studies, or for good friends. But very often God does not seem to be listening.

That’s when we begin to doubt if God even exists and if there’s any use in praying at all. We get all worried and anxious about our situation and cause others around us to worry as well. In our impatience we sometimes even make wrong choices that we end up regretting later on in life. But then you ask, “What else are we to do???”

The Bible tells us not to be impatient. It says, “Wait patiently for God and He will come and save you. Be brave and courageous. Wait and He will help you.”

Well, I guess you think that’s better said than done. But have you ever tried it? Have you ever said to God in a tough situation, “God, I don’t know what you’re up to, but I’m not gonna lose hope. I trust you and I’m simply gonna wait for you to work things out for me.”?

Now don’t get me wrong, waiting does not mean just sitting and hatching eggs, it means waiting proactively. The Bible also says, “Don’t be impatient for God to act. Keep traveling steadily along His pathway and in due season He will honor you with every blessing.”

Wow! That’s something to think about! Waiting means being patient for God to answer you, but carrying on in the mean time with what we’re supposed to do. And there’s a promise that follows – that God will honor us with all the blessings we need – if only we will be patient.

Isn’t that awesome? I bet none of us wanna miss out on those blessings by being impatient and trying to get things done our own way, do we? No way! So if you’re in a situation today that is getting you all impatient and worried, leave it to God. Wait and He will answer you in His time.

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