The Pursuit

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The world is flooded with Your grace and mercy,
submerged in Your love and warm embrace.
Yet the one You love—
the apple of Your eyes—
still prefers to leave You behind.
The one You love hurts you
more often than not,
clings to things that would easily fade.
and to this day that You have made
You still choose to love her—no matter what…
Tears fall from Your eyes
as You see her run further and further,
but You’re still willing to pick her up,
dust her off and love her again
every single time she fails You.
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Her future is bright and always will be
if she would just trust and surrender—
there is still a lot to learn.
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And that is what it is all about—
You,
Your love,
and Your forgiveness…
Enduring,
Ever persistent,
Gracious and consistent;
One that’s second to none,
the kind that continues longer than forever.
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And yes, truth abides,
She can never ever
outrun You.

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Fortitude in Weakness

There are times when people look at me and they see a very tough woman. They put in their mind that my toughness makes me insusceptible to pain. So they think it’s ok to hurt me over and over.

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Yet there are times that this tough woman shakes like a leaf and gets scared and hurt, too. Like all the others, there’s a small child in me that curls up in bed and cries her heart out, longing to be held by someone stronger than her.

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I just am so blessed that in my weakest times, I find my fortitude in Christ alone…

When My Worst Became At Its Best

2.3.2010

I walked quietly on one lonesome night and thoughts never stopped pouring in. I felt a void I couldn’t quite get rid of. Then I noticed tears have started to cascade down my cheeks, no way of stopping them now. I felt desolate. I felt abandoned. I felt alone…

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It’s one of those tough times that I needed a shoulder to cry on but couldn’t find any. Everybody seemed “too busy”. Everybody seemed not to care. Everybody seemed moving fast-forward and I was the only one in slow motion. And I felt like even if I pour my heart out to them, they wouldn’t really understand.

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No one would understand…

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I looked up at the expanse of the starlit sky. Every star looked wonderful, dancing gaily, as if they were inviting me to join in their waltz. Then as I am left in awe, I realized I have seen God’s fingerprints on the vastness of the sky. I saw one star twinkle remarkably and by that I knew the Lord said to me, “I Am here.”
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Another tear dropped.

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I felt a cool breeze brush against my skin, and it blew my hair away from my ear which made me hear a soft, soothing whisper. I knew it was Him. He said, “I Am here.”
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My heart pounded on my chest, I felt my blood rushing through my veins. Lub-dub-lub-dub-Lub-dub. In every coming in and out of blood through my heart, I was reminded that this life that I have is a gift. And in every beat my heart gave out, I heard the still, small Voice who said, “I Am here.”
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Someone listens. Someone understands. And even if the whole world turned its back on me, my Lord Jesus never will.

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I continued on my journey with wings on my feet. And whenever I stopped and felt afraid, I hear Him reassure that He’s there… with me…

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Walking on one lonesome night wasn’t lonely at all. I was never alone.

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Jesus is here.

Accuracy in Prayer: Positive

I recall telling a friend and pertaining to another, “Whatever successes he has right now, I’m not a part of it anymore.” That was what I thought then, but when I really started reflecting on what I said, I realized how inaccurate the thought I had was.
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No matter the distance, no matter the hindrances, no matter what circumstances I and another are in, I can still be connected to that person— that is if I want to, I always have a choice. I can still make an impact in his or her life even without them knowing it. I can make a difference.
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How?
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Through prayer
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It clearly doesn’t matter if they have asked me to pray for them. What matters is that out of my care and love for these people, out of the abundance and compassion that the Lord has given me inside my heart, I am able to give some of my time to bow my head, let my knees touch the cold floor, and utter my earnest prayers for them.
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And it’s also not a big issue if they have been praying for me in return even without my request. I hardly give that a thought, but if ever they do, a bunch of thanks.
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It really is a wonderful feeling, though, when somebody has tapped me at the back, or has sent me a simple message, beaming as he or she says, “Ghay, I prayed for you! I know the Lord will provide anything that you will need.” And just as wonderful how my heart overflows as I reply, “Thank you so much! That meant a lot to me.
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Another is when someone would voluntarily ask me, “What would you want me to pray about you, Ghay?” At that, I feel loved, cared for and I see how really important I am to that person. These people love me! It leaves me feeling perked up, encouraged and invigorated.
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If that’s how I react with such, then undoubtedly, they could have the same response if I do that for them as well.
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Do unto others what you would want them do unto you.  And, Give a little love and it all comes back to you. Yes. But the thing is, not everything I do for others will be reciprocally done to me. What I’m stressing on is that even though they do not do for me the same things that I do for them, still in the end, I will have no regrets that I’ve done things that will benefit them. I have been of help, even in the littlest way. Again, I have made a difference.
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  Prayer does wonders, not only to other people but for me as well. During my private moments with God, His Spirit engraves in my heart the names of the people whom He wants me to pray for. Even in prayer, He strips off selfishness in me and replaces it with concern for others and their needs. As I go on the rest of my day, I know in my heart that these people will be secured in His hands. I can go on without worrying, for the Lord has taken note of everything I told Him. Then, I smile.
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Why worry when you can pray? This is one of my favorite quotations since I was in college. It still lives true even today. Worry does not do anything good for my mind, heart and body. It vacuums all the energy in me. The Lord has taught me a counter-attack for worry and that is prayer itself. Well, it definitely works for me. And if it works for me, it will for you, too.
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In additional to this sharing, there are times when along my day or week, good news will come knocking on my doorsteps. The person/s I have prayed for has achieved this or that. They have gone here and there. However the news reaches me, I rejoice!
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I rejoice because I have prayed for this person. I have offered time to draw him/her to the Lord. I celebrate the victory someone I prayed for has achieved. My way of thinking is transformed… “Whatever successes he/she may have right now, or in the future— casting aside whatever the space is in between us— I am a part of it.”
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Even if they are unaware, even without their requests made known to me, even if it’s just a confidential thing between me and the Lord, I will pray for them because by doing so, when they are blessed, then I am blessed all the more. After all, my prayers are for free!
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Likewise, you will be a part of someone else’s life depending on your choice, and the decision will always fall in your hands… But do keep in mind that to pray continually and to pray for others with joy and gladness is the Lord’s will. Prayers offered in faith make mountains move, make walls crumbling down, and evil dominions are triumphed over.
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1 Thessalonians 5:17    “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
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James 5:16    “Therefore… pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
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Job 42:10    “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.”
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Proverbs 15:29        “The Lord is far from the wicked but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
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(All italics, mine)
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Pray unceasingly for others. It has benefits. Dare to make a difference.

Intrepid

5.5.2009

 

Your Word, oh God, is like a sweet lullaby
That brings peace to my troubled soul,
When my wings are broken and I couldn’t fly,
You graft them together; with You I soar.
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You are the Sturdy Rock that I rest upon
When life’s troubles have worn me down,
And when my strength gets harder to define,
I face the days with You around.
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My knees are feeble, my heart is weak,
My vision’s unclear, my wounds are deep,
But You’ve promised that I’ll be secure,
In Your perfect love I always find cure.
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Though the lies around me may blind my sight
I will always trust in Your holy might,
For You will make the clouds dispel,
And Your wondrous works, the world I’ll tell.
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With You my future is always clear
Like a valiant soldier, I’ve nothing to fear.
And I’ll say, “Yes!” to You my Master;
I’ll gear up now, I’m ready for battle.
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Your Word as my sword, and Your love as my armor,
In Your eyes I will surely find favor.
My hand You hold, it’s me You look after,
Father, I do not fear for we’re in this together.
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The sound of trumpets will soon be heard,
Rejoicing and singing will resonate,
I’ll walk on the aisle; You’ll wait on Your throne.
My eyes are on You— I’ll finally be home.

Alive in You

8.3.2009

To bless Your heart is my earnest prayer,
To write you songs or even a letter,
To put a smile on Your lovely face—
These, my Lord, are my utmost desires.
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Hoping to meet with You tonight,
I knelt before Your holy presence.
Worries embraced my heart with fright,
But you loosed it all and it made sense.
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Through the wind’s gush I felt You beside me,
And peace transcended my frantic thoughts.
A certain confidence has overwhelmed me,
My rampant waters no longer fought.
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I feel powerless and indeed too small
For the colossal picture of my life,
But God, I know You’ve seen it all,
And in Your name, I’ll be a victor.
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You are as close as my very breath,
In my dire need, You always answer.
Even if I approach the brink of death,
Your love for me won’t ever falter.
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Move in ways I’ve never seen before,
Take me to Your novelty of heights,
Cleanse my heart and make it pure,
To die is gain, but to live is Christ.

Unsatisfied and Unquenched

7.20.2009

I had this peculiar hunger in my heart last night. I only labeled it as “peculiar” because it was an alien feeling to me, something that I have never felt intensely before or perhaps something that I have denied myself to feel.
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This feeling was stirred-up as I was reading a new book, Under Cover, together with my Bible. I was inspired by its author, John Bevere, and was encouraged by his testimonies. God has been using Him for numerous things and I really am glad that the book found its way in my hands for I have been really learning a lot!
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As I came to a certain chapter, this hunger, this thirst surfaced. It wasn’t of the physical, it was spiritual. It was so overpowering, too intense that I had to stop reading. I couldn’t contain it. I laid the book down; I closed my eyes, and heaved a heavy sigh. I felt the need to bow my head and pray. And that’s what I did.
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In almost a whisper, I said, “Lord, I don’t know… But I have this sudden hunger in my heart. I want to be a person who would reach out to others so I could minister to them…”
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And for reasons that are not known to me, I then started crying. I asked, “Oh, Lord, what are you doing with my heart now?”
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That’s when He spoke to me, in my heart, “I am transforming you into a better person.”
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“Into a better person?”
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“Yes.” He affirmed.
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Silence… Then I said, “Whatever it is that I would have to undergo, I will submit, Lord.”
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“I know you will.” His answers were so brief and direct. He knows that I will? But of course! He is God!
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“But, please… Help me?” The usual, scared Ghay kicked in. I clenched my fists together—so hard that I felt they’ve gone white—and casted the slightest fear away.
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“I will, Ghay.”
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My fear instantly vanished after He said that. Then I told Him with all of my heart, “Oh, I love you Lord.”
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I almost saw Him smile warmly as He replied, “I love you more…”
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And at that, tears of joy came running down my cheeks. I savored the tranquility of the moment. I was intoxicated by His presence. I wanted to be lost in His embrace. For a few more minutes, I just remained where I was, worshipping the Lord silently—yearning for more of Him.
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It is true! He loves me more. He loves me more than anything. He loves me more than I love Him.
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It was a night that I would probably remember for the rest of my life. I have so many unforgettable moments because of Him, memories and experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And it left a greater hunger in my heart, a hunger only for Him.
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I remembered what Psalm 42:1-2 says, “As the deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”
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I still feel that thirst even up to this very moment and I pray that it would linger on for as long as I live on this earth; one that only the Lord could quench and satisfy.
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I am thrilled at what He is about to do in my life. He will transform me into a better person, and I believe He has started that last night. He holds me at the hollow of His hand and I really desire not to go out of the parameters of His divine protection. He is my Father, and I am His child. He knows what’s best for me, He has seen my future even before. And as a child who loves her Father, I would heed His call so that He would be proud of me.
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DEEPER IN LOVE
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There is a longing only You can fill
A raging tempest only You can still
My soul is thirsty Lord, to know You as I know
Drink from the river that flows before Your throne
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Chorus:
Take me deeper, deeper in love with You
Jesus hold me close in Your embrace
Take me deeper, deeper than I’ve never been before
I just want to love you more and more
How I long to be deeper in love
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Sunrise to sunrise, I will seek Your face
Drawn by the Spirit to the promise of Your grace
My heart has found in You a hope that will abide
Here in Your presence, forever satisfied
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…How I long to be deeper in love.

Flu Lessons for Wonder Woman

7.4.2009

 

Before I came to write this blog, I have re-read my previous entry, “Betrayal of a Friend.” And as of the moment I am typing this, I am just recovering from a flu that have bounded me on my bed for five days. I know I should be resting right now but there are just some thoughts that I wanted to put into writing. By the way, I haven’t got any A(H1N1) flu strain, thank God.

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All right! To start off, during those times that I was tucked up in my room, beneath thick bed sheets, and was having chills and a bad flu, my brain didn’t stop from forming questions and ideas. You see, I am not the type who easily gets sick, and I often joke around that I was some kind of a “Wonder Woman”. Turned out, I wasn’t really Wonder Woman at all. I got the flu and yeah, I was stuck lying on my bed, can’t even move a muscle. Oh geez!

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Friends have been sending me their concerns through text messages and calls, reminding me of things that I should do so I would “get well soon”. Mentally, I was well. But physically, I was totally wasted! My mind wanted to do this and that but I just couldn’t bring my body to do it. 

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On my recovery process, I have finished reading Jesus On Trial and have read my Bible together with it. Though, my physical stomach refused to take food, my spiritual appetite craved. I had a raw interest again on the life of Jesus, especially during His trial and execution here on earth, despite the fact that since childhood I have heard of it for it had been taught from home to Sunday School. The difference now is that, I am REALLY interested on the topic and not just “interested” because my mommy and daddy will be mad if I don’t listen to them or to my Sunday School teacher. (Tee-hee!)

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So as the flu got into me, I complained so much about muscle and joint pains. I cried because I felt like I was burning caused by the high fever that’s been wearing me out. I had difficulty in breathing because of the cough. I had a terrible headache. It was torture, I thought. And then, I thought again… Was it really torture?

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Ting! Ting! Ting!

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I was hastily reminded of what Jesus had undergone. From the moment He got arrested to the moment He was laid on the tomb, its dynamics were awfully heart-breaking, breath-taking, and just oh-so-overwhelming! (Read the last parts of the four gospels of the Bible, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, so you would know that I am far from exaggerating.) Then I opted to randomly make a “comparison-and-contrast list” on some issues in my head. Here are some:

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(1)Jesus was malevolently hit with a whip, Cat O’ Nine Tails as it was called, adorned with spines on its end (thanks to Ptr. Bernardo, my Christian Education instructor back in 3rd year highschool, who imparted me with this knowledge). As He was slapped every single time, the whip landed on His skin and it got deeply stuck, and there’s no other way to get it out but to pull it forcefully downward, which meant that the horrific thing must rake through His skin and muscle tissues. Thus, His flesh and blood literally went flying and were spewed everywhere… How come I grumbled of my muscle and joint pains?

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(2)A thorn-crown, which was smaller than the size of Jesus’ head, was vehemently put on Him badly severing His forehead, His temples and His brows… Was my headache really that terrible?

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(3)Random people spat on His bloodied face. Yuck? Yeah, Jesus could’ve got Hepatitis or Tuberculosis, or something worse than those. I only got ordinary cough and have kept myself sanitized to prevent having further serious infections. Still, I whined about having trouble in breathing.

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(4)He was nailed on the cross and He probably felt cold. I comfortably rested on my bed with soft pillows and blankets to keep me warm.

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(5)He was mocked by the mob. I was comforted by my family and friends.

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(6)A soldier made Jesus drink vinegar when He got thirsty. My dad brought me fresh fruit juices even though I didn’t ask for it.

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(7)My “torture” only caused me too minimal. Jesus’ torment caused Him His life…

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On my present situation, the Lord still teaches me a lot. I know He can identify with how I feel for He became human, too. And what’s more to it? He suffered. He endured. He died and carried my every sin and sickness with Him in the grave. In three days, just as He promised, He rose again. He is the Jehovah Rapha, the Great Healer, the One who shook the tombstones and raised dead people back to life, the One who made the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the mute speak, and the list goes…

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With the blatant truth I have reflected on, I was again and as always, dumbfounded. By His blood, I am free. By His wounds, I am healed. In Jesus’ name, everything is possible, everything is attainable.

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And as for me, I still have to do lots of what I call faith-work-out. This “Wonder Woman” has still so much more to learn…

Betrayal of A Friend

6.25.2009

I happened to be reading a book last night entitled Jesus On Trial, and I came to chapter 3 wherein the author discussed about Jesus’ arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane. He quoted the passage of Matthew chapter 26 verses 48-50. It read (Let me start with verse 47):

47 While He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”

49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

50 Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested Him.

Judas, one of His disciples, had conspired with the Romans and Jewish councils to take Jesus into custody. He wasn’t just a disciple of Jesus. Judas was considered as His friend. A sound proof of it was Jesus’ response in verse 50.

Jesus called him “friend”.

As I was reading, tears involuntarily welled-up my eyes. I was brought to tears at how Jesus reacted to such a circumstance. With the ever-first-word He had spoken, “friend”, I felt that it had been said in the sincerest and most loving way. I felt the streams of love rushing out of his mouth. I was captivated…

I gazed into that word and wondered how Jesus had spoken it with grand profundity. I also could not help but think of how Judas most probably felt as he heard the word, and the rest of Jesus’ reply, coming out from the very mouth of the Son of God—the Sinless Man—that he has sold for thirty pieces of silver.

It was as if I was transported back in time. It seemed like I was standing on the same ground that they were, feeling the sad sigh of the late-night breeze on my skin, sensing the tension all around me. I felt like I was Judas… And there I was, giving Jesus a peck on the cheek, sending the Roman soldiers a signal to seize Him.

I have betrayed my Friend!

I have sold Him to the hands of a bunch of blood-thirst men! Am I not a blood-thirst myself?

Oh, what have I done?

I looked back on Jesus; I saw His eyes, filled with so much pain but with an unfathomable love as well. I heard His voice form the words, “Friend, do what you came for.”

My heart twisted. I was wrenched hard deep inside. I have traded Him and cannot save Him from dying anymore, because it was meant so as He could save me from the eternal claws of death itself!

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As He uttered the word “friend”, I knew He was also saying, “I forgive you… I love you… And I will die for you…”

A moment of silence… I wept. I prayed…

How vast is His love that He manages to call us His friends, His children? We are even unworthy of the words!

Even up to the last hours of His humanity on earth, Jesus had shown a great example on how to treat a friend truthfully. He succumbed to death at a betrayal of a friend, and yet He still loved the person anyway.

Another tug in my already besieged heart… I realized I was not treated by my friends in the perfect way He did. Nor did I ever really treat my friends in that same way.

I flipped through the pages of my Bible, my hands shaking and my eyes wet with tears, and I felt Jesus speaking directly through it. Here’s what I found…

Colossians 3: 12-14      “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

1 John 3: 15, 16            “Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer… This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

John 15: 12-14              “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”

Luke 17: 3-4      “…If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

And here’s one of my favorite verses ever since (a good friend has shared this to me back in my grade school days):

Proverbs 17:17             “A friend loves at all times.”

My Beloved Jesus, my Greatest Friend… He never fails to keep me whole and remind me of things that I often forget.

Let me also share and end with these quotes that never leave my heart:

“If you want a friend, be a friend yourself first.”

 

 

“A true friend never mistreats a friend.”

 

Blessed be!

It’s Not Just An “OUCH”

6.25.2009

 

Every person in this orb has his own way of dealing with hurts. But more often than not, each of us think and feel that we are all left alone in the dilemma that we are currently facing. We feel deserted. We feel betrayed by people whom we thought would be there for us till the very end; those who promised that they would never hurt or harm us. But do we ever realize that these people who said such things are also but humans? Like you and I, they too could break any promise they made. And after trusting too much, hoping too much, disloyalty comes and we end up being broken.

 

How do we deal with pain? How do we cope up with people or things that hurt us?

 

I’m not here to teach the ABC’s of healing because no one, not even I, could actually instruct another on how to heal a certain pain. I am just here to share, not to brag, a little of my experiences and how I’ve dealt with disappointments.

 

One accurate thing that will always remain to the ends of the age is this: IT ALL STARTS AND ENDS WITH GOD. The way on how we muddle through our troubles depends on our personal relationship with Him.

 

Yes, trials and troubles come, but these are just “spices” and not the “main ingredients” of life. It couldn’t be all too easy because we are meant to face these things in order for us to grow in every aspect. If we have Jesus in our hearts, we will then witness His great works and wonders in our lives. He knows the end from the beginning. The same rain that pours down on us also pours down on all the others. It’s not only you or me who’s undergoing through so much. The problem with us is that we tend to be blinded by so much hurt that’s why we are not able to realize this.

 

God’s grace and love are higher than any mountain peaks, wider than our thoughts, better than our ways. It wouldn’t hurt much if we start admitting to Him that we are not okay, that we are in excruciating pain. If we learn how to confess and submit, only then the real healing from Him comes.

 

For Christians, it doesn’t mean we won’t face troubles anymore. We will, and it’s a cold truth. We will undergo the same pain that others do. The sting gets even more real every single time. You ask why? Well, this is why.

 

When we go through a pain, it is then that the Lord strips us off ourselves. He tears off and removes everything He sees that hinders our growth in our relationship with Him. These things are strongly attached to us, glued to our character and our lives, thus when it is removed, it would definitely hurt. It even hurts more because we refuse to yield; we hold back, we fight. He knows what’s best but since He has given us a free will, He doesn’t force us to give up our difficulties. He tolerantly waits till we are ready to lay down our arms.

 

Only in His embrace could we find total healing. We can find confidence in His word and His promises. Let me cite some verses in the Bible that really encouraged me during my lowest moments.

 

“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”Psalm 126: 5

 

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers them from them all.”Psalm 34:18-19

“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to You— I, whom You have redeemed.”Psalm 71:23

 

“..Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”Hebrews 13:5

 

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom.”2 Timothy 4:18

 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”James 1:2-3

 

“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”1 Peter 5:10

 

If you want to find more of His great promises, I encourage you to open up your Bible or purchase one if you don’t have any.

 

To end this, I want to share this remarkable thought that the Lord has given me one morning. I was crying the night before that day came, having so much heaviness in my heart. As I opened my eyes the next morning, He flashed the word OUCH in my mind… and out of those words came a wonderful fact.

 

O.U.C.H.

 

O-nly

U

C-an

H-eal

 

The Lord transformed my way of thinking. I got up my bed with a wide grin on my face and said, “Yeah! Only You, Lord, can heal!”

 

In every pain lies a secret that could heal…

 

 

 

 

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And the secret is Him.