In Stillness

This Year with Him!

It’s the time of the year again when most of us will prepare resolutions to improve ourselves. Most of the time, admit it, I did, we failed.

Why don’t we try to do it differently this time? Let’s lift our resolutions to Christ, seek Him and lean on Him to change our ways. Christ gives daily opportunity, not just every new year, to change and experience His everlasting love.

Our efforts will be futile if we continue to rely on our own abilities to change. Christ equipped us with everything to help us change, to be confident in His arms, to have that boldness to claim His love, and be His child.

Let’s try it this 2018, with Him!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2Co 5:17

In Stillness

The Battlefield Within.

Integrity is important, especially when you are a Christian. It will be hard to talk about Christ, and have people listen to you when they cannot see you living a life that follows Christ. It’s hard to say you’re a Christian when your actions do not reflect who your Father is. I guess I am not alone in this struggle.

Recently, God put me under a test. And I failed. Again. Always.

I’ve been praying to God that He’d change me. That He’d take over my temper, and make it like His. Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.  And even if each time I find myself in a tricky situation I remember to pray to Him, the devious side of me still wins.  Not because I am stronger than Him, but my refusal to listen to Him gives the devil a foothold on me.

My day was ruined because of that one SMS I received in the morning. I refused to talk to anyone at work. I refused to smile; I was difficult to deal with. I was so furious. I was hurt.  And my pain gave me a reason to be mean, to be rude, and to hurt people too.

I could have listened to Him as the words echoed in my head:

“In your anger, do not sin.”

Ephesians 4:26

But I didn’t. The rush of emotions, those words I could just easily lash out, those give me satisfaction. I savor the bitter taste in my throat. The face of those people as they tried to be calm so as not to trigger my anger, those were too sweet to see. I let the devil take over me that day. I failed God.  How will I call Him my Lord?

The next day, I still have the hangover of my fury. It was hard for me to switch back to my “old” self after what I did the other day. And in the evening, I need to rush from work to catch a meeting with my fellow Christians in our prayer meeting group. And I would admit that I was so embarrassed to even mention to anyone at work why I need to leave early. What would they say about me? That I am a hypocrite? How will I face my fellow Christians when I was so horrible a few hours before seeing them? How could I even call myself a Christian?

That week I need to meet two friends in a separate bible study session. I feel so unworthy to even speak to them and teach them about love, about the fruit of the Spirit. How could I even open my bible after having my lunch when it feels like it will burn in my fingers? It felt so unworthy to call myself a Christian, to even call God as my Father, as my Lord.

I remember when Jesus Christ chose to ignore the people who was about to stone the woman whom they found committing adultery. He chose to bend down and write on the ground with His finger. Amidst the continued questioning of people, after answering them back, he again stooped down and wrote on the ground.  He is God, He could have thrown those people away, but He didn’t. He was so slow to anger.

I lost my integrity. I listened to my heart, which was deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). I let my emotions took over my identity in Christ. But no matter how unworthy I feel to be called His Princess, I am not letting the devil win again. I am still my Father’s daughter, a princess of the King of kings.

What was hard for me in fighting in this battle was, the battlefield is within me. The battlefield is right inside my heart, my head, and right inside the comfort of my body, which was born innately a sinner. Someone who spent most of her lifetime finding happiness in getting even with people who hurt her. The battlefield is within me, and how shall I win in this? Who will emerge as the winner?

“Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Ephesians 6:11

How are we to win over the battle within?
My walk as I wait on Him will always include fighting a battle, not just outward, but inward, and I know I must remember to come in full battle gear, always.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when they day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6: 13-17

I need to not let go of my hold on Him. I need to make sure my battle gear is intact, as I extinguish all the flaming arrows of the enemy. The battle is within me, I can always destroy the battlefield.

I know God will let me go through this test again. He’d let me fail again, until I chose to win it over with Him. I am sure to fail until I let God take over my thoughts and emotions. I will go through this again until I learn to give the proper response. Until I choose not to sin anymore. Until I learn to practice humility, share peace, extend love, exercise patience, and stick to the path of Christ.

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Philippians 3:20

Other people’s attitude should not affect me anymore. I am no longer part of this world. Temporal things and situations should not hurt me anymore. What can I expect from the world that belongs to its god?

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”

1 John 2:15-17

It will always be hard to fight this battle within, but only God can change me. I know I need to further search within my heart to see where I am failing, to repent on unconfessed sins.  To submit myself in full humility to seek His forgiveness and to let Him take control of my life.

He is my Lord, I belong to nobody else but Him.

In Stillness

Heartbreak in His Arms. 

 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Here I am at 11:35 p.m., searching my heart, my mind, repeatedly asking God, “Lord, what am I supposed to feel? How should a brokenhearted Christian should feel?”

Finally, I saw the proof. The proof that would put all my doubts and hopes to the trash bin. My eyes diverted somewhere. And I held my insides tight, my muscles and brain focus in walking, making sure I would not quiver. That I would not break down. I did not.

“Lord, what’s this feeling? Is this how it is when you are holding my heart, making sure it won’t crack?” I was asking this question, trying to understand the comforting pain I was experiencing.

Thinking about what happened, I know I am shattered; I could use an empty space in a corner, sit in a fetal position until forever.  But I can feel God’s love holding me up. I feel His comforting arms hugging me tight, making sure I won’t fall. I feel His gentle hands, holding my delicate heart, healing it every time it cracks. I know I am broken, but He is not letting me fall apart.

I still heard myself laugh nonchalantly, cracked a few jokes in between serious talks, threw some playful gestures and expressions. I was supposed to be crumbling inside and outside, but why am I not feeling it?

I am not so used in this kind of hopeful pain. I am not used in finding comfort in the most absurd situation. I am not used in not breaking down when my heart breaks. It’s been so long when I had my heart broken because of someone. And I barely remember what pain is, since I surrender my life to Christ and Him erasing all the heartbreaks, filling the void with His everlasting love.

This pain, it suddenly feels strangely familiar to me.

I tried to pause and remind myself what I just saw, what it should mean to me, what I should be feeling. I should be breaking down now, bawling, asking God why it has to happen to me. Why again? Why this time?

Yes, I tried asking Him, but a comforting assurance filled my heart. It gave me comfort, it tells me that there’s no need to cry. There’s no need to wallow in pain. There’s no need to feel miserable. There’s a hope that says I may be feeling broken now, but I am not alone. God is with me, and He has a better plan for me.

This is part of His plan.

I remember praying this morning, asking Him to reveal Himself to me, again. I want to encounter Him again, to remind me to find delight in His presence, in pain, in sorrow, in loneliness. And surprise, He just put me in this. I didn’t expect this, but He thinks I need this. I decided to wholeheartedly accept this test. And I know I will get through this.

Yeah, I guess this is how God wanted me to feel a heartbreak. Maybe this is how it’s strangely delightful to be broken while inside Jesus Christ comforting embrace. Maybe this is how it feels to be looking forward for a new beginning, because He just gave me an ending to something I find hard to let go.

I can sleep in comfort tonight, and for the first time, after a heartbreak, I could assure you that no tears will fall on my pillows.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ” – James 1:2-4

My God is an awesome God. He is the King of kings. He heals my broken heart.