A Desire to Kill.

Samantha wanted a teddy. There was this small brown one that she had been eyeing for days! She asked her parents but they didn’t give her a response. A few more days went by before she placed this request again. This time also, her parents were busy. In her restless waiting and her relentless desire, she decided that she was done. It was time to take matter into her own hands! She went to the store and enquired about the price. “$15”, the shopkeeper said. Hopeful, she went back home to open her piggy bank. “1…2…3.. That’s a total of $1 and 24 cents!”, she declared. Determined, she started helping out around the house and even opened a lemonade stand to help her get the money. The only thought that was running through her mind was, ‘I want that brown teddy’.

A few days went by and she still didn’t have the money for the toy. Over a week, she managed to make two extra bucks and a few cents. She even gave up on ice cream to save some quarters. She had collected $5 and 12 cents. Hopeful, she went into the store to buy her teddy. The shopkeeper who had seen this girl before, politely told her that she could not afford the bear she came in for, however, there were other toys she could get for $5. Upset, she went back home. The little thing cried herself to sleep.

Soon she woke up to a gentle, yet familiar nudge. As she opened her eyes, she saw the teddy she had been longing for. ‘Surely this must be a dream’, she thought. But she saw then, her parents handing her a big, brown tear with beady eyes, a shiny nose and a big, red bow! Suddenly, her efforts didn’t seem futile and her joy knew no bounds. Seeing her constant and persistent efforts, her parents bought her the best teddy bear that the store had to offer! Although it was expensive, they knew that their daughter deserved every bit of it.


We all have a wonderful, provident Heavenly Father who know our every need before we ask Him. He knows the perfect gift, the perfect time, the perfect place and the perfect situation to present it to us. Very often, we get caught up in our desires for what we believe is the best, that we fail to wait on the Father. The Father, who knows best, waits for us to kill our desires to be able to prepare ourselves better for His present. He never gives us anything unless we are ready to accept His will first. But first, we need to be be dead to our desires and patiently wait on Him.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us..

-Ephesians 3:20

Advertisements

The Little Wonders

My father works and so will I.

-John 5:17

These word are spoken by Jesus when He was criticized by the Jews for working on Sabbath. The Jews were people who were very fanatic in their religious thinking. For them religion was more about following rules and regulations than following the principles of religion to make them better human beings.

The Jews believed that just because God chose to rest on the seventh day, man should also do the same. But they forgot to see that God rested only from creation on the seventh day, His higher works of judgement, and mercy, and compassion and love still went on. He cares and holds together all that has been made. When we see the sun rising and setting and the moon running in its cycles, the lakes and the fountains, the rivers and rains, running their course, our bodies too and those of irrational beings continuously working, we learn the ceaseless working of the Father. For He makes the sun to rise upon the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.

What Jesus is saying here is that, human need must always be helped – that there is no greater task than to relieve someone’s pain and distress, and that a Christian’s compassion must be like God’s unceasing compassion with no boundaries of time or day. Other work may be laid aside but the work of compassion-never. Like the Jews, we too are sometimes too fanatic about our thinking. We are more concerned about the making a noise about religious riff-raff than being bothered about transforming our lives or those of others. We know very well about Christian virtues of compassion, love and mercy, but putting them into action is not something we actually bother too much about. We would rather write about it or talk about it. Mercy, compassion, and love are fulfilled only when an act for the same is performed. There is no point saying we feel compassion if we cannot show it or shower an act on our fellow human. Its like saying, “Oh I feel bad for you, but I can’t do anything to help you.”

Jesus taught of love and compassion. A true Christian should be someone like the good Samaritan who can take time out of his work to pour oil on the wounds of the needy. Our material goods are given to us not to be stored up in storehouses but to be used wisely for the Kingdom of God. By being kind and compassionate we are not only imitating God but above all we are fulfilling our Christian duty, one that we are answerable to the God the Heavenly Father for.

Let us then learn to be good Christians by working beyond boundaries that are we created around us. Boundaries of time, day, place, color, creed. Let us learn to understand the true meaning of the gospel instead of bordering around frivolous acts and thus become good Christian example to our peers.

Serve and not be Served.

A week before the Crucifixion of Our Lord, the wife of Zebedee, approached Jesus asking for a favour – to grant her sons to sit, one at His right and the other at His left when He comes in glory (Mathew 20:21). Our Lord knew that everyone had been impressed with the wild popularity and the adulation of the crowds and had assumed that it was only a matter of time before Jesus became the Lord of Jerusalem and drove out the Roman soldiers.

But Jesus knew what would happen in the space of only a few days. “You do not know what you are asking,” He told them. “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?” The Apostles failed to perceive what leadership meant in the Kingdom of God. Leadership in the world is all about prestige and pride. But in the Body of Christ, it is all about self-sacrifice. It is all about surrender and submission. It is all about setting one’s own interests aside for the sake of others. It is all about laying down one’s own life so that others may live. Jesus explained that unlike when the Gentiles rule with tyranny, here it would bewhoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be the slave of all (Mark 10.42-44).

We see our Lord opening the eyes of the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, strengthening the legs of the lame, opening the minds of the unbelieving, and forgiving the pollution of sinners. Do we not see Him most clearly, as a Servant, when He bent down, at the Last Mystical Supper, to wash the feet of His disciples? And do we not hear Him call us to the same service?

As He has become our Suffering Servant by ascending the Way of the Cross, so also must we become His servants, and the servants of our fellow man.

Serving our fellowman requires that we point man to paradise; it requires that we give up our own demands for prestige, for power and influence, from getting in our way. Let us show kindness to one another. Let us be gracious and merciful. Let us treat each other with the greatest respect and honor. Let us be patient with eccentricities and limitations. Let the world know that our fellowship is bound together with cords of love, forgiveness and grace. We can achieve this only when we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts to attain the level of humility our Lord reflected.

“.. Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:28

God’s Delay is not Denial

We live in a society where we want our requests to be granted in an instant. Social media and societal influences affect our lives, even if we don’t know it is. In this era of Instagram and instant noodles, sometimes we find ourselves expecting our prayers to be instantly answered on-demand as well.

We pray and pray for the deepest desires of our heart – for a promotion, or a new job, or for recovery from illness, for a life partner, for anything – and when it doesn’t happen in the time frame we want it to, or society expects it to, we tend to lose hope in God.

When my sister and I ask our parents for things or permission to do something, they either answer with a YES or a NO. Regardless of whatever their answer is, they would always tell us to accept it equally. NO may not be the answer we wanted to hear, but it was still an answer and the final verdict we had to follow, and we had to accept is as easily as we would have a YES.

I like to believe that God has two answers : YES, or WAIT, BECAUSE I HAVE SOMETHING BETTER PLANNED FOR YOU.

Patience and trust can be a tiring ordeal. Many times, this ‘waiting time’ feels like ‘wasting time’, but God makes us wait for a reason, and he allows opportunities and blessings to happen in His timing.

It reminds me of when Martha and Mary asked for Jesus when Lazarus fell seriously ill. Perhaps they looked about anxiously for signs of His arrival. Perhaps with every knock on the door and the sound of shuffling feet outside their home, they thought it might be Jesus finally appearing to save their brother.

But Jesus didn’t come.

The funeral service had been over for 4 days when Jesus finally came to town.

I appreciate Martha for how human she was, how honest and blunt she was for telling it like it is when she told Jesus “If You had been here, my brother would not have died.” This is a natural response. Even I would have been this upset and mad if the only person who I knew could have saved him waltzed into the scene when it was way too late.

While her initial doubt was much like mine, the faith and certainty that followed it was unlike me.

When she said “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You”, I wonder what she expected at this point. I mean, her brother had been dead for 4 days after all, what did she expect would happen now?

And yet, with just a word from Jesus, Lazarus’ spirit returned to his body, and he opened his eyes, almost as if he’d just woken up from a deep sleep!

Jesus had bypassed the simple healing of His sick friend in order to perform the far greater miracle of bringing him back to life!

Similarly, when Mordecai uncovered an assassination plot on King Xerxes, the King’s life was saved, but Mordecai was forgotten. His only reward was that his name was recorded in the King’s chronicles.

Later in the story, when Mordecai was to be executed due to the conspiracy plotted by the King’s wicked official, Haman, God decided that Mordecai’s delay was now over. As a result, the King ended up preparing a handsome reward for Mordecai and chose Haman to do the honors and parade him around town, letting everyone know who Mordecai was and what he had done!

Waiting for God’s timing may also give us a greater miracle than we had hoped for.

I read somewhere that the bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants we know of. At first, they appear quite slothful. The bamboo is part of the grass family and doesn’t have any branches, so depending upon the soil and the climate, it emerges very slowly. While there is seemingly no progress above ground, its unique multi-tiered root system is forming taking hold and strengthening its foundation below the ground. And once the roots are ready, some species of bamboo are known to surge upwards as fast as 39 inches in 24 hours!

It is no wonder they are called bamboo ‘shoots’, for the way they suddenly shoot up towards the sky!

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

-Romans 8:28

If You Love it, Set it Free..

There is a very famous and overly-used statement in the English language, “If you love it, set it free. If it comes back, then it is meant to be“. The reason I call it over-used is because we seem to use that when it comes to our earthly relationships, but we tend to abuse it when it comes to our divine relationship with God. How often do we let go of God and then come back to Him? How often do to we fall back in the same pattern of getting hurt and hurting, arriving and leaving? Through the various ups and downs, through all the going and coming, there is one thing that is certain – it is easier to let go than to hold on, but we tend to let go of the right ones and hold on to the wrong.

Letting go is a divine act of  Man. Acceptance is a divine act of  God. 

No matter how many times we fall astray or let go of God, He still sets us free, relying that one day we will realise the quality of His love for us and come running back to Him. He lets us leave every time we decide to, but He doesn’t let go of us. He gives us the freedom of making our own choices when we decide to go, He tries to stop us but never forces us. His love is so abundant, so gracious that it accepts every single one of our flaws and loves us the same – as if nothing happened.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and love your neighbour as yourself.”

-Luke 10:27

Let us consider the story of the good Samaritan here. The priest and the Levite saw the wounded man and simply let go of him and moved on, going about their business. But the Samaritan looked at this man with pity and accepted him as one of his own. Nursed his wounds, took him to the closest inn where he paid the innkeeper to look after the man. He even agreed to bare the additional expense of this man’s recovery.
Here is a fine example of letting go and accepting. If the Samaritan didn’t let go of his pride and accept this man as his own brother, he would’ve surely perished!

Like St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless unless they find their rest in you.” That is the state we, as humans, are constantly battling. Our restless hearts are always looking for attachments, looking for connections but none of them last. Simply because we were not meant for this world. Even if this world tells you a million times that you belong, just one whisper from the Lord will make you realise that you don’t. You were made for something greater, nothing short of extravagant. So every time you find yourself out in the world losing a battle, and straying far away from home, fear not! We have a God who doesn’t let go of us even when we think we are too far gone. Just remember to look for Him and you will find Him holding on to you as if His life depended on it!

What a friend we have in Jesus!

A WordPress.com Website.

Up ↑