When the ground under your feet has been removed, you either sink to the bottom of the ocean or you pray you have enough faith to walk on water.
Change is inevitable and must come for one to be shaken out of their comfort zone and for one to grow.
The test of your true strength and faith comes not when all is well, but when all has fallen apart; you then find the grace to stand again. And you find that you can. And you find that God has His hand extended to you.
Oh God into your hands I commit the inevitable and trust in the Unchanging!
This is a lagging response on the part of my heart about the last week's trip. It seems to me that my heart always need time to catch up to what happens in my physical realm. I decided against back-dating for reasons that will be included below.
Last week I joined the BCM group for a mission trip in a not-so remote settlement. There we shared in fellowship but most of all minister to the church that meets in that settlement. It had been a long time since my last missions trip and I was excited to go for this one. Missions usually excite me - i'm not sure if its because of the travelling and the other culture prospect or was it really that I was excited to reach a people group for God? An unsolved issue within my heart.
And although I testified 3 times about the trip within the community of the youth in my church, I still felt something that was unrealised to me swimming at the back of my heart. Today I heard a caucasion speaker preaching in Mandarin. I was awed by their lives' commitment in order to reach a people group. What is our life that we should treasure it so much, and continue to add onto it, or fight for it? What do we have that is not already His? All we possess is this life we're living.
I realised that even though I was rather stressed about preaching in another language, I was more excited at the opportunity that has been given me to give in this manner, to be used by God to reach His people. God uses anyone who is willing to speak to His own. And it's been an honour that I had a chance to do that. I guess in ministry, we tend to forget that it is always not about us but about God wanting to reach His people. I had forgotten that for a while. Held very tightly to what I did know. But it took me quite a while, after the buzz has died down for everyone else, for me to finally grasp something in my heart. Lag.
My skin doctor thinks I need to sleep more and lessen my stress to help my skin medication take proper effect. I told him that's highly impossible, and if there's anything he can do about it? He gave me antibiotics and more medication. Looks like this is going to be a long journey to recovery.
As we get older, we realize how precious family and friends are. We try to make it back for the holidays, meet up with people just to catch a glimpse of our youth and how it used to be.
As we get older, we find that we are aging very fast and we have lesser and lesser time for the things we really should do - self improvement and rest, building relationships and reach out. We try make time for ourselves and become detached from others, or be the superheros we are not by squeezing in time for everything and lose part of our sanity.
As we get older, we find it harder to hang out too long or too late - our backs hurt, we get tired and grumpy. So we try to make the little time we have count and hang out on the right side of the clock.
As we get older, I hope too, that we become less easily offended or sensitive, more mature and compromising. We try, we try.
God has a university. It's a small school. Few enroll, even fewer graduate. Very, very few indeed.
God has this school because He does not have broken men. Instead He has several other types of men. He has men who claim to be God's authority... and aren't; men who claim to be broken... and aren't. And men who are God's authority, but who are mad and unbroken. And He has regretfully, a spectroscopic mixture of everything in between. All of these men He has in abundance; but broken men, hardly at all.
In God's sacred school of submission and brokenness, why are there so few students? Because all who are in this school must suffer much pain. And as you might guess, it is often the unbroken ruler (whom god sovereignly picks) who metes out the pain. David was once a student in this school, and Saul was God's chosen way to crush David.
As the king grew in madness, David grew in understanding. He knew that God had placed him in the king's palace, and under true authority.
The authority of King Saul, true? Yes, God's chosen authority. Chosen for David. Unbroken authority, yes. But divine in ordination, nonetheless.
Yes, that is possible.
David drew in his breath, placed himself under his mad king, and moved farther down the path of his earthy hell.
- chapter 5, "A Tale of Three Kings" by Gene Edwards. Food for thought....
There's something very precious about Aspirers camps that I can't escape. It draws me and motivates me. Before every camp I feel stressed and weary and worried. But there is that one moment in camp that reminds me that it is all worth it. It's usually the same moment (one I thought I'd become numb to after so many years, but did not - thank God):
I remember that Larissa was leading the song "Forever reign" on the second night and challenging everyone to cling on to this God who never fails. And I lifted my hands to proclaim over and over again "my heart will sing, no other name (but) Jesus!" and I meant it with every breath. Then instinctively I turned around to look (I almost always stand near the front). And I saw.
I saw many hands lifted high and words of declaration that 'their heart would sing no other name'. I saw knees bent and heads bowed in adoration and desperation. I saw tears flowing on faces who have long lost that conviction. I saw those who did not know our God sobbing. I saw the young ones, with eyebrows creased in determination and hands raised in worship. I heard the hearts of the young declaring and clinging on to their God. Yes, their God. I heard prayers uttered from simple and trusting hearts. I felt the pain of many being poured out like water and there was healing. I saw heaven open and angels sing.
And I fell on my knees and cried to my God. Because this is what I prayed for, worked for, argued for, and boldly declared. My heart thanked Him for showing me some results, some fruits. I know that I know that God is working and it is solely God who can make that change. I'm only an instrument. But God oh God is so amazing! Every testimony I've heard since then was about how they themselves heard from God or how God had worked in them! It was all about how God is so amazing. And my heart praise Him! It didn't matter of no one remembered the games or all the other background planning - it MATTERED that they remembered their vows to God when God came down.
And on a personal note, this year I saw the older ones rise up. We've been (well i have) complaining, nagging, persuading, encouraging the college group to rise up and take the responsibility and all that. We've been (well again i have) lecturing the leaders to please please please ... well I'll leave the rest unsaid. And it had been a thorn in my flesh and many tears shed before the Lord, that I felt more alone than ever in ministry. But the turn of the year and of events, brought about positive change in everyone. And even though Derrick is leaving, now, I see what God has been doing. My fear dissolved when I saw that God was preparing their hearts and spirit. Derrick, leave in peace then. :)
This is the beginning of a new era... you wait and see...
As the year ended, my life entered a major transition. I'm normally bad with transitions. They make my world feel insecure and unstable. You can't rock my world and expect me to continue smiling. But I figured, this time around, though it's probably more than I can bear, that I'd take it like the grown-up I think I am. I have to. I can't sulk in a corner anymore.
So I've decided to face it head on and accept whatever is coming. I believe that God has a plan for me and that it is good. I believe that God will hold me through it all and that He won't let me fall. I believe that this is good for me and that it is time for change. And so...
As of Jan 1st, 2011, my family moved into a new abode - after 22years in the old place, it was probably a good time for change. The move was challenging and I realised how much junk I had accumulated over the years. Time to strip down and focus on what I really wanted as well. I'm rather happy with my own room as the rest of my family is happy with their corner of the house. The only problem is that it is now further to get to church. pfft. 3 nights in the new house and i'm off to BCM. Yes, you heard tat right. I'm checking in as a full-time student for the next 2 years. So I'm back in college (wow to say that at this age is ... interesting. yes, i shall use the word 'interesting') But here I am, needing to get back into the rhythm of a student life and do it well this time. Personally, I want to come here to discipline my life in many areas - many areas in which I have been unable to do it myself or because of various constraints. So even though I'm required to wake up at 6am (madness) I'm gonna try it! Surprised at me? You know, I guess it simply is time :)
So here's to two big transitions in my life. May God bless my paths and heart. I pray that I will be able to carry this through faithfully and well. AMen!