Monday, February 28, 2011

Every Life Counts

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;

Jeremiah 1:5, NIV

The door of the clinic opened again. The young woman with her entire family – I assumed the young man is the husband, the older woman her mum and another woman with a child is her sister as they happily exchanged conversation with excitement. She was 5 weeks’ pregnant. I sat quietly and shared her joy as I was reminded of my own experiences.

Another young lady who was chattering loudly the entire waiting time with her friend was called in. She was very pretty and doubled with her loud voice inevitably caught my attention. As soon as she had gone in, the nurse called me to get ready as my turn was next. I moved to the seat right by the entrance to the room – the seat for the upcoming patient. Every time I sat in this clinic, my heart would be filled with such gratitude for four child births that God had seen me through. Today I sat here, waiting for my annual health check (I am not pregnant, in case you are wondering :). Every child’s birth had been significant milestone in our family and spiritual journey. Each has brought such unspeakable joy into our lives.

As my eyes scanned through the waiting room and caught sight of different expressions, I saw in this crowd of people - we were all so similar yet so different. We are women. Some young while others’ wrinkles had carved their character. Some seemed serene while others seemed anxious.

The door opened again. I overheard the doctor announced, “You are pregnant.” The door closed again. Shortly, it opened again and I overheard the patient’s indication of not wanting the child. My heart sank. The door closed again for a long while. I prayed silently.

The young pretty lady walked out. This time her face downcast. She was totally different from when she was waiting. Her jovial self was gone. Her face cringed. I looked at her with deep pain. Obviously, I do not know her nor her actual situation. Otherwise, I would throw my arms around her. I shot another quick prayer for her and went in. The rest of the day and week, I asked God to protect her and guide her to do the right thing. Every mistake must be redeemed. It must not be followed by another mistake. She may have her struggles but that little innocent life in her womb has a destiny, for God knows and set apart every child before conception and birth.

I know of someone who braved through her situation when the man she loved left her when she was pregnant. She delivered a sweet little girl and didn’t want to make another mistake. She repented and redeemed her joy in the Lover of her soul. No birth is an accident. You and I were carefully planned and purposed for his glory. You may not be in that lady's position. Or, you may be the subject of the rejection. Know that God knows you right from the beginning and his eyes have never left you. Experience his love as he sets apart - you, his child for a great purpose.

Join me in prayer to save an unborn child and pray for that young lady that she may meet Jesus if she hasn’t known him yet.

Father, it is so good to know you set me apart and has a plan for me. I pray also for this lady I chanced upon and asked that you will hear her cry. Deliver her from darkness and lead her to your Light and cause her to make the right decision. Protect the unborn child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Can’t Trust God…!

say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear;

(Isaiah 35:4, NIV)

The morning buzzed off with excitement as the family headed for a trip to a nature spot in the little quiet town of Taiping. Anything to do with water is always a fabulous idea for the children. Our company trekked through the woods. We hiked up and down the rocky path while brushing off the tree branches from our way. The adventure thrill increased when someone spotted leeches. Everyone was alerted to beware of that little bloodsucker. I was praying that my little ones would be spared.Soon our feet touched the cool clear waters. The sound of music from the gushing waters was melodious and sweet. It never fails to capture our attention and captivate our senses. There were still some tricky paths before we got to the spot we could call upon for the day’s fun. While Ed and some friends continued to explore further up stream, the rest of us gathered at this really cool point where there was a huge flat rocky spot to sit right in the middle of the stream while water gushed through a slope forming a natural water slide; and a mini pool just in front of the sitting point. It was simply ideal for all – those who just wanted to sit around and watch, for those who couldn’t wait to jump into the inviting waters, some who were so ready to entertain us by their silliness and humor.

While all the excitement was going on, my little girl hung on to me which was not a norm. She was too fearful to do anything in case she meets that little bloodsucker everyone was alerting earlier. My means of reassuring her couldn’t convince her that she would be safe. She crouched by me with her arms tightly locked with mine. Everyone attempted to lure her out her “safe” spot. After all, she is always the one who was looking out for fun and full of faith. What fun was it to sit by mummy and sulk over nothing! So I prayed with her that God would take care of everything. No encounter with leeches. Finally, she overcame her fear and was about to arise to join the fun, I spotted a black thing crept on her inner thigh. “Wait, let me see…” I pulled on her and stretched her limb to investigate. Our worst fear of the day became a reality. Leech! Yes, that little most dreadful creature gripped tight on her little thigh while she panicked. I was dumbfounded for a moment as I was confident God heard this mummy’s prayer just a moment ago. How could he allow this??

That shocked girl was all whines and fuss after the leech finally dropped off. “I can’t trust God with leeches!” she protested loudly. I tried to maintain my spirituality and explained to my best that it was all over. Nothing I said was worth anything then. After all, God didn’t answer our prayer. I fumbled through my words and said, “But you always trust God…” Still upset, she replied, “I can trust him with other things but not leeches!” There were no right words to neither console her nor defend God (if God needed any sort of defending). It took a long while before she struggled through her emotion and joined the rest. The whole day I was left with my own struggles with God as my mind had been going through various issues of trusting God.

At bedtime, we raised the question of trusting God again. Her older sister calmly said, “Perhaps God wanted you to overcome the fear of leeches.” She was silent. It was a sign of acceptance. Otherwise the debate would proceed. Yes, many times we expect God to deliver just the way we expected. For this case, it did seem he didn’t care nor heard our prayers. The truth is I believe it has caused the little girl to know that she is still safe and being guarded. It is no big deal. A bit of blood wasted. There was no pain.

The incidence has left a mark on me. God’s answer may not be to my specific expectation but he surely watches over us while training us to be more courageous. I spoke to my own fearful heart to be strong and do not fear.

Are you struggling with some sort of fear(s)?
Take heart. The Lord is near and will deliver you out of your fear but most often than not, he will allow us to confront it and then conquer it.

Heavenly Father, watch over me and strengthen me as I face my fear(s). Let God arise in my heart for I am more than a conquerer in Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Leave a comment if this post speaks to you. I would like to pray for you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Ultimate Lover

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

1 John 3:16, NIV

Love is in the air. The glaring Chinese New Year decorations have been taken over by little and big hearts hung all over. Malls are adorned by sweet pink and purples, splashed with bright attractive reds. Romantic ideas are introduced and advertised for commercial lures. The commercial world strongly suggests these are ideal presentation of love every Feb 14.

While the world celebrates this crazy little thing called, “LOVE”, yes, I call it crazy because people will do the most crazy thing to impress their supposedly beloved. The ancient path has always been a pathway of love. Not an abstract tone. Christ’s concrete demonstration of love led him to the most powerful act – death on the Cross.

Today’s verse is a concise and profound statement.
How do we know what love is? We know by this revelation of truth. His deep and tangible love is clearly distinguished with all other kinds. His action accomplished God’s purpose – he died so we can live, and live it to the full (John 10:10)

While the world celebrates Valentine’s Day without full comprehension, history tells us there were a few martyrs named Valentine who defended the Christian faith in the early centuries. Their noble sacrificial death was honored on Feb 14. It was not until the 14th century when the legendary romantic facet was introduced. Thus the craze of this celebration peaks through the generations diluting the origin of this honour.

I believe Valentines are heroes to be honoured but they must had experienced the power of their Ultimate Lover, Jesus to come to the point of death for his cause, for “we love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

What are you celebrating today?
Whether you are all hyped up for a romantic dinner with your beloved, or feeling lonely with no dates, do not forget the Ultimate Lover. He is waiting for you…

My Beloved Lord, I thank you for your everlasting love through such a powerful demonstration by laying down your very life for me. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Heavenly Canvas

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 19:1, NIV

Three days had gone by. The image I captured as we drove back from the mainland along the Penang Bridge to the island was just a normal splash of colours in the sky of the late afternoon. Yet it remained in my memory for days. The mixture of blue and white background was lined artistically with such graceful strokes of orange streaks. No eyes could have missed that masterpiece. It was gloriously hung above us. Yet many times we overlook the sky, simply because we forget to look up.

It was a rush day being the first day of the lunar new year. The agenda for the next few days had been lined up with full schedule of visitations. I whispered to God every now and then that I would not miss his presence amidst the crowds, noise and heat. The loudness of his presence broke forth through the simplest yet majestic display of the sky. When I spotted the glamorous look, I exclaimed with excitement in the car, “Look! Beautiful!” Clicked. The image was captured. Not in any digital camera since my old one declared its end of life some time ago. Instantly I stored it in my memory.

The power of this panoramic view was amplified when I read Psalm 19 the next morning. Yes, indeed the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. The immense space above calls our attention to the glory of God’s creative work. His revelation made known in such radiance in the vastness of the sky. How can we dismiss the Creator of all? I couldn’t help but worship him as his radiance permeated my spirit.

When was the last time you look up the sky and marvel at his art piece?
Let your eyes see the beauty of his work and your heart praises his name.

Creator of all, I heard the skies proclaim your name. Call my attention today to your creative work and let my heart shout your praise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.