Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘holiness’

Perfection From Imperfection

Imperfection irritates most of us. I’m sure, all of us have come to a point wondering why we’re imperfect, wishing we got the qualities that others have. But I believe there is a purpose to our imperfection.

It has been said that there are dangers to being perfect. It can make us arrogant, as if don’t need God and man. I’m sure you’d expect me to say that we are made imperfect so we would depend on God. Yes, that’s true. But more than that, I believe that in our imperfection, we are also taught to love others, as well.

I learned this in our prayer group, whom I always stay with every weekends. It’s not a perfect group, each of us have qualities that the other wouldn’t like. There are times that we would be offended to one another. But together we grew, and through each other, there are some qualities in our characters that have been sharpened or filled. When one needs help, like a prayer request or advice, the other would share a piece of wisdom that may be of help. Sometimes, a constructive criticism or rebuke can awaken us from flaws that we have. A word of encouragement brightens a part of ourselves that could be wearied. It’s like that some of us have a missing puzzle piece that only that other can fill.

I have heard of church fights and church splits so many times and the reason that I could hear is due to out of offense of their leaders or other churchmates. There are no perfect churches. Each of us is a broken jar. When we cast aside our bitterness and pride, we can see the value of each other and help mending the character of each other. Though we may be right at one point and the party that offended us are wrong, rebellion is a sign of pride. Instead of reacting in bitterness, why not pray for that person’s welfare? I believe, each of us needs to be covered in prayer, and it can uphold the character of the person we pray for and molds us to love others dispite of the offense done to us.

Never question God why we are made imperfect. In everything, there is a reason that only He understands. In time, we will know how this imperfection molds us to become better in love, humility, and righteousness.

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Full Trust in the State of Massive Loss

“And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
Job 2:21

This verse has been ringing in my head over and over for a few weeks. I just can’t imagine how somebody like Job can still praise God despite of his sudden tragedies in life. Just like the song, he was able to bless the Name of the Lord, for he knew that everything came from him.

When I passed through the book of Job, I was quite surprised to see how this man had already died to himself. He’s not totally blameless, you see, for he still had small flaws in his being. Yet, his viewpoint of God is so different from his contemporaries even from most of us. He knew that because of God’s infinity and greatness, he knew he had no right to rant and complain, but he wanted to plead his cause before the Lord. I felt quite guilty when he told his wife “…shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). I was even more shocked because his trust was not rattled when he said “Though He slay me, I will hope in him…” (Job 13:15). Talk about a person dead to himself!

It’s hard to die to oneself, I know. Although I have received the Lord Jesus and surrendered my life to Him, I must admit I’m not yet 100% submitted to Him. There are many things and aspects in my life that are hard to let go (on my part). Selfishness is a natural part of me. I have this short-term memory to forget that everything I have are just lent.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…” Psalm 24:1 says. Indeed, everything is His and yet he gave dominion to man (Psalm 8:6). And because we have sold ourselves to the enemy, we began to dwell in selfishness, forgetting that what we have are just lent so that we are taught to be good stewards.

The Lord gives us blessings but He does not ask for a price. It’s just, we have to remember that He has the right to take something from us for our own good. To learn not to whine when something is taken away is hard, especially when it’s close to our heart. He do blesses, but He wants us to become fully close to His heart and fully trust in Him. When we don’t receive a good salary though we have worked very well, shall we praise Him? When the car dies down while we are rushing to the office, can we still lift our hands in adoration? When we missed an opportunity to bring us to greener pastures, can we still say glory be to God? When the most beloved person died in a tragic way, can we still say blessed be Your Name?

Job had lost hundreds of camels, sheep, oxen, and donkeys. But I believe that most tragic was the loss of his ten children. In the end, he was able to worship as he mourned (Job 2:20). To worship God is to show we still trust Him, despite of tragedy. To worship at such a moment is a sign that we have died to self. It just takes much more of me to be just like Job.

I got a lot of pains and complaints and yet I want to just like Job’s character. I still have a lot of refinement to go through. I’m no holy person, but I’m just God’s work in progress. May I learn and know more, and let me become like Jesus. I pray, let me say despite of life’s pains, blessed be Your Name…

Keeping an Eye at the Source

My mom, holding a bunch of apple mangoes from our backyard three summers ago

My mom is an everlasting giver. I don’t know how she obtained that spirit of generosity despite of the hardships she had gone through in her younger days. A retired teacher herself, she was a good disciplinarian in class and a good friend to her students at dismissal. But what she is best known for in our little town is her heart to pray. However, this impression had made others loose their sight in the Source of healing and deliverance.

For a number of times, her closest friends would come up to her and request to pray on certain events. This she would not turn back – but not at all times. There are a few moments when she had to arrange a few things, hence she can’t be available at a certain moment. The funny thing is, some of them prefer her to pray for them over a leader or even a pastor. But isn’t God not looking at the person’s heart and not the kind of person who prays? She would only sigh, trying to remind them to look at the Lord, and not at the person.

In our culture, most of us can’t divorce what we see to what is the truth. It’s like Samuel, who first thought that Jesse’s first born was the capable king. Surprisingly, it was the rugged youth named David who was chosen to stand in places of authority. We tend to look at the medium, but not at the Source. As we do not exercise our intimacy with the One true Source of Creation, we loose sight of who He is, and depend our faith on those whose hearts are close to His. But God does not only want the heroes of faith to be the only ones close to His heart. He wanted everyone to know Him more. But it would take a lot of us to struggle and contend for His intimacy as He is filled with holiness. Intimacy with Him requires us to be stripped of our pride and doubts. Yet, doing so will hurt us so it’s hard for us to go for it.

And even my mom, an arbiter of love and faith in our home, still struggle for it. “I’m old”, she would say, “and times have already hardened my perspective”. But God blesses her for seeking Him especially in the morning, when the sun has not shined in. What she does not know was that God is seeking for more of our inner being, not that He still does not know us well, but because He wants us to be fully His.

I pray everyone in our small neighborhood turn back to the Source of love. When that time comes, there wouldn’t be a problem for prayer requests. 🙂

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