Hello readers and fellow bloggers!
I apologize for a one week delay in posting, especially the Part 2 of my sembreak (which ended last Tuesday). I apologize, again, because I shall postpone that short but meaningful post for tomorrow and update you on what’s happening, or should I say, wrestling, in my life right now.
Big endings start with small beginnings. So does sin and its painful consequences. Being born and raised in a Christian home, I know the famous, “great and grave” sins of this world that I should (and did) avoid: murder (except for ants; it’s self-defense, they bit me first), idolatry (in terms of really worshiping physical idols), and the like. However, as much as I’m almost immune from committing the worst of iniquities, I am not exempt from the “smaller” or as Jerry Bridges coined and titled his book, “respectable sins.” I struggle with self-control, Godly discipline, obedience, and humility just as any Christian regardless of seniority. Lately, the consequences of my little sins over the past year culminated, and I knew I needed to change. Stat.
Just like a a victim of a vehicular accident who badly injured his left leg, had it amputated, and after weeks of treatment and extreme care in the hospital, went back home, I just underwent a major heart surgery. I’m okay in a sense that the vessels that have been blocked by layers of sin have been removed by my Jehovah-Raphah (Healer), but I still have to recover and get used to a new and pure heart which is really difficult to keep pure many times. By my God-given nature and temperament, I keep things to myself most of the time. However, I feel the need to share what I am going through right now because, as I said, I need to get used to my new heart. I need help. Ever heard of a drug addict who went to rehab all by himself? People need people.
I wouldn’t go into all the details of my crazy, unpredictable heart, but I will share with you two struggles that I have a difficult time overcoming. First is servitude. Jesus said that if anyone wishes to be His disciple, that person must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow the Lord and Savior. I am serving God in many ways as of the present, but I am not always serving Him. When I’m at home or alone, I usually serve Jenny by gratifying her desires according to her time and her understanding. Serving my worst enemy cost me my spot on the dean’s list again the previous semester. It also produced in me unwanted stomach flab, a slightly calloused heart, and an untidy thought life. I used to be so excited when serving my parents and even strangers, but as I developed a habit of focusing on what I wanted, my zeal for serving slowly diminished. I still served, but only when the service was convenient for me. Even massaging my beloved parents became a burden to me because I “wanted to sleep” when in fact, I wanted to scroll more pages on Tumblr.
Secondly, I am struggling with self-control. Food, time management, simple pleasures, you name it. At first, I justified my lack of control in eating with the freedom I have in Christ to eat whatever I want because the dietary laws are abolished. Indeed they are abolished, but that does not make fish sans scales any healthier than they were during Moses’s time. Because my desire for Jesus varied in intensity, I often opted to surf in Facebook than in my NKJV Bible. As a result, bad words sometimes come into mind when I get angry instead of “be angry and do not sin” and “do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”
As much as I hate to admit it, I fing myself in a cycle of sin: commit to change, decide to do the same sin, confess, commit again, do wrong again, confess, and so on. At times I would succeed for a certain number of days, but after a week or two, I go back to my old ways. Until God unveiled my eyes and I saw how much I was hurting Him, I would have plunged downward to my demise. But God was not letting me go.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.
No sin is too deep to make God love me less. Nothing. Nada. If an earthly mother can forgive a prodigal and mischievous child of hers, how much more the Heavenly Father! 🙂 He gives me hope and a chance to continue doing good and play the role as His servant. Unworthy yet loved, broken and yet complete.
God repeatedly whispers truth to my ear because His truth will lead me in His direction. To change for the best, for life, we need to imbibe God’s truths in our hearts and minds to keep us from straying again to falsehood, where the devil rules.
“The Lord God in your midst,
The Mighty One will save.
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
He will quiet you in His love;
He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zechariah 3:17)
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast on You,
Because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
“…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)
“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11)
I am so, so, utterly grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for picking me up, renewing me in His love, and strengthening me so that I may experience Him again. Saying goodbye to the pity parties and the pride, I look forward to an exciting and adventurous life with Jesus Christ. One of the lies the enemy whispered to me is that the Christian life is boring. Lately, I’m beginning to see and testify that it isn’t. True, it is difficult, but it’s never boring. Do you know what’s really boring? Doing the same things over and over again (such as partying and smoking) thinking it’s fun but in reality it will destroy you and in the end, you won’t profit anything. The struggle is worth the struggle because it strengthens character and builds up hope–hope that will surely be actualized and fulfilled one day.
I may be weak, but He Who fights for me is strong. If ever you’re struggling in a similar situation as mine or any struggle for that matter, hold on. Don’t lose hope. No matter how young or old you are, as long as you’re alive, there’s always hope. Jesus always extends His hand. Take it! Grasp it tightly till it hurts because guess what? Your grip does not hurt Him at all. In fact, He will take you to where He is, but in so doing, you will struggle. But that’s okay. Wait on the Lord, He shall renew your strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
Wait, I say, on the Lord. 😀
PS: Let’s pray for each other! God’s kids are meant to help each other. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for prayer requests and other insights. I also need your help (but please, no philosophical advice, that’s man-made, it’s not foolproof) so if you can share with me how you overcame your heart struggles, email me too! 😀