If Jesus was in the Storm

If Jesus was in this storm…

He would go to the streetchild and bring him home…
He would comfort the parents who lost their child in the flood…
He would embrace the orphan and console the widow in the midst of the rain…
He would protect the rescuers as they risk their lives to save those in trouble…
He would feed the hungry and satisfy the thirsty…
He would shield the homeless from the heavy downpour…

BUT JESUS IS IN THIS STORM…

Through you and me, He is.

O Lord, tell us what can be done, and we will!

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When Life Doesn’t Satisfy

Money is not your problem. How to spend it wisely is.

Health is not your problem. How to use it productively is.

No major crisis. No major worry. No major challenge.

Except that you are empty.

The work, though not bad, doesn’t satisfy.
The relationships, though stable, do not fulfill.
The achievements, though commendable, do not gratify.

“Something is missing…” you say.

You are not a big-time sinner. You pay your taxes. You occasionally give to charity. You don’t offend anyone. In fact, you are pretty decent in all areas of your life.

But it doesn’t change the fact that you are not “truly” happy.

Something within you persistently cries out, “There must be more to life than this.”

And my friend, I just want you to know that there is.

Scripture says: “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

The problem with an “ok” life is precisely that: It’s only “ok”.

God never meant for us to have just an “ok” life. He wants us to have a full life.

One that has meaning. One that has purpose. One that has passion.

One that truly satisfies.

Today, I invite you to give God a try. Get to know Him a little bit more. Try to focus more at mass today. Say “yes” to that Bible Study or prayer meeting invitation. Open that dusty old Bible. Converse with God.

Who knows? Perhaps true satisfaction for your life may just be a “yes” away.

Steady

To stand firm amidst the shaking
To stay on course amidst the turns
To remain focused amidst the distractions
To continue to be resolute amidst the doubts

The Bible says:

“As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfil your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5)

Steady.

Yes, Lord, we shall be.

Lost in the Moment

Different questions. Same thought.

“What are you doing here, Eli’jah?” (1 Kings 19:13)

This was the same Elijah who just witnessed fire come down from heaven. Same bold Elijah who mocked the hundred or so prophets of Baal. Same victorious Elijah who defeated them in that classic duel on Mt. Carmel.

Lost in the moment, Elijah forgot God’s past glory and succumbed to his fears.

Generations later, another bold servant of the Lord was questioned, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31)

This was the same Peter who spent three years with Jesus on the road. Same Peter who saw the large catch of fish. Same Peter whose mother-in-law was miraculously healed. Same Peter who saw miracle upon miracle happen before his very eyes.

Lost in the moment, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and sank beneath the raging tempest of the sea.

Aren’t we the same?

Quick to forget.
Easily dissuaded.
Hastily panics.

We are often lost in our moments of trial and difficulty that we forget our “Mt. Carmels”. We are often lost in our fears and worries that we forget our “great catch of fish”.

When God healed you from that illness.
When God provided for you in that need.
When God protected you from that calamity.
When God rescued you from that predicament.

Yes, for an instant, we would often bask in his glory. Until the next trial comes. Then we are lost in the moment again and forget.

Are you in a bind now, my friend?

Remember Elijah.
Remember Peter.

God sent his angel to minister to Elijah under the broom tree. Jesus yanked Peter out of the storm.

What makes you think He won’t do it for you?

Hitting the Mark

This morning, I was showing Marco, my 2 year old, the basics of my favorite sport.

“Your right arm’s form should be on right angle” I began as I steadied Marco’s stance. “Your left hand should support the ball. Bend your knees. Eyes on the basket. Now, shoot!”

Marco, with all his 2 feet frame, heaved the basketball towards the basket. He missed it by a mile. Nowhere near. Far, far away.

“Great Marco! Great effort! Gumagaling ka na anak! (You’re becoming better!)” I said as I took him in my arms and lifted him up in the air.

Then it dawned on me.

The effort of my son to hit the mark pleased me already. Could it be the same thing with God?

The definition of sin is “missing the mark”.

Don’t we always do — “miss the mark”? We try our best to be good but we always end up sinning.

We try to avoid gossip but end up contributing a careless remark or two.
We try to keep our eyes pure but end up glancing at that scantily clad model on the billboard.
We try not to get angry at that reckless driver on the road but end up beating him up in our thoughts.

Sometimes, I wonder if God ever gets fed up with me when I sin. Does he ever raise his hands in exasperation when I fall? Does he ever throw in the towel and say “I give up!”?

Perhaps my experience with Marco this morning could enlighten us a bit on the incredible fatherly love of God.

In the same way that I tried to teach Marco to hit the mark, God also tries to teach us His ways everyday to live a good life.

In the same way that I encouraged Marco to make the shot, God also tries to encourage us to live righteously.

In the same way that Marco missed the shot, we also miss our shots often.

But my love for Marco is always on the mark even if his shots are not.

In the same way, God’s love for us is always on the mark even if our lives are often off the mark. All he asks of us is to try our best to live a good life. Because the effort in itself already pleases Him.

So the next time you miss the mark, don’t hesitate to look up. Someone whose love is greater than your misses is about to take you in HIs arms and raise you up!

Have a blessed week, my friend!

When God Backs You Up

As a regular client of Grabcar, I was quite surprised to find myself unable to book a car at early dawn yesterday going to the airport for my plane trip to Legaspi City for a speaking engagement. After several tries, I decided to try Grabtaxi, although not pinning much hope on it knowing that it is harder to book a taxi than a car. To my surprise, though, a taxi driver responded to my request and in a few minutes, I found myself in the taxi maneuvering our way through the “world’s largest parking lot” — EDSA.

Glancing at my watch every now and then, my thoughts turned to the prospect of missing my flight due to the horrendous traffic. I can imagine my participants in Albay, the Mayors, Vice-Mayors and Councilors of the Municipality of Daraga, waiting for their guest speaker who never shows up. What an embarrassment that would be. I said a prayer, “Lord, if you really want me speak for you in Albay, you will make a way for me through this traffic.”

After a few minutes, I was pleasantly surprised to find ourselves moving a little faster. I looked up. We were on the service lane or the “bus” line as it is now designated by the MMDA.

“Di ba pang-bus lang po ito?”, I queried.
“Ay sir. Pwede po dito ang taxi.” the man replied. “Kotse po ang bawal dito.”

I looked at the private cars’ lane and yes, it was a massive parking lot. Traffic was really bad.

Then it dawned on me. God saw the traffic early on. And if he allowed me to book a car, then I will have to weave may way through the unreasonable traffic on the private lane. But because I was on a taxi, I had an express lane through the service road.

To cut the long story short, I made in time for my flight and in time for my talk in Albay. And it was a blast! I was blessed as much as they were. Books were sold out. I was treated to a sumptuous lunch. And I boarded my flight back to Manila with a full stomach as well as a full heart. God is truly good. And when He backs you up, He will surely find a way for you.

My friend, do you find yourself in an unexpected and perhaps disadvantageous situation despite trying to follow God’s will and God’s ways in your life? May I encourage you to trust Him still?

He won’t let you “book a car” when you need a “taxi” instead.
He won’t let you have that promotion yet when you need to grow in patience first.
He won’t let you have that person if He has someone better for you.
He won’t let you win now if losing is what you need to be stronger.
He wont’ let you succeed in this field if he wants you to devote yourself to a better field for you.

God sees the “traffics of life” before you do. And when He backs you up, just trust Him.

He will surely make a way for you!