A Piece of God’s Heart

I began writing this inside the waiting room right outside the hospital nursery. The physical tiredness is eclipsed only by the emotional fatigue I feel this morning. The eyes are heavy. The mind is fuzzy. The heart is weary.

 It was a long night last night.

 We brought Franco for a routine check up with our pediatrician late yesterday afternoon. Franco never got to go home. Franco was admitted in the hospital nursery to undergo phototherapy treatment to address his jaundice condition. Franco is only 12 days old.

The turn of events was difficult not only because it was unexpected but also because of what it demanded from Jeng and myself both physically and emotionally. We kept watch. We prayed hard. We sought the prayers of our family and friends. And yes, we shed tears too. Not to mention that we had to also remain strong for our two dear daughters who still could not understand the situation.

 But the hardest part last night was leaving for home.

 It was on our way out when we watched Franco over the glass window of the nursery, so little and helpless lying on the basinet, when the tears fell. Choked by the surging emotion from within, we felt our eyes misted as we turned to look away.

             “O God, why do we have to leave our son in the hands of total strangers? Can’t we just keep him for the night? We want to hug him. Cuddle him. Be there for him.”

 On my way out of the hospital building, however, somehow, by God’s grace, I received a very re-assuring perspective of what just transpired.  Looking back, I believe that experience allowed God to share with me a piece of His heart.

   2,000 years ago, God the Father may have felt the same way multiplied a zillion times. The pain was more. The hurt was greater. The love more intense. For He too had an only one Son. And He too had to leave Him behind in the hands of total strangers. But the similarities end there.

 You see, I left my only son in the hands of good strangers, men and women I knew would take care of him and help him get better.

 God the Father, on the other hand, had to leave His only Son, in the hands of a perverse human race, an evil generation that would torture and crucify His Son.

  I knew I would have my son back much better after a few days from the nursery. God the Father knew that His Son would be anything but better when he is thrust into the world.

  Dear friend, today I felt what it means to leave a son behind. But what I feel still pales in comparison with what God felt when He did the same 2,000 years ago. That is my comfort. That is my consolation. That is where my hope lies.       

 I exhort you to find comfort in this truth also. That whatever it is you’re going through, the Father went through far worse. He knows your pain…and more. He knows your hurt…and more. He knows your longing…and more.

As for me, I am just glad I found a piece of God’s heart in my heart. The pain isn’t diminished. The longing remains intense. The fear erupts once in a while. But I am at peace. For I know that if God gave me a glimpse of His heart, he also has a glimpse of mine.

 He knows how and where I am. And that is more than enough assurance that my dear Franco, just like Jesus, will emerge victorious after three days.

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When God is at His Best

“He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

Four months ago, Jeng and I were resigned to the possibility that we would lose our son Franco through a miscarriage.

Going into her 5th month of pregnancy, Jeng had profused bleeding and I had to rush her to the hospital twice in a span of 2 weeks. The bleeding was so strong that I was almost sure that Franco would not survive. But it is in times like these — when one faces a blank wall — when God is at His best. 

Just when I was on the brink of total resignation, God spoke to my heart “Trust me. I will bring your son Franco to full term.”

I said “Lord, I turn the situation over to you. You know what’s best for my son.”

When you are confronted with your limitations, God’s limitlessness surfaces. When you are confronted with your weakness, God’s strength is revealed. When you are confronted with you helplessness, God’s rescuing power comes through.

So what is the best thing to do when you find yourself in this situation? You step aside and make way for God.

In a sense, you will be better off mouthing the words of John in todays’ gospel:

“He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30)

 And that was exactly what I did. I became less controlling of the situation and surrendered it to God. I became less self-reliant, and became God-reliant. I became less centered on myself, and became more centered on God. I quietly took the backseat, and gave up the wheel to God.

And God, as always, did not disappoint.

Yesterday marked Jeng’s 36th week of pregnancy. Franco, indeed, reached full term!

My dear friend, are you facing a blank wall? Of mounting debts or a struggling marriage? Of enslaving addictions or crippling weaknesses? Of fearful diagnosis or woeful failures?

Turn over the situation to God. Trust me. It is in times like these when we are at our worst when God is at His best.

Take the backseat. Sit back. Relax.

With God on the wheel, everything will be perfectly all right!

Decreasing every minute,

Bobby Q.

Transformed Forever!

“they departed for their country by another way” (Matthew 2:12)

Is it possible to meet someone without encountering that person?

The answer, of course, is yes.

You see, a meeting becomes an encounter only when you emerge from it transformed.

For instance, you may have met many people in your life (unless you are a hermit!), but most likely there were only a handful of them whom you truly encountered.

Perhaps a teacher back in school who inspired you to become the best that you can be. 

Or a friend who stuck with you through thick and thin.

Or a person whom you had a romantic relationship with and who turned your world upside down.

Or a priest or pastor who mentored you spiritually.

These were men and women who left a lasting imprint on your soul and who engraved a permanent mark on your heart. Their voices echo. Their touch lingers. Their love resonates. They came into your life and changed it forever.

Just like what happened to the magi in today’s gospel. They not only met Jesus. They encountered him. That was why they went home “by another way”:

“they departed for their country by another way” (Matthew 2:12)”

They couldn’t go back the same way. They cannot walk the same path. They cannot traverse the same route. How could they? They were no longer the same . They were changed. They were transformed forever.

Dear friend, you will meet God in many different instances this year 2010. My prayer is that you won’t miss the chance of making an encounter out of your meetings with him. Don’t leave an experience with God without being transformed into a better person. Learn your lessons. Be stronger. Be wiser.  Be braver.

If you do these, I am more than certain that at the end of the year, you will be taking another route, walking on another road, and moving on another way. For when you truly encounter Jesus, you can’t help but be transformed forever! 

A year of abundance to you, my friend!

Bobby