Bending with the Wind

“…But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry….” (2 Timothy 4:5)

I am especially fond of bamboo trees. You see, they possess this unique ability to withstand the strongest winds and the fiercest storms. How do they do it?

            They bend with the wind.

            No, they don’t try to fight it. They don’t remain stiff with every gust. They don’t stand erect in the face of a typhoon. Instead, they receive the wind and bend with it. No wonder while all other trees are felled by the storm’s rage, the bamboo trees remain standing.

            I remember the bamboo tree today as I read the reading from the second letter of Paul to Timothy:

“…But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry….” (2 Timothy 4:5)

            This passage spoke to me powerfully today. It was as if God was speaking to me directly, encouraging me, exhorting me, and reminding me of my mandate. That He has called me to preach in season and out of season. In good times and in bad. In plenty and in want. In war and in peace. Whether I am affirmed or criticized. Whether I am confident or afraid. Whether life is easy or life is hard. God commands me to be self-possessed in all circumstances and to fulfill my ministry.

            Easier said than done.

            For how can one preach faith in the midst of fear. Or preach salvation when in sin. Or preach love when angry. Or preach hope when in despair.

            Then I remember the bamboo tree. How it adopts to the storm. How it calms itself in the minds of the storm’s rage. How it bends with the wind.

            Maybe that’s what we can do in the midst of our storms.

            For instance, summon the ability to speak of faith by accepting your fears. Find the power in thanking God for His salvation in the midst of your sins. Gain a friend by showing more love when angry. Inspire others by witnessing hope when they all know you have all the reason to be in despair. 

Believe me, when the storm is over and winds die down, you will remain standing because you bend with the wind!

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God’s Design, Your Destiny

“…He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works, but according to his own design…” (2 Timothy 1:9)

In one of the seminars that I give, I usually demonstrate what happens when we use a gadget for a purpose contrary to its design. For instance, if we use a ruler to drive a nail through a wood, chances are we will destroy the ruler. Why? Simply because a ruler is not designed to pound on a nail. Rather, it is designed for a special purpose — to measure.

Same thing with ourselves.

I believe each one of us has been designed by God to fulfill a special purpose in this life. And that is why when a person uses his life for a purpose other than what God has designed him for, he has a tendency to waste it or destroy it.

Paul, in today’s first reading, expressed it well when he said:

“…He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works, but according to his own design…” (2 Timothy 1:9)

To be “holy” means to be “set apart”. Hence, taking a cue from Paul’s words, God set us apart for a purpose according to the way He designed us. In a sense, we get a clue of what God called us to do in this life by analyzing how God made us.

For instance, if you are good with numbers, chances are God wants you to be an accountant.

If you are exceptionally gifted in the area of music, it may be that God wants you to be a musician.

If you are physically agile, maybe a career in athletics will suit you perfectly.

If you are analytical, perhaps you will shine as a teacher or a lawyer.

If you are good with people, maybe a managerial post that would require you to motivate people to their highest potentials will be a good job for you.

In other words, God’s design of us gives us a clue of our destiny.

In my case, God made me a good communicator. Early on as a child, I felt that God set me apart for this purpose. I enjoyed public speaking, joined oratorical contests, and wrote essays. Today, whenever I preach before a crowd, I sense the overflowing joy of the Lord. And when I write my books, I know my God smiles at me.

How about you, dear reader?

Are you doing what God called you to do? Are you using your life in accordance with how God made you? Are you fulfilling your destiny according to God’s design?

Think of that today and see…maybe you’re a ruler not meant to pound on a nail.

Bobby Q.