The Key to Being “at Peace”

They held on for dear life as the waves buffeted the boat relentlessly. Tired and battered, they panicked. With every surge of the towering waves, they cried out in fear. As their strength slowly left them, they turned to Him who had always given them that jolt of power that they needed. But what they saw disturbingly baffled them. In the midst of the storm, he was dozing… 

How could Jesus sleep in the midst of the storm? How could He take a nap in that horrendous squall?

I guess the simplest answer is this: Jesus knew the key to being “at peace” in the midst of the storm.

Intimacy with God.

Jesus had an incomparable depth of intimacy with His Father. His prayer life was excellent; His immersion in scriptures unparalleled; His holiness unmatched. No wonder He can sleep in the midst of the storm. 

All of us want to be “at peace” in life. And we pray that God will change our circumstances…

For God to heal our illness.

For God to mend our relationship.

For God to remove our boss.

For God to give us that job.

But I tell you, my friend, even if God will do all these things for you, if you do not have an intimate relationship with Him through a deep and consistent prayer life, you will remain anxious and fearful. To be at peace, the key is usually not to change your external circumstances in life but to change your internal life in order to change your circumstances.

The Bible says:

“…‘Blessed is anyone who trusts in Yahweh, with Yahweh to rely on. Such a person is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it has nothing to fear, its foliage stays green; untroubled in a year of drought, it never stops bearing fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Today, decide to make changes in your internal life by prioritizing the deepening of your relationship with God.

This is the only way that you can sleep in the midst of any storm.  

I remain in Christ,

Bobby Q.

Your Dream Job Today

Back in elementary, I remember what some of my classmates wrote in the “ambition” portion of their slum books. One said he wanted to be an astronaut. Another said he wanted to be a professional wrestler. Then another one dreamed of becoming a body builder.

What became of them?

Well, if I am not mistaken, the one who wanted to strut on the moon is now teaching students about the moon — an educator. The future Hulk Hogan is now drawing sketches of him — an artist. The Arnold Swarzenegger wannabe is not building his muscles but is definitely building his business — a successful businessman.

They may not have reached their dreams but I don’t see them less than who they wanted to be. You see, they do their work well. They excel. They perform. They may not exactly be head over heels over what they do, but they do give their all to it.  

Here’s the thing: The dignity of your work is not so much in what you do but in how you do it.

For instance, a security guard who is faithful in his work is more dignified than a lawyer who cheats.

Dear friend, you might be in a job today that is far from what you envisioned yourself years ago. And I understand if you daydream once in a while of finding your dream job. But may I give an unsolicited advice? Make your present job your dream job. 

Do well. Strive hard. Make the most of what you have. Develop the talents God has given you. Have integrity.

A dream job is not always something you wish for in the future but something you can make of your job today.

I remain,

Bobby Q.

 

 

God Takes You Seriously

Somebody once complained that most people don’t take him seriously. “One time”, he said “I called an emergency hotline and would you believe…the operator even put me on hold!”

Unfortunately, many people feel that way — that their concerns are no big deal to others. In the greater scheme of things, they feel that their concerns really do not weigh much.

So who cares if my business is losing when the economy is doing so well? Or so what if my marriage is falling apart considering that it’s just one of the many marriages out there? Or what does my poor self-image have to do with anything at all?

One time, I heard over the radio a person pouring his heart out to a radio host who presented himself as a “life counselor”. While the phone-in caller shared his “sad story” in between sobs, the radio host kept jabbing with witty on-air remarks which elicited laughter from his listeners. Sure, it made the program fun (at the expense of the caller), but I was also pretty sure that the phone-in caller didn’t feel consoled at all. Instead, the feeling that her concerns are really puny compared to other “more important matters” was all the more reinforced.

It’s a good thing that with God, your concerns, no matter how shallow, do matter a lot.

That’s what the New Testament did for all of us. It presented to us a God who was incredibly concerned with our mundane pre-occupations.

The God who parted the waters of the Red Sea was the same God who transformed the water to wine.

The God whom Moses could not even see with unveiled face was the same God who dared to touch the leper.

The God who slew thousands of Midianites was the same God who brought the Widow’s son back to life.

Yes, our God is a God who specializes on the big stuff. But what is important to God has nothing to do with what he does but who He does it for. It doesn’t matter if it’s rescuing an entire nation from an economic meltdown or rescuing a teenager from loneliness. For God, if he does it for His beloved, it will always be a “big deal” for Him.

Today, come to Him in prayer. Pour out to Him your deepest thoughts and feelings. Converse with Him. Don’t even think for a second that your concerns are too shallow for such a complicated God.

He loves you. And that is why your concerns, no matter how small, are important to Him.

Others may not take you seriously at times. But God always does!

Have a blessed week ahead!

Bobby Q. 

Humility has Power!

Most men I know do not like asking for road directions even when completely lost. Pride, they say, makes them struggle to find their way by themselves even if it would mean not finding their way at all. Crazy, right?

In the bigger things of life, though, this can also be true.

Many people try to find their way by themselves. They refuse to ask help. They avoid even the thought of asking assistance. Just like road directions, not knowing your life direction can be a waste of time. Yet unlike road directions, not having a life direction will not only be unfortunate, but it will be a tragedy of monumental proportions. 

My friend, if you are living an “ok” life with no major concerns but seem to find no meaning in what you do, I invite you to humble yourself and seek help. Turn to your bible. Seek out a Christian friend. Dial your parish priest. Sit down with your pastor. 

The Bible says:

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’…” (Jeremiah 6:16)

That’s what God is saying. Don’t try to find your way by yourself. Ask. Seek help. Cry out for guidance. 

Recognizing your need for help isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. It is evidence of a person’s willingness to face himself in the mirror and acknowledge his limitations. It is a testament of a person’s resolve to make things right in his life regardless of what it takes. It is the conviction of one who has made peace with who he is to become the kind of person that God intended him to be no matter what. 

Remember, humility has power.

It is the all-important key to bringing you to where you want to be in life!

Still learning more about life,

Bobby Q.

Thoughts for the New Year: In His Hands

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Michael Jordan is legendary when it comes to hitting game-winning shots. In fact, Steve Kerr, long-time teammate of the NBA legend, once remarked: “Just place the ball in Michael’s hands, and get out of his way!” And more often than not, His Airness would usually come through.

In a much more real and monumental way, the same thing can be said of God.

Put all your plans this 2013 in his hands and He will come through for you! The bible says: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Anchoring our confidence on this passage, we must therefore do first things first: Give your plans to God. 

Most people plan and do. We, however, forget the most important step in making plans — surrendering our plans to God. You can have the best player in the league on your team, but if he doesn’t get the ball, he will have nothing to shoot, right?

But this doesn’t mean we simply sit back and relax and let God do everything for us. We, too, must do our part. 

YOU need to get up in the morning and have your prayer time.

YOU need to get on with that diet.

YOU need to volunteer for that ministry.

YOU need to make that phone call and invite your friend to that prayer meeting.

YOU need to protect that time with your family.

While Kerr’s statement about Jordan was true, it wasn’t accurate at all. You see, when Jordan gets the ball at crunch time, the last thing his teammates did was get out of his way. 

AS A MATTER OF FACT, THEY DO THEIR PART!

They use their bodies to screen Jordan from his defenders. They open the lanes and create a way for him to shoot. They position themselves at strategic places in the court so they can get a clear shot just in case Jordan decides to pass off to his teammates.

We are called to do the same in life. We surrender our plans to God. But we must also resolve to do our part.

This 2013, I encourage you to do just that. 

Give everything in His hands, but let’s do our part in making sure God gets a clear look at the basket when he shoots the ball.

Swish! 

Take courage. You’ll be a champion this 2013!

Praying for a blessed year for you, my friend,

Bobby Q.