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Archive for the tag “hope”

Grace in the Wilderness

It’s one of those days. I wake up and I am all anxious and afraid of the future.

I don’t know what else is in store for me. I am so used to knowing what I want to get out of life; so certain that I have parents to support me whenever I’d quit a job.

But this time it is different. I am running out of time. I am old and yet so immature.

Reading the Bible has never been this hard. My mind is a mess.

But the good news is our God is not a mess. He is the hope atop this pile of mess that’s taking over my sanity every now and then.

On my way back to my room, there’s this song playing in my head–

Jesus, lover of my soul.

Jesus, I will never let you go.

You’ve taken me from the miry clay.

You set my feet upon the rock…

It was not that big of a deal until I read Psalm 40. My Bible reading plan is now on the book of Hebrews but I enjoyed reading the footnotes and cross-referencing verses, hence I came to read Psalm 40. Then tears start to roll down from my eyes as I discovered that part of the song’s lyrics was from Psalm 40:2:

He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

With our God there are no coincidences.

I went on with my Bible study reading the verses cited on the footnotes. And little by little, my spirit became different from how it was when I woke up.

God yet again blew my mind away with his Word and promises found in Jeremiah 31:17:

“There is hope for your future,” says the Lord.

And just like that, all is well with my soul again.

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The Oppression of Mood Swings

I am currently staying at my parents’ house. With no job and no idea where I am headed to next, I thought it best to have a break from it all.

But something seemed off yesterday. I felt a surge of emotions and negative thoughts welling up in my heart and mind and simultaneously a desire to just be alone with the Lord and read His word.

I was not at peace. And so I decided to go out, walked for a bit until I found a quiet cafe.

Reading through the verses and the footnotes in my study Bible, I began to feel sick and discouraged by the sudden noise around me (two waitresses were yelling at each other).

Yet in all that God was unstoppable. I was reminded by the devil’s schemes in the book Screwtape Letters. He steals your peace, puts distractions here and there and makes you focus on them.

Distraction is just one letter shy from destruction and if we aren’t careful, distractions like self-pity, anger, the little things that annoy us will keep us from having a Spirit-filled life.

So what did I learn from my unexpected quiet time yesterday?

It is said in the book of Hebrews that I am released from the oppression of sin through the blood of Jesus Christ.

That was what I was feeling at home with all those hateful thoughts taunting me to stir a fight–oppression.

Little by little, with love and gentleness, God has also been giving me nuggets of wisdom to address my struggle with finding the perfect job.

…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14

Salvation brings people into God’s service. And what service that might be?

Hebrews 12:28-29 says

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

This service is in the form of worship–acceptable worship that pleases the Lord.

They are as follows (as mentioned in Hebrews 13):

  • Let brotherly love continue
  • Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers
  • Remember those who are in prison and mistreated
  • Let marriage be held in honor among all and let the marriage bed be undefiled
  • Keep your life free from the love of money
  • Be content with what you have
  • Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have

And the list goes on.

This time that the Lord allowed me to have reminded me that knowing and focusing on who God is is the most important of all.

Relearning that God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29, Deut.4:24), that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), that we have been given a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28)–all these blew me away. Knowing God this way just fills me with awe. It recharges and fuels me so I can enjoy His presence and live to fight another day.

Through Jesus Christ then let us us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (Hebrews 13:15)

I went back home Spirit-filled and my parents and I had a great family time.

All glory and praise to my Father in heaven.

Turn My Water into Wine

I have cringed in shame.

In shame, a life under curse has lain.

Every day I labor and pray.

This heart, this soul needs change.

 

Truths frees and some stings:

Like knowing that inside, wickedness never flees.

This weight of sadness presses on,

like a jar of not so potable water that I have to drink on.

 

But before I came to be, you knew my water can never run as deep

So, you came in so much slick, in your own time, steady and humbly

while I’m being poured to my own reek;

married to darkness, engaged in a lifetime of ignominy

 

I have called and perhaps not,

yet you knocked and listened to an insolent pride.

You stirred me in love and gentleness

my empty jars, you filled with future and promises

 

From your truth, grace and peace whence emerge my Vine,

Always, you would invite, ‘Come and I will turn your shame into wine.’

You lifted my curse, patched waves into my staleness

and for this, I have longed and thirst for what all men have yearned so long ago.

A Savior.

 

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