Tag Archive | faith

Why Is Stillness Scary?

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.
Exodus 14:14

When the sea is calm, it can be quite eerie.

A few months back, I went to my hometown with a good friend to visit some islands.

There were basically 4 people in a small fisherman boat – 2 boatmen, me and my friend. We left the port at 7 am and luckily, the sea was calm. So calm that about an hour into the sea, we suddenly felt something was quite different.

Everything was perfect – the wind was still, the place was quite, the boat is stable and it was glassy on water.

Psalm 107:29 – He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

That stillness of the water scared me. There was no wind, there was no wave…just pure calmness.

And THAT freaked me out.

The same way I cannot stay still when something chaotic is happening to me. I need to do something, I need to solve the problem, I need to hurry. I have a lot of things on my mind that I worry too much. I forget the most important thing – to look at Jesus, put my worries in His hands and be STILL.

I am not saying that we actually don’t do anything and just lie down and wait. What we need is prayer – heartfelt prayer to God so He could open our eyes to what we should do – in His way, not our way.

Why is stillness scary?

Let’s face it – we are used to not being still. Personally, I get scared when everything is going so smoothly in my life because I would always think something is surely going to go wrong. What an awful way of thinking, right?

Then I learned that I should put all my worries to God and just put my TRUST in HIM.

Why are we scared to be still?

It must be because we lack faith. If we have more faith in the Lord, we won’t worry about such things. We fail to see the beauty and stillness that’s right in front of us because we are too busy thinking about what’s coming ahead.

In Mark 4:39-40, Jesus asked His disciples about being afraid of the turbulent:

And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

At that moment, I failed to appreciate the stillness of the sea because I lack faith. Because if I have sufficient faith, I know that Jesus will not let anything happen to me. After all, He can command the waves and the wind and they  would obey Him. After all, He has the authority over nature.

So the next time you are overwhelmed with worries and fears, remember Jesus when he rebuked the wind and sea. Remember Him as he asked, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

With Jesus, nothing is impossible. All we need is faith in Him.

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Lessons I Learned as a Child

The Story of the Purse

When I was in grade school, I would always go with my mother to the market, to the church and practically wherever she went.

mom-863050_1280One time when we were out to buy groceries, we passed by a bazaar and there I saw the most beautiful and feminine purse. It caught my eye and at that very moment I asked my mom to buy it for me. My mom didn’t buy it for me because she said it’s too small yet too expensive, and that I didn’t need it anyway.

All I could do was pout because my mother would get mad if I insisted. Then she told me that if I really wanted it so badly, I should save money to buy it.

So everyday, I would save the daily allowance I received from my mother for that purse. I would always check the store if they still had it and every time I saw it I would ask how much it was. I went there a couple of times that the owner almost never answered me because she knew I would never buy it anyway.

Until the day came that I ended up with the right amount. I went to the store and buy it! I couldn’t believe my eyes as the owner wrapped that little purse for me! I was so happy, I went home smiling.

The next day, I unwrapped the purse I bought, studied it carefully and went to look for some coins to try it out. I rummaged for my bag but I couldn’t even find a single coin.

So basically, I was left with an empty purse – not to mention that I couldn’t bring it to school because it was too small. The string was also too slim to carry all the weight of the coins (I didn’t have notes!).

After a few days of using it, I lost interest in it that I hid it in my closet.

Maybe children can sometimes easily lose their interest in their toys, or food or clothes. In retrospect, maybe I was just being a child back then.

Funny thing is, even until now I can still remember how that little purse looked like.

After several years, I guess I’m still that little child. I still end up wanting things I think I need or want. Once I got them, I lost interest in them so easily that it made me ask myself in several circumstances, “why did I even buy this?”

The Lessons

I can say that some of the lessons I learned from this as a kid is:
1. First, that if I want something, then I should get it myself and not to rely on anyone to get it for me.
2. I learned how to focus on my goal. When you learn to focus only on your goal, you’ll end up getting it.
3. A mother knows best. Learn to listen.
My mother was right after all. At that time, she knew that I didn’t need it but I could not see the reason behind it yet. She had a full-scale vision of things whereas mine was limited.

Most importantly, I learned that not everything I want can keep me happy. More often than not, fleeting wants masked as needs are just that – fleeting and hence short-lived.

Sometimes, we chase for things we think we need, only to realize later on that it was not what we really needed. We go for things that we want, only to overlook the fact that like my purse, the coins are far more important than the purse itself. What do I do with the purse if all my money is gone?

We must learn to seek and value more important things – those that we really need.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

Matthew 6:33

 

What about you? Have you been wanting something lately?

Chapter 4: The Effects of the Media Revolution

Media forms such as television, smart phones, print media, radio and Internet rule the world right now. It is almost impossible for anyone not to be connected to any part of the world.

In my case, the Internet and mobile phone have a huge impact on my every day life – whether inside or outside of my home.

laptop-1150663_1280

Media and My Walk with Christ
It is hard to classify media as something negative or positive to someone’s journey with the Lord. What it brings is impact into your life. Whether that is a negative or a positive impact, it all depends on the person.

Some people claim that media has greatly affected their life negatively. For me, I highly think that the measure of influence is dictated by how much the person is willing to be influenced. This is an individual’s personal discretion.

I believe that one of the negative effects of these forms of media for me is distraction. Since there is a plethora of information available online, it can sometimes be difficult to sift the ones that really matter from those that can be considered as superficial needs of an individual.

Time is also another thing taken by social media right now. Instead of spending some quiet time with the Lord, I find myself talking to people and friends or checking out all amusing stories and pictures all the time that I forget to have that important time with God.

It also inevitably let myself be surrounded with gossips, unhealthy comparisons, dislike and perversion – things that were mentioned by the Lord in Proverbs 4:24 “Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Good Side Of Internet

Internet allows me to connect with all great people who follows God. Meeting and listening to sermons of certain Pastors and learning how to study the Bible from different godly women helped and encourage my faith.

I do not have any mentors so being able to listen to them talk online and connect with them online, I kind of form accountability in studying the word of God. It is great to be inspired by these experienced pastors who have been obviously anointed.

At the same time, some of the things that I cannot easily access have now been accessible. I can always read the Bible anywhere because of different apps.

Media and Personal Relationships
Different forms of media are launched to primarily connect with people. The truth is, this web of connection can either harness relationships or break them.

The lack of personal or face-to-face interaction can sometimes lead to misunderstanding. I guess this bit is something that would be hard for media to attain. Although now that I think about it, the emergence of video chatting has now been made possible to bridge that lapse in human to human virtual interaction.

I rarely spend time with social media nowadays and I make it a point to get rid of anything that is detrimental to building my faith. The good thing I gained from it is probably to somehow inspire some people to continue their faith in God.

 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

John 15:4-5

When God said to “remain in him, as I also remain in you”, I believe it means to be faithful to Him. If there is one thing we all need to know about God is that He is faithful even if we are not. What He asks from anyone is to be faithful to Him. Because as long as we do, we will surely bear fruits just like how the branch remains in the vine and become fruitful.

We need to anchor our life to Christ and make Him our vine. We must always see ourselves as one with Him. And we must always open our hearts to Him so that he may be able to supply us our needs as branches need its water and nutrients from the vine.

——————————– PRAYER ———————————-

God the Father, my heart is open for your words and for your wisdom to flow into it. However, there will be times when the world will distract me from You and times when I’ll allow myself to be distracted by worldly desires. I pray that you do not allow me to get so distracted. Always take my hand no matter where I go. Thank you so much for remaining in me and I pray that you help me do the same to You. This is an earnest prayer of my heart, in the name of Jesus your Son. Amen.