Friday, April 13, 2012

Waiting Expectantly: An Easter Reflection

"And God granted his request." I was reminded by God this morning as I woke up that He has already granted my request. God first impressed this message to me last Monday morning during my prayer time when He led me to review the prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4:10:

"Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!" And God granted his request.

God granted his request. I felt God telling me in my heart that He has already granted my request. God granted my request. Wow! What wonderful news!

Then, to drive His message further, He spoke again to me through my desk calendar.

Keep Believing! God wants us to ask! And when we do, we should expect to get it. "Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." – Mark 11:24

It shall be yours. Claim it as early as now. Wow! What a very encouraging message from God! I felt God telling me not to doubt as I wait for the good news to be told to me. He’s asking me to rejoice as early as now because whatever I’m asking for from Him is already mine. Amazing!

I praise and thank God for this beautiful message to me this morning. It gives me hope! It encourages me to keep believing that God has already answered my prayers and granted my requests. I was struck by the tense of the verse in 1 Chronicles 4:10. It’s in the past tense. It has been done. It already happened. Wow! I felt God telling me that even as I wait now for the good news from the people I had been talking to, God took care of everything already. He has done what I have asked Him to do for me. Wow!

I can't help but remember Tommy Walker's song entitled I Have a Hope.

These messages that I received from God today affirms God’s messages to me during the Grand Easter Feast as spoken by our leader Bo Sanchez. He said last Sunday that it truly is difficult to wait. But he spoke an encouraging message to all of us who are waiting for something or a prayer to be answered. He said, "You may be on Good Friday or Black Saturday now but your Easter is coming and is now here. Even when your circumstances, your problems, other people, your neighbors, or your finances are telling you that things are not well, God tells you, all is well. All is well! All is well because that’s what God tells you! All is well! Believe!"

God is so good and merciful! He knew that it would be challenging to wait for our prayers, requests and miracles to be granted that He gave us His promises so we can hold on to them as we wait for them to unfold before our eyes.

Just like the message of Easter Sunday, we are already victorious in Christ because Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death. We go through Good Friday and Black Saturday with hope because we know that our Easter is coming. Jesus knew He will resurrect on the third day. That helped Him go through His Passion. He knew He was doing the Father’s Will even though He was suffering. He knew that He will receive His crown of glory eventually when He sits on the right side of the Father in heaven.

One of the stories Bo shared was his experience with bullies when he was a kid. He said that he was like the morning entertainment to the bullies then and he just laughed about his situation because he could not do anything. He got used to the bullying already. Then, it happened that the biggest bully named Jesse asked for his help and became his friend. One morning, while Bo was walking and was starting to be surrounded by bullies again, his new friend Jesse walked towards him and placed his arm on Bo’s shoulders. He declared, "Eugenio (Bo) is my friend. Anyone who picks a fight with Eugenio, picks a fight with me!" With that statement, the bullies started to walk away from Bo one by one and they never bothered him anymore.

After Bo told this story, he said these words to all of us listening. You might be surrounded by bullies now. Your bully could be some of the people around you, your sickness, your finances, your problems and concerns… I want to tell you that you have a friend who stands beside you now. His name is Jesus. And Jesus says to those bullies, "You pick a fight with my friend here, you pick a fight with me! And I will fight you for my friend to the death!"

Tears just rolled down my cheeks as Bo said those words. God spoke powerfully to me through him. Last March 10, I also felt bullied by people much older than me. I felt bullied by people who outnumbered me. I felt surrounded by bullies who kept on insisting their will on me, who didn’t want to respect my decision, my beliefs and my choices as a person, as a Christian and as a leader. I felt that no one was on my side to defend me. But as I stood before the crowd that kept on bullying me with their actions (some of them rudely pointing their fingers on me as they spoke in an angry and loud tone of voice) and their harsh and insulting words, I felt Jesus’ powerful presence telling me that He stands by me no matter what. It was all that I needed to endure that experience. I recalled how Jesus Himself stood before a council of elders and how He was accused falsely. I remembered how he stood before a crowd mocking and insulting Him. recalled how people accused Him and hurt Him though He did not deserve that kind of treatment. I recalled how Jesus chose to be silent and chose not to defend Himself from their accusations, and how He just looked to God the Father for strength and courage to face and endure His situation. Remembering what my Lord, Master, Teacher and Leader did during His Passion enabled me to endure that night. I looked to Him for inspiration. I chose to follow His example and embraced my cross. I chose to obey the will of God the Father no matter how difficult and painful it was. I chose to remember that it was necessary to go through Good Friday before the Resurrection of our Lord. And so that’s what kept me going. I held on to the promise of the Lord’s resurrection that those who walk with Him to Calvary and die with Him will also resurrect with Him.

I Will Rise - Chris Tomlin (Music Video With Lyrics) from 24william24 on GodTube.

Thus, when Bo said those words to us last Sunday, I felt the amazing love and mercy of God on me. I felt His arms around my shoulders. I felt His tight embrace and the warmth of His love as He spoke those words to give me courage and strength. I felt Jesus’ personal love for me once more that day. He was and will always be my defender and my shield. I remembered the verses in Exodus 14:13-14 which was part of the passage (Crossing the Red Sea) I studied with three others on that same night.

Moses answered, "Don’t be afraid! Stand your ground, and you will see what the Lord will do to save you today; you will never see these Egyptians again. The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still!"

God spoke further to me through Bo. He likened our problems to gold mines. He said that it’s necessary to go through gold mines if we want to get gold. He said that when we go inside gold mines, we need to go through darkness, dirt and danger. We need to uncover the dirt to get our gold. He said that our problems are gold waiting to be uncovered. In addition to that, he said that the more problems we have, the more gold we have!
I pondered on my life experiences especially my recent gold mines and I couldn’t help but agree. It seems that I have passed through a lot of gold mines but I have also uncovered a whole lot more of gold in the process. Blessed be name of the Lord!
Moreover, I realized that when we are inside a gold mine, God gives us just enough light for the step we’re on. Just like when we hold a lamp inside a gold mine, the lamp illumines only the next step in front of us. Rarely do we get to use a light that enables us to see the end of the tunnel. But it’s okay. We know that eventually, as we take one step at a time using our lamp, we will get out of the gold mine. In the same way, as we let the Word of God light our every step, we know that eventually, we will get out of our problems victorious and we will get our gold. Our gold maybe the blessings and miracles granted to us or our answered prayers. I believe though that the greatest gold we get out of our problems is the deepening of our faith. God brings us from glory to glory as we go through problems or trials in our faith journey. He lets us go through them not to break us but to test our faith and help us grow in faith. He allows us to go through suffering and pain to bring us closer to Him, so that He can draw us near His Sacred Heart.

I would consider this Lent and this Holy Week my most meaningful Lent and Holy Week so far. I felt privileged to enter into Jesus’ experience of His Passion. I felt closest to God as I cried out to Him telling Him that I am poor in spirit. I saw vividly how God’s Words in Scriptures come alive in my life so beautifully. I felt unexplainable joy amid trials and pain. I felt so blessed to be chosen by God to share His sorrows and His pain. I came to understand Jesus’ way of the cross profoundly through my experiences. And I am humbled to realize that what I went through and go through in life pale in comparison to what He experienced and endured because of His great love for me. Who am I that He is mindful of me? Who am I that He chooses to be my friend and die for me? Who am I that He chose to die for me and save me?

Then, Bo exhorted us to rise up and BOUNCE whenever we encounter problems. He encouraged us to BOUNCE BACK when we fall on the potholes in the road of life. He encouraged us to keep on saying ALL IS WELL as we keep on bouncing in the road of life.

So today, I choose to wait expectantly. God has wiped away the tears in my eyes. He has turned my mourning into dancing again. He has lifted my sorrows! He has assured me that ALL IS WELL. I believe Him. I accept His Word and His promise as truth. I let Him define my reality. I choose to hope in Him for I know that with Him I do not hope in vain.

Let me end by praying the prayer Bo taught us and encourage us to pray at The Feast.

Today, I receive all of God’s love for me.
Today, I open myself to the unbounded, limitless,
overflowing abundance of God’s universe.
Today, I open myself to God’s blessings, healing, and miracles.
Today, I open myself to God’s Word
so I would become more like Jesus every day.
Today, I proclaim that I am God’s beloved,
I am God’s powerful champion.
And because I am blessed, I am blessing the world.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment