Archive for the ‘Journals’ Category

The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. (Psalm 126:3)
I recall my four years of stay in PNU with such fondness and tearful eyes. If every milestone is a framed painting, I would like to believe college is a completed masterpiece, now with added highlights of gold. But the painting isn’t all happy colors. There were hues of purple and gray, of wicked green and pitch black. There were moments of self-doubt, confusion, and plain heartaches. In my limited perspective, there were those I-don’t-get-why-this-should-happen times; the “times that try men’s souls”; the painful times of failures and losing battles and letting go.
My masterpiece wasn’t all gold. But if there’s just one thing I’ve learned in college, it’s that I am being painted by the Best Artist ever, One who doesn’t just want a great work of art but loves the painting very dearly, too. I’ve learned to thank Him for the happy colors, and to trust Him as He paints the darker hues. I’ve learned to entrust my heart to Him, and to wait for Him to gather me back into His arms when He, in the process of teaching, breaks me into pieces.
College taught me to lie still as God turns my dull existence of a canvass into a picture-story worth telling.
College taught me to not be afraid of going out of my comfort zone, so long as God is the one calling out to me.
College taught me that, yes, life will have an abundance of heartbreaks–but all will be beautiful ones with God securing me under His wings.
College made me realize that life paintings will have various shades of painful reds and insecure greens, of confusing grays and sorrowful blacks. And that’s okay, because my life-picture needs all those colors to be my loving Painter’s masterpiece, along with all the silver linings and golden highlights.
And more importantly, college taught me that people come and go, but there are those who are meant to stay–in our hearts, forever. These are the people who matter. These are those souls who hugged yours tight when you weren’t in your best state to be hugged. These people are the strokes in my canvass that made all the difference.
The past four years have been a series of mental, emotional, and spiritual crash courses for me. I learned, I taught,  I laughed and cried, I broke my heart, and again learned a lot in the process. As I look back to see the kind of masterpiece God painted of me, I can only say, “Jesus led me all the way.”
When all thy mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys, transported with the view, I’m lost in wonder, love, and praise. (Addison, 1712)
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This year, the Lord revealed truths about Himself to me—
Not in grand gestures and excessively dramatic style,
Not in the form of a burning bush or a speaking donkey,
Not even in the guise of an angel in a dream.
But He showed Himself to me in the little, everyday things—
in verses daily read, in hymns often sung,
in casual conversations, in trivial tasks—
which I think is even more majestic and astounding.
 
This year, He taught me He knows me inside out
And that He’s the best person to teach me lessons—
Never too hard so I’d inevitably fail,
But also never too easy so I’d get too comfortable.
He taught me to fully let go of my life’s steering wheel
And wait on His every turn with patience and complete trust.
He taught me to never doubt His loving care,
To never question why He puts me in situations,
But simply to ask how to best glorify Him there—
How to best bloom in the garden He has placed me.
 
This year He revealed to me matters of the heart,
Teaching me to love more unconditionally His people,
And let go of things that aren’t meant for me.
This year He taught me that letting go doesn’t always have to be painful,
And that painful breakage can be beautiful too.
Like a vessel breaking and showing up cracks,
Only to reveal golden light inside.
 
Yes, this year, God broke my heart—a lot.
But it all turns out to be a beautiful breakage
And, dare I say it, may He prepare me for more heartbreaks.
Because it was when he broke me that I’ve seen—
I am in need of nothing and no one else but Him.
 
This year I learned to be more honest with the Lord—
With how I feel, what I hope for, what I’m confused about,
Things I want to know from Him and of Him.
My relationship with Him grew so much deeper as He taught me
That I can really and literally talk to Him as I would an esteemed friend.
And isn’t He the best person to be friends with!
 
This year I learned to laugh more heartily—
Not because I have no more cares and concerns,
Not because I can see the solution in every problem,
But because I’ve clearly seen how God is very intimately involved in my daily life—
And with a loving and Almighty God writing your story,
Who needs to fret on the plot development and ending?
 
This year I found myself singing along with Horatio Spafford when he wrote,
“Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Has God spared me from traumatic trials?
It is well with my soul.
Has He kept me from getting things I thought I’ve wanted?
It is well.
Has He told me countless times to let go?
It is well. It is well.
 
Because what He ultimately taught me this year
Is that I may never be enough,
But He always is. Always will be.
And I guess that’s the best lesson of all.
 
And so, yes, I’m now facing a new “turn” in the road.
And I can only smile excitedly as I wait to see,
just right there at the corner, what He has in store for me.
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Great Is Your Faith

Posted: July 24, 2016 in Journals

​She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (Matthew 15:27)
To be told, “O woman, great is your faith!” by the Author and Finisher of faith–that is an experience I am willing to strive hard for, to spend my whole life working on. Six words. One statement. But with such great powerful way of defining my life.
May my perspective be as strong as this woman’s. May my faith be as firm. May I ever cling to You, Lord, though circumstances may tell me otherwise. Let me always, always see that promise, that rainbow, throughout the storms and rains. Let my anchor hold firmly despite every veil of darkness.
That at the end of the day, I would hear you say, “O woman, great is your faith.”

Be Anxious For Nothing

Posted: July 15, 2016 in Journals

​”Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34)
I have a lot of cares, a lot of worries. I am being hard pressed by the cares of this temporal world. They are necessary, yes. But not to the point that it would consume me.
Be anxious for nothing. I give you all my name worries, Lord. I give you all my cares. My deadlines, my papers to check, my requirements. My dealings with other people. You know my struggles. You know my weaknesses. I lay down before you all the cares of my heart. Teach my heart to trust you fully.

The Kingdom is at Hand

Posted: July 9, 2016 in Journals

​From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17)

Heaven’s within man’s reach, for the first time in all of history. A first, a breakthrough, in man’s story. God before was that eternal, Almighty God you have to approach through rituals and sacrifices and curtain boundaries with a continuous plea for mercy, for Him to spare you from punishment.

But now the curtain was torn, the boundary crossed for good by Christ, our Mediator. And now the once unapproachable, Holy God became the gracious, saving, still-Holy God. He showered to the fullest His salvation upon us, people who least deserve it. His just demands being met by His own Son on our behalf. On /my/ behalf. The immortal, invisible God stays immortal and invisible, but now He has also become a Friend, a Savior, a loving Father. All you need to do now, to approach this gracious God, is to repent. The kingdom is at hand. Forsake your sins, and live in viee of eternity.

Let me live my entire life, its every aspect, in view of this, Lord. Hear me.

His Name Will Be Great

Posted: July 5, 2016 in Journals

​For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)
His name will be great. His name will be glorified. He shall be recognized, feared, and bowed down to. Peoples shall see Him and proclaim that He is God. And they will offer sincere offerings and pure praises. The Lord is His name, and He shall be known among His people.
How blessed I am to have known you personally, Lord. To be saved by you is an undeserved grace to such a vile worm as I. I offer you my sincerest praises, my heartfelt thanks. And today, let me reflect that attitude in all my dealings with everyone and everything around me. Let me reflect that line of thought in every action, every word, every thought.
Hear this: make my heart fully yours.

Rejoice Greatly

Posted: July 2, 2016 in Journals

​Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
Your King arrives, and with His arrival comes salvation. We have greater reason to rejoice than the original recipient of this promise, for we have obtained a salvation far greater than they had hoped for–salvation from sin. Christ is our ruler seated on the donkey. He has washed us and spared us from wrath.
My King arrives. Let my heart rejoice fully.