Tuesday, 23 October 2012

I found someone who LISTENS!!

Certain instances of humiliation, criticism, emptiness, brokenness, blame and betrayal that I had faced in an abusive marital relationship a year ago, pop up in my mind suddenly and it becomes really hard to swallow my tears as I feel the emotional wounds are still as fresh as they were a year back.
During those sudden downhearted moments, I felt I need to express my feelings to someone who listens. I only wanted to vent my feeling of been used, cheap and cheated on. I don’t need any help, suggestion, solution or the stereotype advice to ‘Move on’. I only needed someone to respond by just LISTENING with all attention and saying ‘I understand’ if they please to…. Someone who can validate my right to feel the way I do.
To pour out the heart to a patient listener is a great relief to a burdened spirit.
Most of the times, when I attempted to share something relating to the past abuse, some hastily offered solutions and expected me to stay silent until that happens and not talk about it. Some belittled/disdained my troubled heart and my agony by comparing me with others who faced much worse things than mine. Some hated my pain and criticized harshly for not forgetting it and moving on firmly by depending on God. Some just avoided any conversation which touches upon my past and I felt they hid from me (though not physically) as they moved around as if they have no knowledge of things in my life.
There is nothing wrong or right in their reactions. They just react in such a way, or atleast not the way I expected at that point of time, as they being my family,
-          they too feel hurt and helpless,
-          they mistake me that I dwell in my problems which may affect my prospects,
-          they have nothing to suggest/advise,
-          they just don’t want to talk about it,
-          they are not in a position to hear anything bitter,
-          they have their own problems & priorities,
-          they feel there is no point in talking about the same thing over and over again
-          and such other things.
No doubt they love me so much and they are the ones who desire the most to see me happy.
However genuine and understandable the reasons might be behind their reactions/responses, I was further hurt and felt lone every time I started to share something and was obstructed with harsh criticism, rejection and other solutions and found that no one is in a position to just LISTEN to me without being judgmental, without offering solutions, without scolding me for what I feel at that point of time.
I believe that God has a plan for all the brokenness. I trust in his promises. I know he provides for me and however impossible things might seem to me, he is absolutely in control! But, sometimes, I am still hit by the overwhelming grief of past happenings and I desperately needed a sympathetic ear and a soft shoulder to lean.
It is at this point, GOD led me to this verse:


Psalms 22:24 - NKJV

For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, HE HEARD.

Amplified Bible says:
 For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.

What a comfort I have in Jesus! He listens to me. He is available to me when I cry out in my affliction. He does not despise me for my crippled reactions to my trials and inefficient handling of my afflictions. He never hides his face to me for any reason whatsoever. He is not busy with his own priorities when I need his shoulder to cry upon. He respects my need to be listened and understood. 

My pain may seem meaningless or maybe there are other worse things I can cry for, or maybe I have better things to do instead of crying, …. But God never belittles my affliction!!
God neither sets a timetable for my recovery from the aftermaths of being in an abusive relationship and being abandoned, nor brawls out at me for not being on time or according to the set standard. He never hates me for my inefficient handling of my suffering and pain. May be I share the same things over and over again. But God’s never annoyed to hear my repeated cries.
He hears with attention and sympathizes with me. Maybe I was wronged or I was wrong in the issues I bring up to Him. He hears my cause.  
May be the whole lot of pain seems to be for silly little things even after knowing that God has a mighty plan in my Life.
But, when I cry to HIM he listens.
I found someone who listens! My God will hear me – Micah 7:7

Monday, 20 August 2012

SEEKING the Things Above

Colossians 3: 1

If then you were raised with Christ, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE ……. ”

Hectic work schedules, a clinging toddler at home, routine household chores coupled with my bad health made it very difficult for me to spend some time with GOD, studying His Word and enjoying His presence in prayer. Days, weeks passed by, though with lot of shame and guilt for not prioritizing my daily routines in order to fit in THE THINGS ABOVE.

Suddenly, one day I was led by the Holy Spirit to the aforesaid scripture which requires us to SEEK the things above.

The word ‘SEEK’ caught my attention and I started giving a practical thought on it.

"Seek" means to pursue, search for, endeavor to obtain.


Keep seeking means to seek after and strive for earnestly, to strive to find something, to devote serious effort to realize one’s desire or objective, to aim at, to try to obtain some state or condition.

SEEK used in this scripture emphasizes something more than just a desire. It’s an actual ACT of striving for to find. It’s pursuing. I questioned myself. How do I search something?

To me SEARCH is to act in all possible manner, exploring all possible places, availing all possible opportunities in order to FIND. It is an act aimed at finding the thing searched for.

Obviously, we search in order to find right? If we don’t want to find, we simply don’t search. The act of Searching inherently carries the aim to find.

Often, things like studying the word of GOD, spending time with HIM in prayer, regularly attending Church services, actively participating in the activities of church, offering tithe and other THINGS ABOVE end up to be just thoughts, Choices, Promises and Desires and nothing more than that. We just desire and never work on it or work towards achieving it. We have to understand what it means to ‘SEEK’ the things above and own the promise GOD made to us in Matthew 7:7 - “Seek, and you shall find”

In the context of Colossians 3:1, SEEK necessitates ‘acting’ and this is something more than just a thought, choice, a promise and a deep/deeper/deepest desire. It is a persistent action in order to find things above, to obtain things above, to own things above, to achieve things above, to obey GOD, to uphold spiritual perspectives and to place GOD and things above, over your worldly concerns.

Quickly recollect all the desires you had/have for GOD which are still pending for action?

We are made of flesh and our natural instinct is to follow flesh. Walking in spirit needs a degree of effort and a persistent practice.    

We often SEEK excuses that debarred us from setting our mind and pursuing things above. Employment, Family, responsibilities, worldly cravings, ailments so on often act as major hindrances in our way to SEEK things above. But the hard fact is that we always have those around us until we leave this world. So when are we going to LIVE for Christ if we are always busy with living for ourselves and our worldly concerns?

A choice, determination coupled with effort will surely enable us to abide by the word of GOD in Colossians 3:1 which says SEEK the things above!

May GOD grant us enough wisdom, passion, patience and perseverance to SEEK THE THINGS ABOVE!

Monday, 2 July 2012

MAKING GODs to GO BEFORE YOU


Delays in our Life drive us impatient, faithless, hopeless, unwise and sometimes wild and crazy too. We are extremely happy when things happen in our timing. But sadly, life doesn’t assure us the ‘when’ in most of the instances. We as believers, have to be extra-cautious because these are the times when our all-time foe is busy working schemes to tempt us to impatience, doubt, confusion, disappointment, depression, anxiety, weariness and failing us to inherit what GOD has for us in store.

Let us turn to the scripture Exodus 32: 1 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

Now when the people SAW that Moses DELAYED coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, MAKE US GODS THAT SHALL GO BEFORE US; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”

By strength of hand the Lord brought them forth out of Egypt and the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light.

In chapter 19 we see that they came to the Wilderness of Sinai and camped there before the mountain. All through the chapter, we see Moses ‘went up’ to the Mount and ‘went down’ unto the people mediating the Covenant GOD made with the people of Israel.  

Now, our study begins -

In exodus 24:12, the Lord called Moses to come up to receive the tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which GOD had written. Unlike the brief visits as before, Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights as it is written in chapter 24 and verse 18.

People were not acquainted beforehand as to ‘how long’ Moses would stay on the mountain. This can be understood in Exodus 24:14 when Moses asked the elders to wait until he comes back.

Exodus 24:14
And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you.”

The people below were waiting for Moses to come but as days passed by, ‘The people saw that Moses ‘DELAYED’.

New International Version says - When the people saw that Moses was ‘SO LONG’ in coming down from the mountain ….

Well, HOW LONG IS SO LONG?  

It depends on each individual as to how one infers ‘how long is too long’.

Until recently, my definition of ‘Delay’ was ‘that which is not on (MY) time’

I always had a timetable on my mind when I approached GOD in prayer. When GOD didn’t turn up as per my timetable, I was frustrated, angry and confused whether to hang on and pray or to just work it out myself! At times, I was so negatively aggressive that I ceased to take things to GOD in prayer because no matter how urgent I feel, HE does it on ‘HIS TIME’ and I HATE IT!

It was all a mess physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and relationally when I tried to work it out myself. Consequentially, guilt, bitterness, shame and self animosity were on reign over me for years until my heavenly Father, the Author of Love, an unconditionally tolerant GOD, full of Compassion, forgave my iniquity and destroyed me not but, gently took this failed, wounded and lost, creature of HIS into His arms and started teaching me FAITH, PATIENCE and leading me to the unexplainable joy in waiting upon the Lord.

I now understand more and more, day after day as to how it is to “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.”

Stop setting deadlines expressly or impliedly to the Almighty. Prayers like ‘do it by this time or I will do it on my own’ kind of prayers leave you frustrated, bitter and angry and unknowingly lead you to sin against GOD for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

If waiting is hard, cry out to the Lord that you have not enough faith and patience to survive the battle and trust in the Lord and ‘he will hasten it in HIS TIME’.

Coming back to Israelites, they SAW 40 days period was so long.  They perceived (Apprehension of things by sight) that 40 days was so long. Various factors play a role in understanding that it is so long like events of past, circumstances of present and pressures of future. Similarly, factors viz., previous brief ascends to and descends from the mountain by Moses, the sight of the glory of the LORD like devouring fire on the top of the mount which was open to doubts that Moses had perished and the lack of clue whether or not he was going to come etc., made them understand that it was so long.

But the word of God says not to lean on our own understanding (which is linked up with many factors of our life) but to trust in the Him with all our heart.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;

Well, once you UNDERSTAND that it is so long and you have waited enough, you get impatient and try to work it out yourself!

Israelites decided to “make GODs, which shall go before them.”

As Israelites saw that they waited so long and similar to how they rose to ‘Make Gods’, we also try making Gods in our impatient times of life. We MAKE fake credentials, fake degrees, fake diplomas, fake experiences, fake signatures etc., to lead us to a Job rather than waiting upon GOD to lead us.

When Life knocks you down, don’t comfort yourself that you have your family to get you up, or your children in whom you can put your hope and who are the reason that you live for, or your friends who can help, or your fame you can use to get things done and so on.

Whatever situation you are in and where ever you are stuck in, only GOD must be your HOPE, a reason that you live for, your solid rock, your fortress, your rescuer, your refugee, your shield and your strength, your place of safety, the one who goes before you and not your family, friends, children, employment, fame, financial stability etc.,

Here’s what GOD says about a man who trusts in man and MAKES flesh his strength …

Jeremiah 17:5
This is what the LORD says:
"Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the Lord

Recollect the moments in your life when you MADE (relied on) man or human strength ‘a source’ to lead you, to guide you, to respond to your needs, to love you, to hold you, to wipe off your tears, to understand you, to be enough to you in all your life. When you trust in man and make flesh your strength, you end up like a stunted shrub in the desert, left with no hope for the future, full of fear and anxiety, lifeless and barren.

Let HIS invisible hand of strength GO BEFORE YOU! Not any MAN or any THING. Undeniably, all these are necessary for your survival but shouldn’t be ‘GODs’ who will go before you. You are not called to be lead by the little GODs you create in times of your faithless and impatient moments. Remember, that all these exhaust somewhere at some point, for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18
While we do not look at the things which are seen, 
but at the things which are not seen.
For the things which are seen are temporary, 
but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Right from the start of their journey from Egypt, they had been witnessing miracles of the INVISIBLE GOD. The crossing of the red sea in Exodus 14:15-31, the bitter water that turned sweet in Exodus 15:22-25, the provision of manna and the quail in Exodus 16:4-8, the water from the rock in Exodus 17:4-7 and the war between the Israelite and Amalekite in Exodus 17:8-13.

Moreover, in the earlier chapters, GOD said:

Exodus 20:22 & 23

 Then the Lord said to Moses,
“Thus you shall say to the children of Israel:
‘You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

 You shall not make anything to be with Me—
GODs of silver or GODs of gold you shall not make for yourselves.

Inspite of all that, why were they keen in something VISIBLE now? As they ask ‘MAKE US GOD’

Here’s the answer:
Hebrews: 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

Evidently, we crave for something that is visible only when we lack FAITH as per the definition of Faith in Hebrews 11:1. It requires lot of effort, unceasing determination and focus to trust the invisibility. Through FAITH and PATIENCE Moses endured ‘seeing HIM who is Invisible’

Hebrews 11:27 
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king;
for he endured as seeing Him WHO IS INVISIBLE

We need to strive to keep up faith and patience that we may inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:12
that you do not become sluggish,
but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises

This is to the Christian singles waiting upon God for their marriages. When you SEE that GOD is DELAYING and you get anxious about things like, Is GOD really hearing me? Am I important to HIM? Does he really love me enough? Am I being punished for my sin? Why is GOD not interested in me? What exactly does GOD want me to do now? Your levels of faith start to drop on your scale.

Hebrews: 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT SEEN

The amount of faith you possess is no longer enough to trust the Invisible things. You start wanting something that is ‘visible’. Someone you can SEE them hear you, someone visibly makes you feel important, someone who loves you and someone who is really interested in you and you start connecting to everybody, guided by your eye, wondering if ‘He/She is the One’. This is where Satan is keen in working his ways to divert you from the Invisible love of GOD and settle for the visible affections of the world.

Israelites were MAKING GOD TO GO BEFORE THEM as they SAW Moses was SO LONG.

First, they lacked PATIENCE - as we see that they leaned on their own understanding that Moses was so long and;

Second, they lacked FAITH - as we see that they were keen in visible image of GOD rather than trusting the invisible GOD who lead them out of Egypt.

Weariness and impatience lead them to disobedience. Israelites were MAKING GOD in just 40 days of issuance of the commandment:

Exodus 20:4
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

GOD was obviously not happy about the events that happened and the Lord plagued the people.

Exodus 32:33
And the Lord said to Moses,
“Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.


Exodus 32:35
So the Lord plagued the people
because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made

Let us appraise ourselves. How are we dealing with the ‘Delay’ in our life? Are we impatient and unbelieving and MAKING GODs to lead us? Is it our family, friends, children, employment, fame, financial stability etc., that is leading us? When we place anybody or anything in the ‘place’ where GOD is supposed to be, then virtually we are making GOD.

Let us not lean on our own understanding and decide that it is ‘so long’. Your trust in Lord should reign over your understanding. Even though there is a delay, make up your minds to wait upon the Lord and inherit the promises through faith and patience and NEVER MAKE GODS IN TIMES OF DELAY, TO GO BEFORE YOU!!!