This past Sunday morning, we meditated on I Samuel Chapter 1 at our family worship time. God pounded my heart with three awakening facts through Elkanah’s wife Hannah’s immeasurable trust in the Lord. Firstly, I should not judge anyone with only what I can see. Priest Eli misunderstood Hannah’s silent prayer as an unacceptable habit of a drunkard. I, too, often scold at other people especially at my two sons with my preconceived notion. And I end up provoking them or making them to reverse their good intentions. Secondly, I should pour out my heart to the Lord not to men as Hannah did. At the misconceived scolding of Priest Eli, Hannah replies, “Not so, my lord, I am a woman who is deeply troubled……have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” Many times, I pour out my heart to persons whom I think are trustworthy and would be of help to relieve my troubled heart. But soon, I regret my foolish resort and go back to the Lord. From here on, oh Lord, I’ll come to you first for you will never disappoint me. Then, the fruit will be Thy wisdom and I may leave only loving words to Thy beloveds’ hearts. Thirdly, I should be a person who keeps own promises. Hannah offers her son Samuel to the Lord as she promised. She probably had insurmountable pain to give up on her precious son. What a woman of faith she is! I dare to say she is well comparable to Abraham. She acknowledges that every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17) including her son Samuel. How different she is than I am! Because unless I am constantly reminded, I miserably fail to remember the fact that everything is His and I am His steward.
On a morning TV program, a lady who overcame a hopeless situation came out and seized my attention. She is about 30 years old now. 10 years ago, when she was senior in college, she got involved in a serious car accident from which she had 55% of her body burnt with 3rd degree burn. Since then, she had gone through about 30 surgeries and still has more to come. Presently, she is studying abroad working on her Ph.D. And also from time to time, she goes around many schools and centers talking about how she overcame the difficult times giving hopes to many people young and old. But more amazing thing was the fact that she had participated in a 45 Kilometer marathon to help out a rehab. program. At first, she said that if it would get really hard while she was running, she was going to ride on a subway train. So with a train ticket, she started out the marathon. But as she went on, she couldn’t give up so easily for the running was to benefit the people who were in rehabilitation program. Thus, she decided to stay on as long as she could move on one step further. Finally, after about 7 and half hours later, she could come to the final point. It took her 1 month to recover from it, but the feeling of accomplishment was such great that she scheduled to run for another one. Her story was so challenging to me for I get disappointed and give up so easily on many things. O Lord, please help me to have spiritual strength to sustain and endure better in doing the right things.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (Galatians 6:9-10)
This morning, as I thought about many things – church, children, future, relationships, etc. – I felt my heart sinking and empty. So I asked my husband to have a short prayer time. Without saying anything, he read me several Bible verses and following prayer written by St. Augustine which helped me to regain peace, strength, hope and thankfulness. Lord, for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray; Keep me, my God, from stain of sin just for today. Let me both diligently work, And duly pray. Let me be kind in word and deed, Just for today. Let me be slow to do my will, Prompt to obey; Help me to sacrifice myself Just for today. And if today my tide of life should ebb away, Give me thy sacraments divine, Sweet Lord today. So for tomorrow and its needs I do not pray, But keep me, guide me, love me, Lord, Just for today.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” (Philippians 4:12) Knowing how to abound is as challenging as how to be brought low. Many Christians tend to face greater temptation in abundance and become losers. “Lord, please let your abundant grace not be the cause of being more distant from you. And grant me wisdom to know how to humbly abound in you sight as well as to know how to be brought low.”
A few days ago, I received an e-mail that included following passage. Instead of saying “Your hands are cold,” hold those hands and put them next to you. Instead of saying “I saw it,” say “I felt it.” Instead of saying “You are weird,” say “You are special.” Instead of saying “I don’t understand you,” say “Can you tell me one more time?” When you hold cold hands together, they will get warm. When two people go forward one step to each other, they get closer twice as fast. Even if something doesn’t seem to make any sense to you, try to understand with your heart, then even a piece of ice in there will be melted. Impact of a small act of consideration is much greater than you can imagine. I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40) Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.(Matthew 25:45)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What an assurance from God the peach of God will guard your hearts and minds.
Bible Verses: John 19:31-37
A short essay of my grand father-in-law touched my heart so hard, and made me to think about the meaning of blood of Jesus ever so deeply this past Easter. He wrote in his essay: I was going through a surgery and I needed tons of blood. Without the supply of blood, I could not survive through. Then, I realized that money could not buy a life but only blood could extend life. Being Christian for all my life, but for the very first time, I whole-heartedly confessed, “Oh that’s what Jesus did. He shed all of His blood to extend my life eternally.”
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
I prayed with this Bible verse and amazing thing happened. The painful anxiety that keep me from sleeping well disappeared. God gave me peace.
Today, I meditated on Ruth Chapter1. Naomi was an ordinary married woman with two sons just like me but with superbly stronger faith. She follows her husband from a blessed land Judah to a God deserted land Moab when Judah was suffering from a famine. However, there, she loses everything, husband and two sons. The consequence of chasing after the earthly desire is well depicted here. But the amazing thing is that the two Moabite daughters-in-law are willing to follow Naomi back to Judah. As Naomi persuades them not to follow her but to stay at their homeland, one of them listens. However, the other one, Ruth, clings to Naomi and says, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” This part makes me to think how faithful and loving life Naomi might have been living. That exemplary way of living probably had made Ruth(a gentile) to be so determined to follow her everywhere admiring her. Oh Lord, I wish and pray that I can show my love to God and to my future daughters-in-law just like Naomi did so that they, too, will say, “Your God will be my God until the death.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.