Danny’s Flashlight

Light of the world, a lamp in the dark, a city set on a hill.. These words remind me of my friend, Danny. When? When he was fighting and dying of cancer… How? Let me share an excerpt of the eulogy I wrote for him some 10 months ago.

On 4/9, Danny said: I’m stable but in pain. feels like a dog w/ sharp teeth biting my right chest n wont let go. I’m surviving thru much prayers esp at night I cant lie down. God is good. He makes me sleep when I’m exhausted. I’m truly thankful for that.

From 5/25-27: Scan results out, no good. He said: God knows what’s next. Don’t worry. I’m totally at peace. Pray for less pain. I don’t want my family to be affected when I whine or cry in pain. Thanks. I cannot explain the peace that I feel now.
“it’s not as bad as it sounds. God is good no matter how this progresses. I’m totally at peace. No worries. Thank you for prayers.”
“Let’s hope the med works. God is good. I’m not a bit worried.”

8/25, “I’m not afraid to go. I just ask God for another chance to share w others how good He’s been to me.”

Danny’s words testified that in all things (good n bad) God is good. He loved God and was devoted to Him amidst hardship. He loved people. He was dying and still thinking of God and neighbor. He wanted to donate whatever useful organs he’s got left. He asked for more time even in great pain to tell his stories.

Danny taught me lessons on dying bravely and living brightly even in the deep dark pit of pain. God enabled him to be a light shining in the valley of the shadow of death.

God took him first even though he was the youngest in our barkada. He was strongest when he was weakest because God’s grace was sufficient. Danny shone brightest when it was darkest because God was his light. Today, his voice resonates loudly because God’s Word was the only voice he heard and held on to. His life mirrored his Savior and Lord Jesus.

Today, Danny still speaks to me. Yesterday, his wife told me Danny gave me permission to share his stories whenever possible so people will know his God of grace. I miss Danny often especially when I have questions about the Bible, about things to write, ideas to share. He was a deep thinker, great teacher and fine writer. He’s witty, funny, silly, naughty and many more. Most of all, he’s my friend who loved me and whom I loved dearly. Tears falling as I write these words.

Around 1am today, I woke and could not get back to sleep. I watched some video clips on FB and chanced upon the Red Table Talk of Jada Pinkett Smith with the parents of Ms. USA who committed suicide earlier this year. Near the end of the talk, Jada shared her grief story about losing a dear friend. My takeaway from her lesson: Memories of our loved ones who passed on may fade. One sure thing remains: love.

How true the words from the Bible:
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Seize the Day

“Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn’t wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.” ~ Garcia Marquez

May 29 was the last Sunday of May in 2016. It was also the last time I talked and prayed with my mother. 🙁 That morning, I went to visit her before going to church. She was lying in bed and very sick. She was weak and could not talk much. My heart was heavy and sad as I knelt by her bed to pray with her.

The next day I flew out of town as Andrew’s aunt and cousin from China were visiting. May 30 was also my last night at Boracay – have not been back, don’t know if I ever would again.

Past midnight, in the wee hours of May 31, when my phone rang, I knew the time had come when I heard my sister’s voice on the phone. That day I flew back to Manila alone. That plane ride seemed to be a long lonely sad one. Did I cry, maybe yes, maybe not? I felt numb and sad at the same time.

Remembering that day is hard for me even now. I miss my mom. How I wish ma and pa were present to celebrate Hannah’s ‘on-hold’ wedding (supposedly 5/24/20 but did not happen).

I was supposedly to be the mother of the bride. It was supposed to be a lifetime celebration – an important milestone in the life of our family. I have hold off writing or pondering on how I felt or thought since our family accepted the fact that the wedding was not going to happen that day.

Few days before that, I wrote about being resilient and gritty in a crisis. I guess that is what our family is doing together – being resilient (being pliable in the Master Potter’s hand) and gritty (holding tight and not giving up).

You are the Potter, we are the clay. Isaiah 64:8

To be resilient is to spring back to form after a hard knockdown. To get up and move forward. To be gritty is to move forward steadily bravely into the unknown future.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone. But today is the present – the gift that the Giver of life extends to each of us – to you and to me.

I don’t know about tomorrow. Today, I can only live life the best I can by the grace and mercy of my God. I don’t know about tomorrow but I know who holds my hand.

I pray that you do too, my friend. Know the God who holds tomorrow. Trust the Potter who created you in His image.

Remembering Moments of Grace; Thankful to the God of Grace

A journal of thanksgiving for moments of grace written the day after I was discharged from the hospital for my ankle surgery.

About 8 weeks prior to this day, my mom had just passed away. My dad was grieving and deteriorating quickly – unable to eat properly. I broke my ankle because I was groggy from taking sleep aids for my sleep problem. I was often anxious, sad and grieving.. 3-in-1 the combi state of of mind for a mental/emotional breakdown.. Amidst these scenarios, here’s what I wrote:

You’re in heaven still praying for me. Please help me to be brave and learn the lessons the Lord wants me to learn.

July 22, 2016
I used to take for granted the freedom to go to the toilet and pee anytime I need to. I could go to poop whether little urge or not.. no harm to try. Now it’s so much effort – I need to learn patience to wait and wait and wait so as not to waste the effort – the exertion of moving from bed to wheelchair, from wheelchair to the toilet seat; not to waste waking/interrupting the sleep of Abi, not to put her effort of helping me transfer from seat to seat, to push me to the toilet, to hold my leg up, to prop it on the stool..
I thank you Lord for my family. Andrew keeps telling me how much he loves me, holding my hair, kissing me on the forehead, holding my hand, hugging me.

Thank you for Han who helps me take my bath, prepares my clothes, my toiletries, help bring me to the chair in the shower, put on the plastic bag to cover my leg – carefully taping the masking tape to seal the hole, getting behind me to get the water in the right temperature, the right volume so as not to splash all over the floor outside the shower cubicle, for washing my hair, rinsing it, soaping my back, rinsing it, for helping me stand and wiping my behind, for helping me put on my underwear, my clothes, for getting herself wet and help me finish my bath before taking her own. Even Abigail did the same – and they don’t mind that they get wet again even after they had already taken their bath.

Thankful that Han and Abs wake so quick at the slightest call. Thank you Lord that you gave Han the strength to go to work when needed, and to take leave just to help take care of me during the 3 days stay at the hospital. Thankful for Abs’ care during the night – to get up to help me get on the commode, to throw the urine in the toilet and clean it herself even though she could let the nurses or nursing aide do it. Thank u Lord that she can get right back to sleep after all that’s needed to help me. (Abi just started her 3rd year at med school. She and Han took turns caring for me at night. God’s timing is perfect.)

I’m so touched, on her own initiative she brought the Eskinol for me to wipe my face during the stay in the hospital knowing that it’s my nightly routine.

I wanted to make things simple – didn’t want to be too burdensome. But when nurses outside don’t respond after pressing and pressing the button, even 30 minutes after replying that he’s coming but did not, what else to do but to wake your own sleepy child to help you. It’s alright. She gladly does it – even beyond what I asked her to. She loves me. It’s ok – I’m her mom – I took care of her when she was young – when she didn’t even know how to ask for my help.

It’s alright to ask help and receive love from my child. Even though I thought that me at 54 and they about or less than half my age, it’s too early for them to be taking care of me. Shouldn’t it be more in the distant future?

Re-reading this story reminds me God is gracious. In whatever circumstance, I need to be thankful and mindful of small moments of big grace… big things come in small packages if only we’re attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit to teach us godly contentment and gratitude to the God of grace.

Being kind and generous in grief

Life is short… blood is thicker than water… a son is a son no matter what he did…Being magnanimous and kind in grief is possible for one who has big heart… these are some of my thoughts as i read of David in 2 Samuel 18-20.

Context: Absalom, David’s son caused lots of trouble for David. He incited a coup to overthrow his father, King David. David’s men killed Absalom in one of the battles that followed his rebellion.

David mourned the death of his son. He loved Absalom in spite of what he did. 2 Sam.18:31-19:4 So the victory that David’s soldiers gained for him became like a sad defeat! Instead of celebrating the death of a rebel, David was mourning the death of his son.

Joab rebuked David:“You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life, and the lives of your sons and your daughters, and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you; for today I perceive that if Ab′salom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants; for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night; and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.”

Joab told the facts/truth to David:
1) You’re ungrateful to the people who saved your life and that of your family – instead you have shamed them. Why? v.5
2) You love your enemies more than you love your friend. v. 6a why?
3) It seemed that if the commanders and servants were dead instead of Absalom, you would be pleased. v.6b
4) Get up and go out and encourage your servants (those who are alive) v.7a
5) If u don’t, all these people will abandon you (since you did not care for them) v.7b
6) The worst is yet to come than all the bad things that happened to you since your youth. v.7c

And what did David do? The grieving father, got up and took his seat at the gate to fulfil his duty as a king to his people. v. 8

Not only that, i am amazed at the things David did following this event:
1) He attempted to reconcile Israel (10 tribes) with Judah & Benjamin (2 tribes that are loyal to him.) v.9-15
2) He showed kindness to Shimei – the one who cursed him. v.16-23
3) He was kind to Mephibosheth – son of Jonathan his best friend. v.24-30
4) He was kind to Barzillai – v.31-40 the man who showed him kindness.

In grief, David was magnanimous and kind. What a king.. what an unselfish king!

Why do people suffer?

Question… Do you think those who are suffering in the world today are bad people or because they’re worse than others? Ooopsss… This is not a good question to ask especially to those who are suffering!

Jesus asked the same rhetorical question in reverse order. Do you think these people were worse sinners than others because of the bad thing that happened to them?

Luke 13

1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

What are these 2 incidents mentioned in the passage:
1) v. 1 Galileans massacre: Pilate killed Galileans offering sacrifices in the temple.

“Neither Scripture nor secular history gives any more details regarding this massacre, but it is likely that the Galileans, visiting Jerusalem to offer sacrifices, had been caught up in a nationalistic fervor and started a commotion on the temple mount. The Roman governor Pilate quickly and violently quelled the disturbance, killing the Galileans along with their sacrificial animals, perhaps as a public demonstration of how violators must “atone” for their “sins” against Rome.” (taken from https://www.gotquestions.org/Galileans-in-the-Bible.html)

2) v. 4 Tower of Siloam tragedy:

“The fall of the tower of Siloam is not mentioned in other historical records, and, since the Bible gives no more detail of the structure’s collapse, we cannot be sure what the tower was for or why it fell. The tragedy was obviously well-known to Jesus’ hearers. Siloam was an area just outside the walls of Jerusalem on the southeast side of the city. The tower of Siloam may have been part of an aqueduct system or a construction project that Pilate had begun. In any case, the tower fell, and eighteen people were killed in the catastrophe.”

V. 1 tells us that some people told Jesus of the incident of the Galileans killed by Pilate. Who were these people? Why did they tell Jesus of the incident? Because Jesus in the previous chapter, in Luke 12:54-59 criticised them for being hypocrites and judging others. Jesus was teaching them not to judge others but be reconciled to each other.

Jesus knew what these people were thinking. They thought these Galileans were killed because it’s their due punishment for revolting. Jesus used another current event – the fall of the tower of Siloam to illustrate their idea of suffering. People die or suffer because they were more guilty than others (v.4).

Jesus used these current events to stress an important lesson: Repent or perish. All sinners need to turn to God. All have sinned. (Romans 3:23)

Today, the world is suffering. There is physical death. There is also moral decay. Bad people do bad things that cause suffering to others. While it is true that sin causes much suffering, it is also a reality that seemingly, ‘good’ people suffer not because they did something bad. Job is one such example of ‘good’ Biblical heroes who suffered. Joseph and David also suffered.

Bottom line: Jesus negates 4 assumptions people make about suffering. It is not true that…

1) Suffering is proportional to sinfulness.
2) Tragedy is a sure sign of God’s judgment.
3) Bad things happen only to bad people.
4) We have the right to make such judgments.

When we see people suffering, we need to resist judging them. We cannot say they must be guilty of something, as if God is punishing them. Rather Jesus calls for self-evaluation. Look within oneself and take it as a warning to repent. The suffering of someone is not cause for blame but for self-examination.

Whether a person is American, Chinese, Filipino or not, from Galilee or from Georgia, rich or poor, young or old, sick or healthy, educated or not, whether he thinks he’s good or bad, the fact is all people are under God’s judgement unless they repent – turn to Jesus in faith. To repent is turn away from sin.. a change of mind to sin no longer and show this change in action.

Do you believe Jesus, my friend? Read the Bible and know Jesus. Turn to Jesus. Turn or burn. Repent or perish.

Dual Lens of Life

Job 1
20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.

Background of the story: Job just lost everything he had: his possessions (sheep, camels, oxen’s, donkeys, servants) and his family (sons and daughters). Job 1:1-3, 13-19

What was Job’s reaction? He mourned. In olden times, people tore their clothing’s and shaved their heads when they grieved. It is a natural response for man to be sad when there is a loss.

In his grief, falling to the ground and lying in the ground, he worshiped. Job showed us the ultimate worship – worship in the ground, down in the pit of life.

Satan challenged God: Does Job fear God for nothing? Of course, he’s loyal to you because you have blessed his life. Let’s see how he fares when you take everything from him.

We learn from Job that it is possible to be sad and worship at the same time. Worship is not about state of total bliss – everything fine, rosy and cheery.

How did Job worship? What enabled him to worship? Job didn’t know anything about Satan’s challenge. His response: worship from the ashes, is based on two truths he held on to:

He uttered two realities of life in worship.

21 He said,
Truth 1: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.

Job remembered where he came from. He started with nothing. All the rich and famous people, people with wealth, name and status, they all came into the world butt naked. What is there to lose when you have nothing in the first place.

Job knew where he would end. In the grave, he could take nothing with him. All the animals, money and possessions he had, he would leave behind when he dies.

Coming from and going to – these are two sides of the coin of life. The start and the end. Seeing the start and the end changes our lens of life.

Truth 2: The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Job believed that all he had came from the hand of the Lord. It is the Lord, it is not about what Job did or who he is. Job knew the two sides of the coin. Given and taken – his life was given him and his life also taken from him. Everything is from the Lord.

Between these two truths lie a relationship. Job had such intimate relationship with God. He knew himself (his beginning and end). He knew his God (His giving and taking). He viewed his loss and worshipped through this dual lens – who he is and who God is.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

To bless the name of the Lord is to praise God with thanksgiving as much as it is to thank Him in worship.

My Thanksgiving Story

This week is US thanksgiving week. Last night, our BSF group had a thanksgiving fellowship sharing stories how/what we are thankful for – that were brought about by COVID- blessings magnified that would not have happened if it were not for the pandemic.

Here’s mine:

They say “Big things come in small packages.” Do you know what I was happy about? Our helper and I caught 3 rats in the past 2 weeks. 😂

My helper and I have been trying for days to catch one without success. It took a neighbour’s electric zapper to catch Minnie. Mickey must have seen this that the zapper no longer worked. We changed the bait, we moved the zapper. No effect. Finally, our maid caught Mickey by surprise when she put the glue board in the path least expected – in the middle of the day. And we thought that’s the end. Jerry got caught when I moved another glue board to someplace new.

Confession: Why was I happy? Because Mickey, Minnie and Jerry were my small-packaged ‘worries.’ 😢 It’s shameful to say that these trivial tiny packages were my cause-for-concern when so many are suffering in the world today. Yet, God still looks out for me in my petty concerns.

And so let me get to the BIG good stuffs that came out of COVID. The not-so-easy-yet-blessed milestones that happened to our family these past 8 months.

On April 9, Abi (my doc-kid) diagnosed her ama (granny) with pneumonia. God answered prayers as ama recovered at home after a few days and even gained weight in the months/weeks after. No hospitalisation.

On June 12, Hannah flew to Singapore to start a new life. Without God’s grace and mercy, I don’t know how we got through that week.. and even months after till now. We thank the Lord for keeping her through 2 weeks hotel quarantine, and safe and healthy till today.

On July 11, our family witnessed their marriage vows over zoom – thousand of miles apart. I thanked God for her strength and resilience as she walked quite quickly down the short aisle alone and smiling. Never would I imagine that my eldest and first wedding in our family would be like this. God is good – He holds us together in peace beyond human understanding.

On Aug 9, ama finally went home to the Lord. No wake, no funeral. Just cremation the morning after. Praise God for granting hubby the peace and breakthrough in the weeks/months after.. even in our grief, God is with us.

Few days ago, I started writing again. I thank God for my family and friends who are with me when I was/am not in a good place.. when I struggled to stand firm and hold fast to God – listening to lies, doubts, fears sown by the enemy. God does not give up on me even when I wanted to give up. He is faithful even when I was/am not.

It is not easy to be joyful when life is hard… when one is unwell – physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Still, God is in all of these – the good and the not good. He knows, He remembers. He holds the world in His hand. He is with me.

A thankful heart is a happy heart. Thanksgiving is an act of worship. Worship is a lifestyle.

Living life in joyful celebration with gratitude is moment by moment and day by day… one step at a time.

Thanksgiving day is every day as long as there is life.

Happy thanksgiving, dear friend.

Throwing away the Trash

Ezekiel 20

7 And I said to them, ‘Throw away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.’ 8 But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not throw away, each of them, the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they abandon the idols of Egypt.

When I opened my eyes, it’s 2:45am. O dear… insomnia strikes again. My eyes hurt. They have been hurting on and off for the past couple of weeks. When the pain and discomfort started, I remembered my dad had glaucoma. Maybe, I have it too? I told my doctor-daughter. She asked me questions about my painful eyes to investigate my conditions and compare my symptoms against symptoms of glaucoma.

  • intense eye pain? Eye pain, yes. Intense… not really.
  • nausea and vomiting. Nope
  • a red eye. Nope
  • a headache. Sometimes, yes.. sometimes, not.
  • blurred vision. Definitely not!

So why am I worried?! I just am or was or am or was.. going back and forth. “Was” when the pain stops.. “Am” when it gets uncomfortable again!

When I read this morning’s passage from Ezekiel, two times, God said: Throw away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes.. This phrase caught my attention. Detestable is an adjective which describes something or someone that deserves intense dislike. What are these detestable things?

Two times, “the idols of Egypt” was mentioned after the phrase. Detestable things are idols. Come to think about it – quite an oxymoronic phrase. When we say we idolise something or someone, it means we admire or love greatly. How come God said ‘detestable things of his eyes’ not My eyes?

Idolatry is detestable in God’s eyes. What is idolatry? Idolatry is putting anything before God. It is rebelling, or disobeying God – not willing to listen to Him. v. 8a

Insomnia and hurting eyes are not by themselves idolatry. I dislike insomnia and I do not want my eyes to hurt. But when I worry about them, when I become afraid to the point that I forget God and doubt His promises, when I disobey His command to trust Him, then my worries and fears become my idols.

How do I throw out the detestable things? I remember God’s goodness to me in the past. I remember how He was with me through the hard times. Hard times do not last. God’s presence is always. His Word lasts forever. (Isaiah 40:8) “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

I recall the hard times when I was nearing breakdown, suffering from sleepless nights after my mom passed away. I was sad but too anxious for my 92 year old dad. I did not know which was worse, my grief or my anxiety. I could not sleep for days. Sleeping aids were not working. I tried to make appointment to see a psych so I could get help with my insomnia. But the doctor was fully booked till months later.

One night, I cried to God: Lord, I will not take any med anymore. Please grant me sleep. That night I slept like a baby. The next morning, I woke feeling like a normal person again. God listened to my cries.

In the months that followed, my grieving father got seriously ill. I broke my ankle from a bad fall. I had surgery and could not walk for months. I had to accompany my sick father to his dialysis in my wheelchair. We’re a convoy of two wheelchairs from the cars through the hallways, into the elevators to the dialysis center. I saw how he suffered in his sickness. But through it all, God was with me. He sent people to help. He gave me peace beyond human understanding – to experience His love, His all-sufficient grace and unbounded mercy. His mercies are new every morning.

So today, I offer my sacrifice of praise – it’s putting one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. Instead of tossing and turning, “worrying” about my insomnia, I will tell of God’s wondrous acts in my life. I will remember His faithfulness, He is true to His word. What He promises, He always fulfils. I will listen to His Word. Read them and meditate on them.

A song comes to mind:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full into His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace!

Lord, I commit to you my state of mind, each moment each day. Empower me to throw away the detestable things of my eyes – worries, doubts and fears that take away my attention from you. Replace these idols with your Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. I claim your promise that you will never leave me or forsake me but will be with me till the end of time. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

When life is hard…

How I cope with pain… (written on July 24, 2016)

Many know that I’m grieving n missing my mom so.. some knew about my fractured ankle n surgery… a few praying for my dad’s pneumonia..

Amidst all these pain n grief, I believe God has lessons for me. This is my stepping stone to coping. It is so hard. I don’t even know which pain or grief is greater… everything is relative.

So what do I do? I put one foot in front of the other. (Literally, one hanging n the other hopping).. figuratively, it means leaning on God’s arms (thru family n friends, caregivers, drivers n helpers, in words n deeds n much prayers) moment by moment, day by day.

I remember God’s faithfulness in the past. I recall mama’s words of wisdom.. (tears falling now) I look through pictures of happy times with mom n dad, my family, my friends, my classmates, my church friends n childhood memories.

I make a choice each day to be positive in my thoughts..whatever is true, noble, pure, beautiful, worthy of praise, excellence, I think of these things. I grieve with those who grieve, I rejoice with those who rejoice. After my mom passed, I went to two wakes n a wedding. Did I feel good? No. I was grieving.

I am learning that grieving is more than feeling sad and shunning celebrations, and rejoicing not is negating sadness. I was sad with my friends whose parents passed on. I was happy for my friend whose son got married. These are positive things which make my pain relatively more bearable.

It’s been 4 years. I still miss my mom and dad. I guess we can never really get over grief or missing our departed loved ones. For us, Christians, we look forward in faith, hope and love that one day, we will be together again.

Lessons on coping with challenges in life continue… every day a new day to rejoice in the Lord… even and especially in the pandemic world today..

A blessed weekend, dear friend.

How long, O Lord?!

Have you ever wondered how long before this pandemic end? Have you ever cried: How long, O Lord? When? When will the suffering end? When will this testing stop? When will this difficult problem be solved? When will this unlovable person go away? When will he/she change? If you have, hi-5! So have I.

Even King David, the Bible quoted to be a man after God’s own heart prayed this same prayer? How long, O Lord?
In fact, his prayer is one that strikes at the heart of all our whens and whys in the storm of living the Christian life.

Psalm 13
1 How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long will God be silent? How long before God answers my prayer for deliverance? How long will He ‘ignore’ me?

2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

How long do I have to endure this sadness and grief in my soul? How long will I need to comfort myself? How long will my enemy celebrate at my suffering?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
4 And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.

David continues his lament and cries of anguish: Please God, answer me. Open my eyes coz I am dying – in the darkness.. in the midst of my enemies – enemies of anxieties, fears, doubts, sadness, grief, trials abound in my life.. these enemies are celebrating their victories because I am losing.

5 But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

As with all laments, David’s prayers always end positively. He ended with confident proclamation of the Lord’s loving kindness. He chose to rejoice because he knew God would deliver him as He had saved him in the past. How do we know this? Because his last statement said so: I will sing to the Lord because He has saved and given to me abundantly.

Are you in the same boat as David? Are you getting impatient at the long wait, the deep silence and the hopeless struggles with enemies you face each day?

Tell it all to the Lord. I like to pray the words David eloquently uttered in his sorrow and despair. When I have no word, when i do not know how else to pray, I turn to the psalms and pray like David.

Remember His grace and mercy in the past. Recall the moments of deliverance – the times when God has dealt with you abundantly and brought you through the valleys of the shadow of death… how He has rescued you from the stormy sea. Look back, remember and find peace in your soul to sing and rejoice!

You too can do the same, my friend.