2012 first quarter reflections

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
   test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
See if there is any offensive way in me,
   and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

Reading this passage recently, I realised that God has been searching me, knowing my heart, testing me, and knowing my anxious thoughts in the three months that has passed. Actually, it’s not so much Him knowing me, but me knowing myself and Him. There was a period of deep melancholy where I struggled with my convictions, evaluated my priorities, and considered my duties and (lack of) desires. I remember waking up one day, not knowing what to live for. I went on my knees, but prayer did not give me an immediate answer, nor remove my sense of lost quickly. I just had to move on, plodding through the days with uncertainty.

But God is good, as always, comforting me through His word, reminding me that He’s doing His work silently and invisibly.

Praise the LORD, O my soul;
   all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 
Praise the LORD, O my soul,
   and forget not all his benefits— 
who forgives all your sins
   and heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit
   and crowns you with love and compassion, 
who satisfies your desires with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:1-5

God is the One who can redeem my life from the pit, satisfy my desire (though I felt that I had none or was so weak), and renew my youth like the eagle’s. I believe that He can. I believe that He will.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Yes, this is a season of troubles and afflictions, yet His promise is that they are but light and momentary, and they have a greater purpose: to achieve an eternal glory that far outweighs these troubles that might weigh us down. I believe in this hope.

As I took care of a friend who was very sick during an overseas trip, I tried to asking why God would choose to afflict her with the illness then. I received no answer, and keeping watch through the night, I came to a point where I could pray no more but to just pray, mercy, Lord, mercy. Yet, God gave me three words that brought much comfort as we braced ourselves through the night: Trust His Heart. He offered no reasons for His disciplines and trials, but He does call for me, His child, to trust Him, to trust that He’s good, He’s lovely, and He’s wise. I know this message was not just for the period of taking care of my friend but a message for me as I question what God has given and withheld. And during the stay overseas, I chanced upon and flipped through Henri J. M. Nouwen’s Road to Daybreak. One short chapter led me to realise that perhaps this sense of lost and loneliness I’m feeling is but an opportunity to identify with Christ. Paul wrote of a ‘fellowship of sharing in His sufferings’ (Philippians 3:10). Perhaps, this is the fellowship that God offers me right now, to know what it means to draw into a deeper intimacy with Christ as I suffer. He will be able to empathise and minister to me because He has suffered as well.

I do not know when this period will pass or where it will lead me to, but I know I need to trust His purpose and control in all these.

Trust His heart.

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