There is this Bible verse that says “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble…seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with You (God), You have appointed his bounds [boundaries] that he cannot pass [his allotted time]”– Job 14:1,5
October, 21, 2022 — It is a blessing to be alive and more than this, it is a blessing to testify that I owe my life, peace and joy to Jesus Christ.
I pray that in all my life, as long as there is breath in my lungs, I will never cease to celebrate Jesus; and I will always find time to thank God every October for the gift of life. Because He is indeed faithful and true.
Every year I get to see another October, my mind travels back to the year 2014, October, and I am reminded of a time in my life when I lived in darkness, the fear of death, constant worries and anxieties, and self-recrimination. I am reminded of a month I was afraid to sleep, to eat, to live, to enjoy life, to have relationships. I am reminded of a month I shut the entire world out, including my beloved friends, in hindsight, not understanding that I was undergoing despair and even exhibiting signs of mental health problems: anxiety disorders, disassociative behaviors, insomnia, hopelessness, and even self-esteem issues.
And no kidding! I was only in my early, early twenties, yet I had life and mental issues from here to another planet. Quoting from last year’s post:
“I remember, I thought I was dying – everyday – I thought I had already seen all my good and bad days, and that the end for me was at hand. I was perennially sickly, battling severe hypochondria for the better part of three years (the years of 2013-2015)…I feared death firstly because I did not know or have any assurance of what happened after death, and secondly, because I had this constant worry that the life that I had lived had not been a purposeful one. My soul was exceedingly vexed by anxieties and there was never a time that I was ever at ease. I was constantly and viciously anxious and worried.”
It is interesting that it is in this same chapter of the book of Job he asks, “If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time I will wait, till my change come.” — Job 14:14
From outside, all one could see was an ever smiling girl, but within: was darkness, failure, condemnation, guilt, despair, rejection, fear and all the other consequences derived from such thoughts, feelings and emotions.
In all this, I had even tried Buddhism, Zen teachings, yoga, meditation, living a carefree life, smoking marijuana (may my parents never see this). I actually thank God that He stopped me in my tracks before I went off the deep-end on God-knows what next!
What a life huh?!!
Then Jesus happened.
One day, I cannot recall exactly when, in the year 2017, I picked up my Bible and began to read. So the funny story behind this is that, as I was practicing Buddhist teachings faithfully (one of the teachings— Zen under Mahayana Buddhism — instructs students to follow the noble eightfold path, which has the discipline of right effort and right mindfulness), I remembered that I had always wanted to be consistent in my Bible reading, and so, I began reading my Bible as my first assignment to right effort.
One month passed by, then another, and I can tell you for real, I was so excited I could not believe that I had actually been consistent for a whole two months! I was consistent to a tee! Every nine thirty sharp – it did not matter whether my favorite show was on, or that I was watching my favorite series, or that I was cooking – I stopped all that I was doing to spend time reading my Bible for fifteen to thirty minutes.
Bit by bit, something began changing, I was changing, my habits were changing…I was waking up happy, joyful, and ready for the day, I began looking forward to life, I began going to church regularly, and like a dying plant, I was being revived and I loved this foreign feeling: which was accompanied by peace – I kid you not: perfect peace was actually the first post I wrote on this blog in 2019 (as this was also about the time I began consistent blogging).
I did not know how all this was happening – I was just so excited and that was that.
Until somewhere early 2019, I attributed the change to the Buddhism teachings. Yet again, Jesus happened – so overwhelmingly that I could not deny that it was Him all along and not Buddha.
Anyway, that was all on a side-note. I get carried away whenever I think of my spiritual journey at times.
God became so transparent; it was like all of a sudden, this dense and thick fog that had been clouding my life was clearing and I could now see how He had gradually been renewing my mind and transforming my life through His word.
It was not meditation, yoga, mindfulness, right action etc., it was not all those things.
It was simply Jesus. It was simply God; who stepped out of heaven, left all His glory, His Cherubim and Seraphim and came into a broken world to show me just how much He loved me; demonstrating to me (and to the world) how much He was willing to suffer that I (we) might experience that unconditional love.
Discovering this, experiencing this love, having the imprint of His love and His promises in my heart has been the greatest gift and treasure in all my life. Now I can die in peace lol!
But for real though, I find that people – like me in the past – are constantly looking within, or at others, to satisfy that empty void in their hearts that all human beings come into this world with. We search for it in people’s approval, pious religion, sex, money, career, power, drugs… you name it! However, as long as that name is not Jesus, nothing will ever satisfy.
Yet Jesus is just a mouth confession away, a heart submission away, a 180° turn away from a self-sufficient and self-driven life.
The Jesus who said that He came so that we may have life and life in abundance.
He is right in front of our eyes; He has always been right here. We need only to ask Him to help us see Him clearly for reason that our blurry vision fails us so frightfully as a result of the jaded perceptions we have had from the world.
And that is why I write about Him. In hopes that one day, even if it is just one person, he/she will grasp that unconditional love of God, experience His loving embrace and in turn, will run with that love screaming like a crazy person to the ends of the earth telling of that love.
As for me, I use this platform to do my yelling, singing, praising, and dancing in hopes that you – who is – reading this post will allow Him to change your life just as He changed mine.
And sooooo, here I am: alive in October, 2022 – not by my own strength, wisdom, knowledge, bribing God, not by my own effort; but by the will of the Father, who watches over my soul because He is not yet done with me, and so that, I may declare His wonderful works to others.
Imagine life is just this simple guys!
Okay… Let’s just be honest, whenever most people hear anything about religion, their first reaction and instinct is probably to cringe or brush off the whole matter entirely.
Why? Most likely because it is a subject that is associated with extreme cases of fanaticism, it brings about a lot of conflicts and controversies, and even offends easily.
Religion is famously known for: manipulation, stagnation, repression, ignorance, bigotry and is too often a threat to liberty. And rightly so. I do agree. With that said, I recommend you to read two of my posts as well as encourage you to do a personal, extensive, and honest research on your own regarding this matter. Why?
As intellectuals (critical thinkers), I believe we owe it to ourselves to interrogate, examine, and ask hard questions regarding matters touching on faith rather than choosing to ignore them or even worse— follow blind faith. Click here for the first post.
Who speaks the truth with regards to a genuine, sincere and true relationship with God? Is it Buddha? Muhammad? Jesus? Zoroaster? Confucius? Joseph Smith? Guru Nanak? Krishna? Among others? Find out on this second post:
My heart overflows with a goodly matter; I speak the things which I have made touching the king: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Psalms 45:1
Thank you for reading this blog. Feel free to share it with others whenever and wherever.🙂