December 19, 2012

Christmas Miracle

There once a time when every child believes in one thing called miracle. It was a time when they believe in magical creatures as the fairy tales told them. A princess being awaken by a kiss by her true love, magical carpet flies and takes you to anywhere, gifts from Santa Clause each year, and other kinds of impossibilities turn to possible in their imaginations. It was a time when a child believes they can do anything, be anyone whom they want to be. No hesitation in answering what they want with eyes full of wonder and belief that they will receive it. Yet as time goes by, as children turn to adults, miracle almost sound like an alien to them. It is getting hard to believe what they do not see moreover what most people think as impossible. 

What is a miracle actually? It is more than simply the impossible turn to be possible. It is the supernatural intervention of God in crisis of life. We know that it is so natural to feel devastated in the midst of life's problems. It is natural to think how big our problem is and wonder how would we overcome it. But miracle does not happen when we merely use our physical eyes and our measurement of the problem's size. It always begins with courage to open our spiritual eyes and dare to believe on what God can do with our problems. Miracle can only occurs when a seed of faith that God can do all the impossible is being planted deeply in our hearts.

"For nothing is impossible with God." -Luke 1:37

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). He is still the God who opened Sarah's womb so that she conceived and gave birth to Isaac on 90 years of age (Genesis 21:2). He is the God who opened the Red Sea and let Israelites crossed it (Exodus 14:21-22). He is the God who made the sun stand still as Joshua prayed so that Israel would defeat the Amorites on that very day (Joshua 10:12-13). He is the God who made Gideon defeated the Midianites and Amalekites and all the children of east which was so great in their numbers as the sand by the seaside with merely 300 men (Judges 7). He is the God who make virgin Mary conceived and gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Saviour or the world. He is the God who made the blind sees, the lame walks, the deaf hears, the mute speaks, the sick heals, the weak strengthens, the fearful to become courageous. God did so many miracles in the past and He still does miracles every day in our lives. So the question is not whether God is still make miracles or not but rather does He find a heart that believes in miracles and by then allowing Him to accomplish what He is going to do?

"For the eyes of the Lord behold all the earth, and give strength to those who with a perfect trust in him.." - 2 Chronicles 16:9 [Douay-Rheims Bible]

Is there any circumstance that you find it hard to deal with? Bear it with patience, for miracle is on its way. Do you believe it? Sometimes God changes our circumstances immediately, but most of the time he allows some time to build up our faith upon Him. The miracle is not the main thing, but Him. It takes a huge shifting from seeing what we want to occur with whom we meet in the journey, God himself. And our eyes can only see Him behind the scene arranging his beautiful plans as we maintain the light of hope to glow in our hearts. 

Hope is like a glimpse of light in the pit of darkness. Although it is just a tiny light, but it strengthens and gives reason to walk toward it. Living with small light is still much better than having no light at all. Sadly, too many people shut down their light of hope. They get discouraged. They get stuck in their circumstance and even grow bitter. And that is what gives hindrance for miracle to come true. Without any hope that you will harvest someday, you will not sow anything on the ground. And even the rain comes and waters the soil, there won't be anything grow in it for there are no seeds planted. Keep up your light of hope, for we will reap if we do not grow weary.

"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." -Galatians 6:9

The difference between our dreams and reality is ... time. We want our dreams and miracle happens right now, but God simply knows the best time for it. Anything that is easy to get will be easy to let go. Things that we wait for quiet a time will always gives us greater satisfaction than things we wait for a second. But again in the end, it's not about the miracle, but the One who makes it. It's all about God. And it may take some time to realise that the greatest miracle in our life is Jesus Christ. It doesn't sound sophisticated nor trendy, but it is true. God's greatest intervention in your life is when He died at the cross for our sins. It is when we are in the crisis of life and having no hope to restore our relationship with God, Jesus came. Meek and unnoticed. A life-changing act who changed us from a notorious sinner to a noble saint. It is all because of him alone. 

So on this Christmas, I reduce all my wish lists. I want to know Jesus for who he really is. And if it takes storms to know how powerful He is to calm it down, then let there be storms in life. If it takes moments of darkness to know that he is light, then let there be darkness in life. If it takes ordinary days to know his simple blessings of life, then let there be gratitude for each day. I run and chase for temporary 'miracle' but I realise that I already have one. I waited for His intervention in my problems, but I realise that He already did 2,000 years ago at the cross. He is still the One who says, "Be still and know that I am your God (Psalms 46:10). I was blind but now I see. I do have problems but now I know that God is in control. Jesus is my miracle and as I grow to become more like Him, then I will be a miracle for someone's life. Isn't that what Christmas is all about? :)

To love means loving the unloveable.
To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.
Faith means believing the unbelievable.
Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.
-Gilbert K. Chesterton

I wish you all a very blessed Christmas this year :)

Leticia Seviraneta

December 10, 2012

The Gift to a Man

As the love touches a human's heart, the spring has begun. All the world just seems so beautiful, seems so right. We smile, we laugh. No wonder people who watch us think that we are so blind and deaf. It seems like we're living in another world, an alien to their world. Some give gifts, some give services. Some praise, some encourage. Some pursue,some wait. Some sing, some listen. Some write letter, some read. All of these things are the outflow when you love someone. You can never finish to list on crazy things people will do driven by such an emotion of love. Amazing isn't it? If love as an emotion can do that, what would it do as a life-time promise? How would it look like?

When love has been transformed into a covenant, its quality will not be decreased through times as many 'love' do. Its love isn't based on physical appearance, yet the outworking of unconditional love. The world keeps focusing on the outside, yet God sees the inside. The spirit which keeps growing over time in love of God will always find its beauty until the end. And that is captivating. And that is what makes covenant love become more beautiful beyond words. The covenant love has one theme: commitment. It promises to never leave their partner no matter what happens. It motivates effort to make the journey of love becomes more enjoyable and not just merely enduring. Of course, it takes hard work from both parties. It takes a sacrifice of ego and only seek how to please their God and partner. Since the journey will not be easy, maturity is definitely required. 

We often think that love begins in spring. Yet it actually begins far before the coming of spring, the winter time. Many people expects to enjoy the smell of blooming flowers without enduring heart preparation during the winter time. A blessing can only be a blessing when its receiver is ready to handle it. We can't give a car to children, we can't give solid food to a baby. There is always a step by step process behind it in order for the gift can be utilized well. So does love can only be enjoyed when the two individuals has developed enough maturity to handle it. Before its season, love could bring only heart-breaking experience. Have you ever being in a relationship which drains your emotion, time, and energy so bad? Have you ever expected badly and not getting its return? There are two possibility reasons behind it. It may be that our hearts have not ready yet or we were in a relationship with a not-ready person. But how to prepare to be the ready one?

1. Be content with your relationship with God and yourself

Many women suffer from poor self image and lack of compassion from loved ones. There is a hole in their souls in which they try to fill it with temporary things. There is always not enough clothing, shoes, bags, make-ups, or even men to fill their needs.  Have you experienced opening your closet filled with clothing but only to find that you have 'nothing' to wear? Or perhaps 'nothing new' to wear? Isn't it easy to feel not content with what we already have? We always seek for another thing only to find it gives temporary satisfaction. Soon, the hole can be felt again.

God has designed humans' heart to be whole only when it is filled with His presence. Other things will be gone, only Him remains forever. Don't seek your happiness from else where, seek it in God alone. Cultivate intimate time for Him. Pray. Know His Words. And be content with the abundant love He is showering upon you. Before you get your relationship with God right, any other relationship  will only turn wrong. Know the truth of what He thinks about you. He regards you as his precious daughter. You are His princess. He does not look at what you wear, what you do and don't do, he simply loves you because you are you. 

"Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life." -Isaiah 43:4

Stop saying bad words to yourself. Use His truth that you are His beloved. If you gain weight, simply say, "That's okay, I will exercise more then." Don't condemn yourself by saying, "Oh no! I'm fat! I'm fat! I don't want to eat" Grow a healthy self image and cultivate your relationship with God. A relationship will only be as healthy as the individual on it. Do a favor for the sake of yourself and your future love relationship.

2. Be determined to develop maturity

Maturity is the goal of every Christians. Yet in order to be mature, there should be a change. You can change but not growing, but you can't grow without changing. Many people refuse to change the way they are now which they know exactly not good. We know that we are impatient, yet we think that we are wired that way anyway. We know that we are easily angered, but we feel it is so hard to change. You can only grow when you keep making decision to let the old you dies and seek to grow becoming who God wants you to be. God called you to be Jesus' representatives on earth. He is definitely patient, full of love, not easily angered. He is perfect. Of course we can't be 100% like Him. God even promises that we shall be like Him as He comes for the second time. But until then, determine to grow as close as you can to become like Him. Can you imagine a love relationship with someone who is like Jesus in everything he/she says, thinks, and does? Would not it be a blessing? Start from yourself. Be like one. No matter how many rational reasons you have to act rudely, decide not to make people harder to love you before you commit any action. 

Another treat of maturity is taking responsibility. Don't blame others for your condition. People can do evil things toward you, but the happiness is still your choice. You can choose to be responsible for your own happiness. 

It is no longer a secret that age doesn't guarantee maturity. When people stops learning, they stop to become mature. Keeps learning. Henry Ford once said, "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." Learn from successful people in special area. If you want a happy marriage, learn from those who have one. Do not simply 'go with the flow' and expect to reap a good harvest. Read a book. Go to seminar. Be determined not to stop learning. 

You can be sure people have a high level of maturity when they can prioritise others above themselves. Children are naturally think about themselves only. That is why it is hard to find a child who can give his favourite toys to his sister. The same thing with us. Our level of maturity can be seen through our ability to care and give to others.

3. Know your purpose in life and pursue it with all your might
What is your God-given purpose to you? What are your goals? People who have purpose in their lives are attractive. They have passion and zeal to conquer every challenge that comes along. When you have clear purpose, you are less likely to become a needy partner. You know what to do and why you must do it. Once you know your purpose, you can adjust your expectation for your partner who wants to go into that direction too. Marriage is a teamwork. It is extremely hard to fulfil your purpose when your spouse pulls you in the opposite direction. 

Someday, somehow, you will share these gifts to your special man. The most precious gift a woman can give to a man is not simply a physical beauty, but a wholesome soul. A heart which finds its happiness only in God alone, content with what she has, seeks growth, and focus on serving people to fulfil God's calling in her life. At the time you are ready, God is more than able to bless you with a Godly partner and a covenant love relationship. 

Be blessed.

-Leticia Seviraneta