“The Wrestlings” Discussion {Chapter One}

It’s been a week since I published my new ebook The Wrestlings Along the Narrow Path and offered it free to all my blog subscribers. I thank everyone who signed up and my old subscribers who messaged me requesting for a copy. Every time I send a copy to someone, I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve. It feels like serving a piece of bread and a portion of fish to anyone who wants to partake and it is a blessing! Thank you for letting me serve you!

As you have found out, this ebook is just short, and maybe, some of you feel that it leaves much to be desired. I didn’t want to stretch it on my own, beyond what the Holy Spirit had inspired me. But today and every middle of the week, we will try to discuss each chapter here (and maybe you can also share your reactions? :)).

Below is an excerpt from Chapter One and it’s what we’re going to talk about today (for those who have read this part, you may not read it again here):

“A Testimony

In late-2003 through 2005, Illness bound me in bed. In the mornings after prayer and difficult breakfast, I sat on the bed and looked out the window to the garden of our neighbor, a young family like we were. The family was always happy, laughing robustly, eating meals together, the kids carousing in the garden. Ours was barely living according to the world’s standards: husband struggling with the management of our company which he just took over from me because I was too sick and weak to carry on, daughter in pre- school experiencing depression because of her very sick mom, family not eating, laughing, or going out together.

I gazed longingly out the window and my heart was overcome by great sorrow. And envy. Tears flowing down my face, my soul hungered endlessly for things to be better, but it remained unsatisfied. I looked long at the mother who was about my age. How does it feel to sit there in her place, exhaling all that fresh air, watching her kids play, and feeling well and happy?

How I longed to be in her place! Envy was painful. The Lord Jesus Christ must then be my everything to survive.

I would turn to my songbook and sing praises to God until all my grief was poured out. I would plunge myself at His feet and beg, beg Him to make everything alright for me and my family.

Then, envy and hunger became too much to bear I wanted to go away. I must escape it all. It was too painful to look and listen.

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Mat. 5:29 NKJV)

But, despite our efforts to look for a new home, it was the Lord’s good will for us to stay where we were. Our family focused on serving the Lord faithfully, trustingly following Him wherever He led us, ever looking to Him for strength, light, and hope.

With 2006 came gradual, sweet healing from the Lord. This brought me and my family to Church’s crusades in different parts of the country and we were cruising through life victoriously! In 2007, though not fully well and strong, I became pregnant with our second child, a son. Our neighbor had now been a year away from their beautiful home and garden and had chosen to live near their kids’ schools instead. Heavy with child, I received a call from this neighbor who was offering us to sell the garden portion of their home. They were not coming back and they were selling their property.

We bought their garden, brought down our wall and our masters’ bedroom’s wall, and built french doors and patio opening to the garden.

Now, our garden is a constant witness to our celebrations of God’s goodness and faithfulness in our life. “

Discussion:

It may appear to some that I might have secretly coveted our neighbor’s property and of course, that is a great sin. I cannot deny the fact that I did covet, but not their property, for we have our own and we were willing to find another home, somewhere quieter and more spacious maybe, where I could be happy. I know deep within my heart that I coveted what they had which we didn’t have then: their family’s happiness and celebration, their joy. I wanted our family to bask in those, too. Which, I believe, was not a bad thing.

A sister in Christ, an elder in Church, when she came to visit before and I told her about our having acquired our neighbor’s garden, even kidded me that maybe I cast them out. God forbid! I will never do such a thing!

But what I really want us to glean here is how the Lord had richly blessed us, giving all the desires of our hearts. When we, as a family, surrendered our life to Him, yielding ourselves to the suffering and hardships and following Him willingly and humbly wherever He led us despite of the trials we were going through, He blessed us. When we humbly obeyed and trusted, casting all our cares upon Him, He saw it all. This is a manifestation of the Lord’s promise in Matthew 6:33:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mat. 6:33)

Maybe you have heard this too many times it seems it hast lost its power and meaning to you. But God’s words and promises will never pass away (Mat. 24:35). When we single-mindedly sought His kingdom by fervently worshiping Him, bountifully giving to His work, faithfully supporting crusades, and immersing ourselves to His Word, prayer, fasting, praising, He added all these things to us, and more: healing, happiness, peace, joy, rejoicing!

So, what is the important lesson here?

When He is first in our lives, He will not hesitate to bless us according to our hearts’ desires.

I’m linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,

Comments

  1. jdukeslee says:

    How timely. I’ve been meditating on the Matthew 6:33 verse since Monday, when it came up in Bible study. Thank you for your thoughts, for sharing with #TellHisStory.

  2. Betty Draper says:

    I so understand your envy concerning the neighbor garden. Through the years we have given of our self to over seas mission but now we serve stateside. At the time we are renting but my desire would be to have our own home someday. I walk on a streed titled “Hope St.” There I pour out my hopes and dreams for this house. But I have come to realize my hopes and dreams were owning me because I cease to be thankful for the rented condo we were living in, for what God had already provided for us. It’s been a well learned lesson just as your was. Good timely post for me. Blessings

    • RinaPeru says:

      Envy, when left unchecked, will try to own us and we will lose our perspective. We thank the Holy Spirit for nudging us so we would realize how far we might have strayed :( and return us into the Lord’s presence. Blessings, too!

  3. Hazel Moon says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of envy and grief, that turned into the joy of a new garden. Thank you for sharing at Tell Me a True Story.”

    • RinaPeru says:

      I thank God for every opportunity to tell my stories, dear Hazel. It’s my fervent hope that these will bless every reader.

  4. HisFireFly says:

    He knows, always knows what we need
    what will bring Him glory
    and He offers in His time

    thank you for sharing the bitter with the sweet

    • RinaPeru says:

      Exactly – “He knows, always knows!” I love this verse that tells of God’s complete knowledge of us: “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” (1 Cor. 13:12 NLT)

  5. laura says:

    Yes, God sees our obedience and faithfulness and longs to give us all good things. Thank you for sharing your dear heart.

  6. mary ann vidal says:

    Bel. Ate Rina,
    May I request for a copy of your ebook…. GOD bless you in return..
    Thanks po

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