Meditating on Psalm 145.
I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
2 Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable. (vv. 1-3)
Now, we know that God is the source of love – pure, powerful, undying. God is love (1 John 4:8). He weaves bittersweet, yet, beautiful stories out of our lives. Psalm 145 is definitely a beautiful psalm that merits a story that will tug at our heartstrings. I read the psalm and I couldn’t help but put it side by side with the testimony I heard recently in our Church.
Psalm 145 extols the splendor of God’s majesty, His wondrous works and awesome acts, His greatness and goodness, compassion and mercy! How do we make this psalm become alive so that we can experience – hear, feel, taste – it to the full? I have a story for you.
I have written about Brother J before on this blog (I didn’t take the time to locate it – sorry!). The reason I can’t use his real name is because, his parents were advised not to divulge personal information about him while the case is on-going, except for the testimonies his father shares in church. To give you a brief background: Brother J surrendered his life to the Lord in his youth. Though he was the only one saved in the family, this didn’t deter him to serve the Lord fervently. He shared the Gospel to his father but he was only laughed at. His father was fiercely religious in the traditional way, bowing and praying before graven images.
Brother J wanted to help his family financially, so he applied for work abroad through an agency. He believed that the Lord would guide and protect him especially that he was young and innocent in the ways of the world. To make the story short, Brother J was hired to work in a factory in China. The day he would leave for China, he was instructed by the agency to fly to Singapore first, meet someone there, then proceed to China. As innocent and unsuspecting Brother J was, he met with the man in Singapore, received the parcel given him, then flew to China. At the airport there, he was at once handcuffed and whisked away to prison. He was accused of being a drug mule.
It’s been 5 years since that happened. His parents have long received the Lord Jesus Christ and been serving Him faithfully, often offering prayers and fasting. The father, Bro. Billy, has joined the Adults Choir. Every time he testifies, I cry. I cry for his son who’s languishing in jail in China. And I pray for him, too. Brother J’s original sentence was life. He didn’t waver in his faith in God. He praised, worshiped, and prayed. He requested for a Holy Bible and in the darkness of the prison, shared the Gospel to his fellow inmates. Even those who oversee the prisons took to him. The next time he was evaluated, his sentence was reduced to 26 years, then 18, then 14, and now 12. He’ll be evaluated again soon and the ardent prayer of the parents and the Church is for him to be freed already.
The Lord upholds all who fall,
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing. (vv. 14-16)
Just recently, Brother J’s parents traveled to China to visit him. They were allowed by the Chinese Embassy at last. From Manila to China, Bro. Billy did nothing but pray and weep that they’d be able to touch and embrace their beloved son. They were told by the officials in the embassy that they could only see him through a thick glass and talk to him via telephone. But Bro. Billy was praying for a miracle. He wanted to embrace his son who was painfully missed.
Even when they were ushered into the receiving room, Bro. Billy didn’t stop praying and crying until his voice was hoarse and his eyes were red and puffy. While bowed down in his seat, someone put a hand on his stooped shoulders. When he looked up, he couldn’t believe his eyes! His beloved son was standing before him with his open arms. Hallelujah!
The Lord is righteous in all His ways,
Gracious in all His works.
18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He also will hear their cry and save them. (vv. 17-19)
Brother J’s fervent love for Jesus Christ sees him through his hardest trial. It is actually Jesus’ love working powerfully in him. “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
The Lord preserves all who love Him… (v. 20)
(Photo courtesy of my cousin Bill Raras).
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Journey with Jesus,