Finding Life

A Facebook friend commented after I posted photos of In-Cosmetics Asia 2016 held in Bangkok, Thailand, which my husband attended, “You must miss it!” She was referring, of course, to the life I lived before in the world of cosmetic ingredients – glamorous and exciting. And I burst out what I had been hiding in my heart these many years, for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, “I super miss it. Sometimes I still feel a painful pinch in my heart when I see photos like this.” That was a portion of my reply.

"GRAPEVINE". My watercolor painting on 9" x 12" wc paper.

“GRAPEVINE”. My watercolor painting on 9″ x 12″ wc paper.

Later, I thought about the exchange and examined it. Was I really still longing for that old life? Do I still want to go back to it? The answer I got was “No”. I feel a longing when I see photos of the world I used to inhabit, not because I am desiring to go back to it, but because I know the happiness and thrill it brought.

How can one go back to a life in the distant past (13 years) when one is a new person?

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

It’s like putting a new wine to old wineskins which the Lord Jesus Himself spoke of.

Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved. (Mat. 9:17)

I have always wrestled with this verse. What is the Lord talking about? But now I get a glimpse of it: A new wine like myself cannot thrive in the old life I used to live, the old wineskin, for after 13 years of walking closely with the Lord, I no longer know how to walk otherwise. Not that that world would be ruined because of the new me, but because I cannot be unequally yoked with it after the Lord has called me for His purposes. I can go, when all this sickness is over, not to work, but to tell of the wondrous salvation from the Lord. To win souls.

But why the longing? Somewhere in the deep recesses of my heart is this wish: I wish that I had known the Lord Jesus while I was at the peak of my career, that I had surrendered my life to Him even then. Maybe then, I wouldn’t have been taken out of it.

If I had known the Lord then and walked in His ways and didn’t make the bad decisions that I made, would I still be there today, working, healthy and strong?

But the saddest thing is – that wasn’t the case. That wasn’t my life. I was successful by the world’s standards, living my dreams, but l was dead in the eyes of God. Let the dead bury their dead.

How deplorable it is to think that there are many people in the world who put up multimillion businesses and have stellar careers, but do not know how to really live.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:4)

No matter how much we deny it – we do not know how to live apart from Christ.

I knew how to live by the world’s standards – competition,  excellence, devising, etc. But with the way I led my personal life – important relationships like marriage and family, and most of all, a right relationship with the Savior – I was the biggest fool. In business, I made the wisest decisions. But in private life, I acted like I had no brains at all.

I didn’t live in virtue; I lived in selfishness. I was just one of millions who walk this earth in selfishness. The world needs a Savior, and indeed, He has come.

That’s why now, I have life. I live. Because of Him. Now, I can honestly echo the apostle Paul’s words:

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him… (Phil. 3:8-9, emphasis added)

This is what it means when the Lord said to lose our lives. Yes, to lose that life that is not really life but death, and to trade it with the life we find in Him. That is the true life. Everlasting life.

He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Mat. 10:39)

This is pure wisdom: To be willing to lose the life that we adore so much and to find ourselves in Him.

It will be hard for some. They will look back with longing of the life they left behind every now and then. Like me. But not to take the first step to go back to it, but to be able to appreciate how much the Lord Jesus had to give to give us life.

A life that will not cease long after this world has.

This is the life Jesus gives. But many of us are not willing to take it. We want to remain as blinds and fools, not knowing what matters most. We only see the pleasures and thrills the world offers; we cannot see the other side, the side where the King of kings reside. Life and glory forevermore.

But even as we live in the Lord, sometimes we still act foolish and make foolish decisions the same way as the world does. Where has wisdom gone?

For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord. (Prod. 8:35)

Sometimes we dwell in coldness and lovelessness. In anger and unkindness. In selfishness. We respond harshly to criticisms that are supposed to help, correct, and improve us. We devour each other even as we call on the name of the Lord and carry His name. Christians.

Yes, sometimes we do not know how to really live, even if the Lord has already shown us how to. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Sometimes we act as if we do not know Him.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Mic. 6:8)

Oh, man! (Put a crying emoji here). What does the Lord require of us?

Do justly.

Love mercy.

Walk humbly with God.

Do we trample each other and grind each other with our unmerciful words? But didn’t you know, oh man, that —

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. (Prod. 16:24)

Our words should bring life and healing!

The letter addressed to the church in Sardis should serve as a warning and reminder:

I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. (Rev. 3:1-2, emphasis added)

Life in the Lord must be fruitful, not barren. 

If you have been blessed by your visit here, I’d love for you to like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. To not miss any posts, I also invite you to subscribe below. Thank you!

Linking up with Sharing His BeautyTrue StoriesTell His StoryWise WomenCoffee for Your HeartFaith Filled Friday.

A Palace Strong and Full of Light

A palace strong and full of light. I love this power-packed combination. I pray that my writing of this will be fruitful for you and me. I had written about each topic before, A House Divided Against Itself and All Light {Lessons from the Mount Part 2}. Why am I writing this again? Because I passed through Luke 11 just recently, this time with my KJV journaling Bible, and aside from the fact that I am slowed down by pondering deeper and writing down the Holy Spirit’s message, the passage spoke to me afresh at a different angle this time. The Scriptures does that to us, doesn’t it?

"STONEHOUSE", my original watercolor painting on 9" x 12" wc paper. (Inspiration: photo from IG).

“STONEHOUSE”, my original watercolor painting on 9″ x 12″ wc paper. (Inspiration: photo from IG).

In the many years of my illness, every time I open my Bible, I am always on the lookout for how God’s Word will speak to me in the light of my sickness and suffering. I strain to dig deep and scratch about the words, verses, and passages, like a hen scraping the earth for bits of food, to look for doors through which I can pass to the other side. The side of healing. And thanks be to God, for I believe that, through the years, I have been fruitful in that regard. Although I have not yet received complete healing, I have had enough strength, hope, peace, and joy to go through it all. For that length of time.

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. (Luke 11:21-22)

I received another epiphany as I read this recently. We are strong and fully armed when we are at peace with God and constantly filled with the Holy Spirit. For when we are full of the Spirit of God, we walk after Him and not after the flesh. And when we walk after Him, we don the whole armor of God and are protected by it from the fiery darts of the devil. We cannot put on the whole armor of God when we don’t walk in step with the Holy Spirit no matter how hard we try. For it is the Holy Spirit that teaches, guides, and empowers us to do those things that God would have us do:

fasten the belt of truth

put on the breastplate of righteousness

shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

take up the shield of faith

put on the helmet of salvation

take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God

pray at all times in the Spirit

(from Ephesians 6)

We can only behave wisely in a perfect way and walk within our house with a perfect heart as David himself had greatly desired (Ps. 101:2) when we follow closely after the Spirit. It would be next to impossible to live in love from a pure heart without the Spirit of God continuously sanctifying us.

The passage above further says that when we guard our own palaces, that is, our bodies, the temple of the living God, our goods are in peace. More than our material possessions, these goods mean our joy, peace, family, important relationships, work, businesses, even dreams. And of course, our health.

I have always believed that because of my sins and the bad decisions I had made before I received salvation, my health and strength were stolen by the devil, and with them, my joy and peace. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy… (part of John 10:10). But now that I am in the Lord Jesus Christ, why am I still ailing?

That, for me, is the question of the century :) .

But the peace, joy, marriage, and family that had been stolen were all restored. These goods I now have in abundance. And other good and perfect gifts I have, which I received from my Savior. So, there’s truly been a different kind of healing for me.

When I was yet of the world, there had not been a strong man guarding my palace to talk about. The devil was a lot stronger than me, that’s why he came and spoiled all my goods, even to the point of death. But even that the Lord has utilized for good. It turned out to my salvation and my clinging to Him tightly to this hour.

But even when we are already of the Lord, there are times we can still be weak against the attacker. That is, when we put our guard down. Weaknesses come in. Fears and unprofitable feelings like discouragement, self-pity, depression, resentments, anger, unforgiveness, joylessness, hopelessness grip us and seem to triumph over us. And yes, even our health becomes poor.

Why? Because we have made the attacker stronger than us. We have become weak against him because we have been divided against ourselves. How so? When we have been beholding the world instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. And when we behold the world most of the time, our mindset and affections are influenced by it. And when we are influenced by the world and not by the Word, the Holy Spirit grieves. And when He does, all manner of problems attack us on every side.

That’s why the Apostle Peter admonishes us to:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)

I think that is the root of our problems: when we look back to the world instead of ahead of us where our Shepherd leads. In the world there is endless lusts, covetousness, envying, materialism, superfluity. The Lord Jesus warned:

“No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

A united palace is a strong palace. A united body is a strong body.

If we focus our eyes on only one thing – JESUS – our eyes are good and we will be full of light. What wonder!

“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.” (Luke 11:34-36)

When we behold what is bad – the world (the whole world lies in wickedness ~ 1 John 5:19) – our body also is full of darkness!

When our bodies are full of light, where will darkness dwell? All traces of darkness will flee! We are strong  – mind, heart, body, and soul – and shining brightly!

“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning.” (Luke 12:35 ESV)

If you have been blessed by your visit here, I’d love for you to like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. To not miss any posts, I also invite you to subscribe below. Thank you!

Linking up with Sharing His BeautyTrue StoriesTell His StoryWise WomenCoffee for Your HeartFaith Filled Friday.

Journey with Jesus,

Finding Our Way to His ‘Yes’

The spontaneous prayer was triggered by a comment on FB. I posted a photo of a present from Dubai from one of our Church’s worship leaders who ministers overseas. Wherever he is sent to, he brings me home a souvenir. Last year was a framed collection of  sands of the Middle East. That had touched a chord in me, rekindling my hope to be healed and be able to travel to distant shores to share the Gospel. This had been my belief: the sands served as a sign that someday, I’d be able to walk on them. But after another year of waiting, adding to the decade before that – the fire gradually ebbed again.

But many of my beloved brethren in Christ who continue to hope and pray for my complete healing expressed their undying faith that, yes, someday, I’ll be traveling and testifying about the love of Jesus. They have that undiminished hope for me, but what of my own self?

I sat at the edge of the bed and prayed, because the discrepancy of the measure of faith between my brethren in Christ and me lay heavy on my conscience.

I told the Lord how my desire and hope to be healed have gradually gone downhill all these years of waiting. My prayer went something like this:

Lord Jesus, I think I haven’t enough desire left to continue to wrestle for my healing. It just petered out without me even realizing it, until now. Other things had made me preoccupied and satisfied that I hadn’t realized I wasn’t that hungry for healing anymore.

Sure, I still pray for it incessantly, but somehow, it’s different now. I know that without robust faith, I can’t possibly receive miraculous healing.

But Lord, if You’re waiting for me to be perfect, that is, blameless and without blemish, before You decide to heal me – then I believe I will never receive it. If You require my perfection before You will heal me, then I think I’ll never be healed.

But I don’t think that’s the way You operate, Lord. You have great mercy and compassion in You to give what I desire and need. That even my lack and imperfections are covered by Your love. All of it – my disease and faults – is covered by Your magnanimous love. And so, I know, that healing could come – because of who You are and not what I do or not do.

For, Lord, I believe I had done everything I knew to try to move Your hand to heal me. For the past decade, I diligently behaved myself before You – cowering in great fear, constant repentance, and humble obedience. I tried everything I knew – having faith that could move mountains, trusting only in You, immersing in the Word and living in it, worshiping, testifying to whosoever would care to lend their ears. And when that hadn’t been enough – to bear and endure unto the end.

But Lord, 11 years had come and gone and I remain unhealed and unable to walk beyond few feet. I’m beginning to think now that maybe it’s not really what I do that will move You. If You really want to, if You’re willing, I know You can heal me in the blink of an eye. And so, I leave it all up to You.

The tears began to tumble down my face. And for me, that is always a good thing. Shedding tears for my Lord and my God is never a waste but an offering. Suddenly, a shift happened inside me. I spoke again.

But Lord, You are all that really matters. Whatever I say, whatever I desire for my life – it is You who really matters. As long as I love You with all I am and You love me eternally – that is all that matters.

Tears streamed down; my body shook in uncontrollable sobs. I received His ‘yes’. His resounding ‘Yes!’ For to desire to love my Savior King with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength will always elicit a ‘yes’ from Him. For this is the first and greatest commandment (see Mat. 22:36-38).

Do you find it hard to receive His ‘yes’? Just love Him. You know His answer to that.

If you have been blessed by your visit here, please like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. Thank you!

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs and Still Saturday.

Journey with Jesus,

Do Unto Others {Lessons from the Mount Part 3}

There is a world of difference between Christ’s command and Confucius’ famous golden rule. The golden rule of Confucius is “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” Or the more popular version: “Do not do unto others what you do not want others do unto you.” Jesus’ command as written in Matthew 7:12 goes like this:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Mat. 7:12 NIV)

Do not do unto others. For example, we will not gossip about others if we don’t want others to gossip about us. But we can do more, and that’s what Jesus’ command is all about. We can rebuke and teach others not to gossip at all, in the same way that we want to be rebuked and taught when we err. Jesus’ version is proactive, Confucius’ is passive. A Christian’s role in the world is wrapped up in this: Do unto others.

This story has been resolved years ago, but I want to share it with you for the lesson it carries.

When I was still well and president of our company, Actichem Marketing Corporation, I had a new employee who became my close friend overnight. We visited clients together and went out-of-town often, and during those hours on the road, we talked. I confided to her, leaving almost nothing about myself and my family. And my problems. One night, I invited her to dinner because I needed her advice. I was at the height of my personal problems and I practically didn’t know what to do. Two-year estrangement from husband. Adultery. Dark, uncertain future. I wanted her to help me because I perceived she was different. I almost suspected she was a Christian because of her gentleness and kindness.

She advised me alright, but in general terms, not the way I had expected a Christian woman would. She did not tell me then who and what she really was.

Even when I requested her to accompany me to my liposuction procedure with a popular cosmetic surgeon, she clammed up. She didn’t speak. She didn’t say it was wrong, it was vanity, and it might not be safe for me.

Weeks after the procedure, I fell ill. On my 36th birthday celebration, I could hardly leave my bed. My office staff gathered around the bed as I told them that I was looking for a Christian Church where I could go and ask for God’s mercy for me. It was only then that she spoke up. She said she was a born-again Christian and was serving the Lord in Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry.

If only she remembered Jesus’ command to “do unto others”, she would have opened her mouth to tell me about Jesus and His love and truth, etc., early on and not later. I am sure she herself would have wanted someone to lead her to the Way, the Truth, and the Life, when she would have found herself in my shoes.

So, you see? It’s not enough that we do not do unto others what we don’t want others do unto us. But we want that others would take action in our time of need. If you see that someone needs Jesus in his or her life, do to him/her what you would have wanted others do to you when you’re lost and your soul is suffering.

I believe we all need encouragement sometimes. Give encouragement to him/her who’s down. You would want that yourself when you found yourself in the same bind.

Do unto others. Move. Don’t be a victim of indifference and inaction.

If you have been blessed by your visit here, please like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. Thank you!

I might be linking up with these lovely blogs and Still Saturday.

Journey with Jesus,