Though it hurts, yearning is good for my heart, that yearning for the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know that kind of deep yearning, one that is borne out of desperation? That yearning that I am sure the woman who bled for 12 years had, or the leper who begged the Lord, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean”, or the father of the child with a dumb and deaf spirit who cried out with tears, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief!” Or Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue whose daughter lay at home dying.

This was just a quick sketch and dabble and though it's quite unfinished (the other flower needs more color), I enjoyed painting it just for the joy and freedom of painting.

This was just a quick sketch and dabble and though it’s quite unfinished (the other flower needs more color), I enjoyed painting it just for the joy and freedom of painting.

These all and many others had gone through indescribable desperation and sought the Lord Jesus’ help. I know there are still many out there that, like me, are going through the same. But that is the big difference between our stories and those stories in the Bible during the time of the Lord Jesus Christ: they had Him in the flesh, going about all the cities and villages, healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 

And that is where my yearning cuts deep: I want Him so much to be here, in the flesh, to see His eyes of compassion and feel His hands of mercy and healing. To be before Him, begging Him on my knees to deliver me from my sickness and suffering. Or even to crawl behind Him and be able to touch even the hem of His garment, then everything will be fine. Then healing would flow to my body and all would be well.

I long for Him, yes, so much that it hurts.

Sometimes I wonder, does He know our deepest longings? How does He feel about them? What does He want to do about them?

The Gospels tell us that, He was moved with compassion. And since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8), He is still moved with compassion today.

He is still moved with compassion today. Let this truth steep our whole being from the crown of our heads to the soles of our feet.

But we need proof, don’t we? We want to experience this compassion in action from a compassionate God. We want to bask in our belovedness. For we are His beloved and He is ours.

Years ago when I was very sick again and languished in bed, I experienced the same yearning for God, to know His heart, to see His eyes. What did they see? What was their expression?

One day I was reading through The Book of Daniel and that encounter between him and the angel Gabriel touched me deeply that I had to put down my Bible and pondered on it. Gabriel told Daniel that He was a man greatly beloved. Three times the angel assured Daniel this, that he was a man greatly beloved by God.

How I wished I were in Daniel’s stead!

I closed my Bible and thought long and hard: “Am I also a woman greatly beloved by God?” I was no prophet. I hadn’t the wisdom or the faith and calling of Daniel. I was a woman whose sin was darker than the darkest night. And yet a woman who had received great mercy and grace from the compassionate God and complete forgiveness of my sins. And had been washed by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that flowed profusely in Calvary.

Didn’t He give His life to give me mine?

He loved me and died for me even when I was yet a sinner. So, am I a woman greatly beloved by Him? Is there doubt about that?

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

But, I ask Felix my husband in a whisper, “Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why does God even allow it? Even to His children?” as I swipe away tears that sneak out at the corners of my eyes. He whispers back his reply, “I don’t know, My.”

And so we yearn. We long for His touch, for His eyes that look at us compassionately and being moved by what He sees. We long for heaven touching earth and healing everything that needs healing.

This deep longing, this yearning in the heart that is not totally quenched in the here and now – it is proof that we belong to Him eternally. That our hearts and souls carry with them a part of eternity. And that our longing hearts are proof that our love is not dead but is forever alive and beating for Him.

My heart beats for Him. And that is good.

The last time that I came through one of those horrible sufferings, I only felt love for my Savior – a quiet, steadfast, indestructible love – all glory to Him! I listened to praise and loved on Him, then I reached for my prayer journal and told Him how He is my all in all, my everything in every aspect of my life. How I live in Him and by Him and through Him. And for Him.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18)

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The Exquisite Workings of Love {The Testimony of Bro. Billy Dela Fuente}

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,