Run to the Well

I open my Bible to Psalm 145 after a whole-day Sunday worship service. There shouldn’t have been a need for it considering that I’ve just been to church, but all day, and all week for that matter, I had waited for a touch or inspiration from the Lord, but until this Sunday afternoon, I remain – untouched, uninspired. All day as I watched the live streaming of our church’s worship service alone in the bedroom, I felt like I was barely getting by. I couldn’t immerse my whole heart and mind into it. Maybe it’s because of my back and abdomen that were making me breathe through the mouth. Or maybe I’ve just become…dry.

Run to the Well

So, here I am with my journaling Bible opened to Psalm 145 with my glittery pens and colorful highlighters. I’m running to the well. I am going to glean bits of fallen barley stalks. I may not be like those harvesters that gather the barley in armloads, but I can be Ruth who picks up after them, what they have left behind. It feels like that for me. Gleaning is hard work and at the end of the day, we only have as much barley as a rectangle of cloth can accommodate. But Ruth went for it day after day, and she and Naomi never got hungry.

Sometimes we feel that God is distant (or maybe it’s the other way around?). I have been begging Him to enable me to travel. I have a renewed desire to pursue this petition relentlessly. I believe that traveling would definitely bring a fresh change into my life. But that isn’t happening.

I couldn’t feel Him through Sunday worship and I think that another prayer (with me not really into it) won’t make a difference. There is a need to run to the well.

If we are thirsty, we need only to draw near the well and drink.

I begin to read Psalm 145 and I marvel at David’s outpouring of praise and worship. It’s like a shimmering rain of gold dust from heaven itself. I am not feeling what David was feeling. But I forge on. I am journeying through God’s truth.

I know what Psalm 145 says.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.

I have often put these words beside what I experience everyday and there has been a gnawing, painful question in my heart of the difference between these words and my daily experience of sickness and suffering and not being able to walk, do things, and travel. 

I ponder on the Shepherd and what the Bible tells about Him: Going through all the villages and healing all manners of sickness and disease. And there is something I definitely do not understand.

And maybe this has put a distance between me and the Lord Jesus in my heart. Still, I do my best to follow Him closely and love Him fervently.

I read and reread Psalm 145. I write my gleanings beside it. I even make them elaborate by putting them in boxes and drawing flowers around.

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.
The Lord is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.

You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him.

(Selections from Ps. 145).

Nothing amazing happens. But I close my Bible with a somewhat satisfied heart. I continue to sit in quiet like Mary at the feet of Jesus. So, I continue to wait. Two mornings later, He leads me to Ephesians 3.

that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:16-19, emphasis added)

There is a need to grow my roots deeper. To drink more often from the Well.

But can I ever begin to comprehend the boundless love of Christ? I believe that it would take eternity to do so? I sure would like to know the love of Christ translated into comfort and peace and warmth and joy in my heart; translated into health and healing and rest in my body.

I sure would like to know this love that passes knowledge translated into dreams and prayers turning into reality and testimony.

So, I keep quiet and wait. I wait for Him at the well: here in His Word. Even when I reenter the flurry of daily life, I will be waiting for the Lord’s touch and movement in my life.

To wait with an expectant and restful heart is blessing enough.

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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,