Tag Archives: purpose

God’s got it covered

17 Apr

Rejection, betrayal are the two greatest fears women have. And you have had to deal with both. So many women can identify with you, including me (Let’s have coffee one day and I’ll spill the beans) But this didn’t sneak up on God; He has a plan for your future – I am living proof.

That’s a comment I read on a blog post over at (in)Courage. And it fell into place for me today.

At the moment, what’s on is probably what most other people might not recognise as major in my life. But everyone near me and/or who hear my daily outpourings are generally bringing me flowers and chocolate and little notes. My colleagues too – and one of them has had to go be with her family in London. The rest of us don’t have that luxury. But we get chocolates and visits and all that.

Oxford exams are really that big. Exams generally are a pretty big deal, being Asian and all…

Digression: In some parts of Asia, the suicide rates spike up in April and I have research to prove it. Still, taking as I do, my identity in Christ rather than cultural boundaries, I’m very grateful for my relationship with him and with the family I do have!

In addition though, I’ve had a student affairs spike. I’ve also had to negotiate a petty crime, and its fallout in the community. Plus a couple of personal hiccups as you’ve probably figured from that last post of mine 😉 For the record though, I haven’t had personal betrayal – no, not that.

And yesterday, God gave me a much-needed ‘moment’. I called a friend and prayed with her. And she kinda demurred at the prayer… This is a friend with whom I went to church, and we’ve been to a fairly charismatic (you know, pentecostal but not Pentecostal and a fairly traditional Anglican/Presbyterian church together. We’ve been in small group together. We’ve known each other for nearly seven years now. We’ve travelled together, visited each other’s homes. Um, you would assume that we’d be free to pray with each other. But I knew that she wouldn’t actually be so free to pray out loud, even with her family. She told me yesterday that I was important to her and the least she could do is take a day off and buy me lunch – in another city! I’d depend on her to listen in my horrible moments too. But all of this friendship-boasting to show that – no, it wasn’t the easiest thing to pray together.

But hey, I was feeling pretty selfish. So I got online, grabbed a hold of her and said she had to pray with me. That she had to try, and that doing it out loud was a token to ME not even to God, and that He knew her silent prayer but I didn’t. I was at a point of need. So could we please do that? You know – you get the point. I repeat myself generally, but I think this time you got it.

I wanted her to be there and.to.pray.with.me. It wasn’t a major thing. But it was something I didn’t want to do without – the beauty of communion and shared love for Jesus, the vocalising of trust in His provision.

Still I didn’t think it was such a big deal. I thought she’d stumble and pray but she’d pray and I’d have my… silly little token.

Actually, she didn’t stumble. I prayed. She prayed.

Then she said this:

I think you’ll appreciate a random of sequence of events without which this might not have happened.

And the story was this. Over the weekend, her boyfriend had told her she needed to practice to pray out loud. I mean – we all know she doesn’t. We all know she loves God. So then she was amused and didn’t understand and she probably rolled her eyes at the boy. But he made her practice AND pray about it and then said ‘You never know when you might need it.’

And there I was the next day – I wouldn’t have really grabbed a hold of anyone else, and said friend might well have said no, if she hadn’t been made to think about it and consider it necessary. And God showed her how he’d got me covered. And he showed me how he’d got her covered.

And that brings me back to that comment. While facing rejection, fearing it, or uncertainty or betrayal or hurt or simply even just the unknown – I’ve got to know this…

It didn’t sneak up on God.

And now, I’m sitting here thinking how un-random life is in some ways. How very God-like life plays itself out. And how, in a time I needed Him, He put a hand on my shoulder and said ‘I’m watching. I’ve got you covered.’

Shoqed.

Jonah Chronicles

8 Jan

I am reading Jonah. Actually, I have been harking back to this old chap since November… And also Hosea. It started with this conversation:

Me: How can I be forgiven? I, after all I’ve done against you, Lord? Disobeyed you like it’s a relay track?!

God: Do you doubt my forgiveness?

Me: (Unintelligible sound). No, yes, maybe… God, no – I know you do forgive me but what if there are consequences… what if I have despoiled myself from being used in the high purposes that you have called me to?

God: How many times have I forgiven you, over and over again? Your accomplishments are not yours, they’re mine. Anything you have. It’s not your ability to live up to ME, it’s grace… I love you. (I think God whispered this, very softly, into my tears).

And in the depths of my hurt, I sought for an example in the Bible. Something to put before me and take courage from. I thought of Joseph – but he didn’t defy God. Jonah did. In the most stupendously stupid way, he walked right opposite to where God nodded.

So, I thought I would share my recurring journey through this Bible story with you.

Jonah did not just disobey on one scared impulse. He didn’t just flinch from God’s calling – and even that is awful enough, that we would choose to flinch from the one who loves us beyond ourselves, who does exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or imagine. No, no – Jonah took a long series of actions in direct, planned, understanding disobedience to God’s word because he simply didn’t think he, Jonah, could handle it. And he wasn’t honest, unlike this other guy) with God. In Jonah is a man who’d had a lot of interaction with God. He knew God would tell him he could do it, by His strength. He could amazingly, incredibly accomplish all the purposes that God had prepared for him in advance. He knew the plans of God would prevail. And he couldn’t face that conversation again, or face his fears and inadequacies again. So he decided to do a little walking away on the sly – he must have been pretty desperate to hope that God wouldn’t notice. Or maybe he hoped that God would finally give up on his case like he had given up on himself. To live a non-descript coward making no stand for God would be easier – Jonah thought.

So Jonah listens to God, wordlessly. Runs away, heads in the opposite direction, looks for the next flight ahem ship out, buys a ticket, boards and leaves. Really. Not once in all that time does he allow his plaguing conscience to let him reverse track. Not once. He must have been really scared.

Been there? Succumbed to pressure, done what’s wrong even though it’s hurting you physically deep in your heart to know that you are walking away from God?

If you are in that place right now, tell God. Tell Him, actually tell Him you want to do these things He doesn’t want you to do… It’s ironic but it’s beautiful. However hardened a sinner you feel you are, He will be the one to comfort you while you try to hurt Him. I know this. He is… wow.

My heart’s staying

28 Nov

I’ve been thinking about all the reasons why ‘relationship’ sites may and may not work for single girls like me. Single and content, that is. Single and happy is different from single and resistant… Before we get any further, I have to tell you that I did try the whole thing out for a very brief period. That was a personal exercise, something of a step of humility… That story – later. And I also have to say it was great and some of the guys I met (virtually) were fantastic. They shared my faith, were intelligent, well-adjusted and great friends – and no, they weren’t there as a last resort. There are reasons it might work. But here are some of the reasons why online I-don’t-like-to-call-them-dating services did not and might not in the future! These are honest, real and straight out of my curly-haired head.

Firstly, I am one of those people who thinks that this may be just another context for God to use in meeting the right person. Just. Another. Context. So sometimes, I worry about creating expectations in the people whom I do meet. Some people understand that I really do mean what I say about being friends, honouring God… I am able to refrain from giving myself emotionally and spiritually until I know from God. I try – and the rest of any ability I have is through Christ who gives me strength. But what if the people I am talking to don’t? Sometimes they don’t and they do really expect more than a let’s-see-if-there’s-anything-more-to-it attitude.

This brings me to a frequently encountered problem in mine and – I am glad to have recently found – others’ lives. I am just that kind of girl who will not take kindly to being told you love me lightly. No. Go away! Lol. People are conditioned by advertising and peer talk to assume that because a website is billed as ‘serious’, they are meant to fall in love and confess it right away. Should we not be ‘serious’ in our undertakings in such an area before the commercials tell us to anyway? And shouldn’t being serious entail committing every detail to the Lord and letting him speak to you? If you have ever – ever – felt the twinge of attraction that you feel now… DON’T tell the girl you love her. I don’t care if it hurts to keep it in – you would if you did love her until you knew that God had confirmed it to both of you, until you knew that this was in his perfect will and you would be popping a proposal in a little while! We’re meant to protect the ones you love and even on a sister-friend basis, the protection rule applies! Comprende? 🙂 I don’t think I ever want to hear ‘I love you’ in a romantic sense from anyone but the man that God has chosen for me to marry… I don’t want anything but the forever kind of love. And I don’t want to practise while I wait. I think girls do it to guys too – we treat them like they are our forever, before we know. If my guy (*dreamy eyes*) never shows up – you know what? That’s okay because I have met the greatest love of my life in Jesus. I fell hard when I was 10, and I won’t ever recover… 😉

Another reason is that I am fulfilled and happy. I am living the life God has called me to or moving toward it. I am seeking his service. I am finding fellowship. I am excited about finding my someone, in God’s time! I do worry sometimes whether this is only me – am I insensible to a man’s interest, do I block off falling in love out of fear, am I not stepping out in faith? Am I different from other girls? Am I a block of ice? Haha – this last one makes me laugh. I have some guy friends and I think they would gladly testify that I am not unfriendly, not stand-offish and my family and all my friends will tell you I am no block of ice. I have been known to cry for Disney… ‘Nuff said *sheepish smile* But that goes to prove that it’s not wrong… Some of my reading and interpretation of the Bible have led me to decide on this course… Maybe it helps that I grew up in a fairly conservative, Indian home too! No, I am not a block of ice. Yes, I am just as responsive as girls are to men who show them that they think they’re beautiful and intelligent. But that is as much as I would expect from a brother and a friend. I do not give to everyone who looks at me with interest a special part of my heart. I’m saving it, trite as that sounds. Less trite is the fact that I can be objective and not let my emotions or the magic of the moment lead my head. Maybe I even theorise too much sometimes 😉 But unless you have committed it to God, prayed about it, examined your feelings and know me pretty well to not see me on a pedestal or pick me because of my colour, speech, location or some other such superficiality – yes, I probably am going to avoid you on Facebook and other places. Because I really want to try to honour you and to honour God. Okay? Thanks!

TBC… (I’m out of time!)

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