For me it is very important to try to "feel" the very source of all these energies in this world because it is where I can draw my strength that give me courage to keep moving on.
STEWARDSHIP BY GRACE:
We have a varying notion of God: sometimes he is like a loving father who provides us with the things we need but disciplines us when we commit mistakes; we also attribute God with power and miracles; always with bounty and success; and, many pray to God for healing and comfort. We also believe that God is our creator, the beginning and the end, and can exist everywhere at any one time. For me it is true that God is everywhere because everything that we can see, touch, smell and feel manifest God. They are glaring evidences that God exists. Undoubtedly, it is through God’s grace and will that we come into existence to live simply and naturally together with the plants and animals of this earth. From the beginning, God made us as stewards or caretaker of all these natural resources. Our duty is supposed to be to conserve and take care of them; and to harvest and eat what we only need. But we defied God’s will and because of our greed and self-interests we began to abuse and destroy the things that we were supposed to take care of. As a result, we are now suffering the consequences of our deeds: pollution, diseases, hunger, political instability, crimes, wars and restlessness. When we do not follow God’s will, there is a corresponding “punishment” that we should endure emotionally or physically and it does not matter whether you are innocent or part of the perpetrators.
It is clear that we are only stewards of all the things whether living or non-living and even person(s) of this world. We do not “own” anything or anyone; not even our life. I think that it would be better that before we decide on something, we should always pray for grace and guidance; and obey God’s will not only to be peaceful and joyful, but also to overcome our pain and suffering during our trials. At all times we should praise and thank God.
PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL STABILITY BY GRACE:
One time during our plane trip to Manila with my wife and two daughters, I prayed: “Lord, if it is your will that we will be safe throughout our flight, we praise and thank you Lord God Almighty”. Praying is not always about asking or petitioning. Sometimes it is to anticipate what God has planned for us. Also sometimes, what we pray for is not granted. Just the same, we must also praise and thanks God. We must trust God no matter what happens. God is faithful and wants us to be strong and obedient to the Holy Will which is love and mercy.
Forgiveness By Grace:
I still remember this story told by our fellow member in our Christian community about our fellow member in Manila who is a prominent businessman and have a big house in Antipolo, Rizal. One day as he arrived from work, he found out that their house was robed and the robbers even raped his daughters. He cried in anguish as he tried to comfort his daughters who are still in shock due to their harrowing ordeal. Despite what has happened, the Christian lesson on forgiveness prevailed in his mind. He prayed for grace that justice be given to their family and he be given the grace and courage to forgive the persons behind the heinous crime. The robbers were caught and jailed. He visited them and said that he has forgiven them for what they have done but they have to suffer the consequences for the crime they have committed.
It is difficult to forgive especially when someone has hurt us a lot but with the grace of the lord our God, it becomes easy. Forgiving is not about forgetting but it is an effort to move on with God’s grace and resolve not to dwell too much in the past. When you have truly forgiven someone, you have freed yourself of the harmful effects of anger and anxiety to your body and mind. There are many sick people in the hospitals and unfortunately also around us whose sickness is rooted in anger, fear and un-forgiveness.
Acceptance By Grace:
Sometime ago, I watched a man speaking in a news channel. He wants that field trips be abolished in the school curriculum because his youngest daughter who is in her second year high school died in a freak accident during their field trip. The bus driver kept the engine of the bus running in neutral gear to maintain the air-conditioning and got out of the bus, and maybe not noticing or overlooked that the bus is in a slope. The bus started to move and it is too late for the driver to stop the bus that run over the girl. The whole family was in grief over the death of their family member. The father in his anger started to question the necessity of field trips. Of course, if it is not for that field trip, her daughter should still be alive today.
It hurts deeply, thinking that after nurturing her for so many years and providing her with a good education to ensure her good future, she will only die in an accident. Maybe the father is asking what they have done for God to punish them severely. Maybe in his grief he hated the bus driver so much for being reckless and stupid. It is normal to grieve but we must also remember that accidents do happen and maybe it happens because we did not pray for grace of our Lord our God. Maybe it happens because God wants to test us to become strong and more faithful in the end. Again, even the person(s) that are close to us are not “ours” even if we love them so much. They can be taken away from us anytime the Lord wants. They are only our co-stewards. Again, forgiveness is a must.
WHOLENESS BY GRACE:
There are many instances that we should pray for grace of our Lord our God. When you are afraid that someone might leave you. When you are sick and you have a fear of death. When you are jealous of someone and you hate him so much. When temptation is too much to bear and you are about to give in. When somebody speaks evil of you and wants to destroy you. When in grave danger and your life hangs in a balance. When you are sad and lonely and you feel that nobody needs you. When you are broken hearted. When you are afraid and anxious of what will happen in the future. When you have committed a big mistake and you are afraid of its repercussion or outcome. When someone depends on you so much and you are afraid to fail. Actually, there is an endless array of situations or opportunities when we should pray for grace to avoid defying the will of God which is love and mercy for everybody. Next time when something bad happens to us, we should try not to blame someone. Perhaps we did not pray for grace or it is a test of our faith that God is always trustworthy and wants us to be strong and courageous.
God’s grace has made us “complete” so that we could not ask for more; so we could not boast of our accomplishments.
In good times and also in bad times, we praise and thank you Lord God almighty!