A Glimpse Of Joy
Hers was not easy. Losing her only sibling, she gave her life caring for her nephews and her mother. She often thought how unlucky she was. A person with a good heart but rejected by many, she never understood why. All she wanted was to be accepted and be loved. Despite the circumstances surrounding her, she remained respectful of others, she remained forgiving, and she continued to love with all the best she could give.
"I'm starving!" I told her as we sat on the table given to us after I picked her up and had invited her to have breakfast with me.
She smiled. I loved seeing those smiles. Knowing that even for brief moments, I was hoping she would forget all the cares in this world. I wanted to let her know that someone cared for her and truly loved her. I wanted to let her know that she was not alone in her struggles. After all, I was only sharing what I had received from Someone Who also loved and cared for me.
We joked around while eating,seeing more smiles that made her weary face even more beautiful.
"How come you're not touching this waffle? I thought we'd share?" she asked me.
"I'm full. I know you liked those that's why I ordered them for you."
"But you said you're starving!" she probed.
"I was..." then I got quiet.
I got lost to thinking that my true hunger was not coming from my stomach. My true hunger was coming from my heart. I wanted to see more moments like these. I wanted to see her happy. I wanted to see those precious, rare smiles on her face. To see it gave me a glimpse of joy knowing that it was a true, heartfelt kind of smile that was hard to surface when someone went through and still is going through very tough times.
Joy that is a gift only from God.
Then I knew she was okay because she also has a piece of heaven in her heart despite her difficult journey.
"Want more coffee?" interrupted the server.
"Please..." I requested.
I glanced quickly at her face and saw her smiled again as she uttered, "Gee! Is that your 3rd cup?"
I smiled back at her. If only she knew...I could have more cups of coffee if only to stall time as it was, to freeze the moment and to see her forget about her worries and see those joy-coated smiles the way it should be. The truth was that it was how God wanted and meant it to be...Because God loved us all first...
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." - 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)
Lord, help me to have more compassion towards others the way You do. Help me respond to situations and trials in Your ways, not mine. Remind me not to be concerned with the burden that comes from life's trials knowing that none of them are bigger than You. God of possible. God Who is able. Lord, please bless my loved ones and friends and my blogging friends. I know You know each heart's needs. But I want to thank You Lord for everything that You have done for us. Thank You for Your compassion and mercy. May many more turn to You, humble their hearts and accept You as their Lord. Father, thank You for giving us a piece of heaven in our hearts through Jesus. Thank You for Your gift of joy that soothes us, that calms us as we face turbulent life's storms. Thank You for Your love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: NLT Bible ]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].