I remember a story of a boy who was strolling around a crowded place during a Christmas festival. His mother told him to hold her hand. But the boy responded, “No, mommy. You hold my hand!” The mother replied, “What’s the difference?” The boy replied back: “If I hold your hand, I may let go because my grip is weak. But if you hold and take my hand, you will never let me go.”
Our Father in heaven is a good God. In Isaiah 30:18 (AMP) it says: “Therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you…. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him….”
I believe that we should be full of expectation that something good is going to happen to us. In 1 Corinthian chapter nine verse ten:
the person who plows or threshes should expect to receive a share of the crop.
Just like the farmer in this context, siya ay nag-aararo habang ang isa naman ay gumigiik ngunit sila ay may iisang paniniwala na sila ay parehong mag-aani. In the same, let us expect to reap the harvest of a good life, success, joy, promotion, wealth, healing and freedom.
There is a big difference between wishing and having faith. Wish is usually associated with feelings. But faith is a confidence in God. We must have that strong conviction that God is going to do something good in our lives. Always remember that very word Jesus said:
“Sinong ama sa inyo ang magbibigay ng bato sa anak na humihingi ng tinapay? Kung humingi ng isda, ang ibibigay ba niya sa kaniya ay ahas sa halip na isda? Kapag siya ay humingi ng itlog, bibigyan ba niya siya ng isang alakdan? Kayo na masasama ay marunong magbigay ng mga mabuting kaloob sa inyong mga anak. Kung ginagawa ninyo ito, gaano pa kaya ang inyong Ama na nasa langit…” We have a good Father.
God is not moved by pain but only when our faith is activated. When there is faith, there is God. One time, Peter stood with Jesus on the water. When Peter was looking at Jesus, he was able to walk on the water. But the moment he took his eyes off Jesus, a big wave came, Peter started to sink. Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” Do we sink because our eyes on the things we see rather than expect that something better is coming our way?
Do we sink because our eyes are fixed on the negative things we see rather than expect that something good, something better is coming our way? You cannot live a healthy life with a negative mindset. When there is God, there is joy, and there is a sense of achievement. Peter walked on the water. His name could be on the World Records. But it was not him: it was God. When we have God, all things become possible. But when we take Jesus out of the equation, our joy will be temporary. When fear steals our joy, we must respond in faith that God can turn things around for our advantage.
Lunch without ‘ulam’
I grew up in poverty and my mother was saying that when I was a child, there were times when during lunch time, we only have rice at the table. Wala kaming ulam samantalang yung kapitbahay ay tapos ng kumain at naghuhugas na ng pinggan. Minsan uutang na lang ang mommy ko sa tindahan ng tuyo or danggit (dried fish) para magkalasa lang ang pagkain namin. Minsan ayaw na daw kami pautangin. At saka, wala pa kaming mga kutsara noon. Kaya kahit lumaki kami na sinusubuan kami ni mommy. Minsan sa kagustuhan ko pa ng danggit, napapagalitan na niya ako. Nakakagat ko palagi ang daliri niya dahil akala ko chicken!
Hindi ko ikinahihiya na galing ako sa mahirap na pamilya sapagkat dito ako sinanay ng Diyos. Dito ako naturuan na pasalamatan ang anuman meron ako noon, kahit konte at hindi sapat. Ngayon na medyo mas maganda na ang takbo ng buhay, kitang kita ko kung paano naging mabuti ang Diyos sa akin. How can i stop thanking God? Because I used to be poor, I learn how to give not because I have a lot or because I am rich. I give because I understand the feeling of not having.
Being grateful is a virtue. There is magic when we are thankful even for those little things God gives us. We sometimes focus on those unanswered prayers we have never received, but have we ever thanked the Lord for receiving those blessings, big and small that we have never prayed for? When we thank God, we move Him to give us more. Because He is waiting to be gracious and be good to us. He is a good Father. Nothing will ever make Him when we are happy.
Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” God will not just give us a one-off blessing, and that’s it. When we expect something good to happen in our lives, that is His longing: for us to wait for good things from Him.
Fear is the opposite of faith. When we expect bad things to happen, one way or another it happens. When we do that, we are opening our doors for the devil to destroy us. But if we expect something good, we are allowing God to make all things beautiful even though we made a mess. He will help us to restore our lives and bring back our confidence to start again and do better.
May isang ginang na palaging natatakot na baka manakawan sila. For many years, she always wakes her husband in the middle of the night to check if the door is locked and that no thief is in. Isang gabi, may naramdaman isang kalabog sa kusina. Gaya ng dati, ginising ng babae ang kanyang asawa, “tingnan mo sa baba, parang may tao.” Bumaba ang lalake, at sa pagkakataong ito, nabigla siya dahil may nakatutok na baril sa kanya. “Ibigay mo lahat sa aken ang inyong pera at alahas! Kung hindi pasasabugin ko ulo mo? Walang nagawa ang lalake kundi sundin ang utos ng magnanakaw. Sinabihan ng lalake ang magnanakaw, “bago ka umalis, gusto ko makilala mo ang asawa ko. Sa loob ng 20 years, hinihintay ka nya.”
Are we expecting bad things or good things? I anticipated good things to happen in my life. My parents did too. Now we can live a better life. Yes, we still have ‘danggit’ (dried fish) at our table, merong ‘at iba pa.’ God has taken our lives from ‘nothing’ to something, a blessed life indeed. Not much, but I would say that my life has been transformed simply because we understood that principle of being expectant: we expected nothing but good things in our lives.
One day, you will be surprised that a lucky break came upon your life. It is because God has been working ‘behind the scene’ and wanted to give you more and bless you more. Do it today, expect for something good to happen in your life.