Tag Archive | plan

Trust on the Each Piece

After formally retiring from all of his business activities, my father spent his daily time with gardening and playing with his grandson. But now he has a new hobby. Now he really interested playing jigsaw puzzle. Few weeks ago he asked me to buy some jigsaw puzzle from small to the large size. Excitedly he could spend for hours patiently along with my mom or alone choosing piece by piece of jigsaw puzzle then putting it together to the frame until the picture of puzzle formed perfectly. Though I’m not too interested to play jigsaw puzzle, I love watching its process. We all know what picture we will get from a box of jigsaw puzzle. We also know how many pieces of each jigsaw puzzle, but to make the picture complete need long process.

Every time I see the process of making a jigsaw puzzle, I always think about life in this world especially as a Christ follower. A jigsaw puzzle is a very good example to depict the parts of our lives. We live this life piece by piece, begin when we were in the wombs, then we were born, growing up, and become a mature. It’s called a life process and in that process, at times in one moment, period or the pieces of our life, beside happy things we have to experience and feel many unpleasant or even painful things. We may have to suffer because having big problems, maybe we should be mourning caused loss someone we love. When my father putting a piece of puzzle, he sometimes made mistakes or my son, Andrew, messed it up, and have to start all over again, so it’s with our lives, maybe there’s a part we have failed, whether in career, marriage, family, and many other aspect of life and we have to rise from the failure and start again from the beginning. All of it is parts of plan and grand design of God to us.

One similarity between the jigsaw puzzle and our lives is, both has own design and there’s a process in it. The difference is we already know for sure the design of the jigsaw puzzle but we often pretty hard to know what God’s plan to us is and what the grand design for the whole of our lives. Isn’t become a problem when our lives always running well but become a problem when we’re in difficult and unpleasant situation. We will start to ask God why we should to have all unpleasant things, we will begin to complain to God why have to suffer and why should to fail. Is this a part of God’s plan? What God actually wants?

Once again there’s a process completing a jigsaw puzzle and in the process is our own decision to choose each piece of puzzle to put it on the frame based on our own understanding or follow the provided tips and trick. Once we made a mistake then the main design will not formed perfectly. As well as the process of our live, as a human we are totally free to make and choose a decision to assemble each part of our lives. The question is, when we have to make decision and choice, to whom should we must rely and trust?  Whether we lean and trust on our own understanding, conviction, and ability or we totally surrender to God, completely trust in Him, and make God’s word as a great guide?

Dear readers, the process that we live isn’t an instant process but long process where there are times we have to cry, there’re times we’ve to suffer, there are moments we’ve to fail, and in the process of assembling all pieces of our lives, we cannot fathom God’s work, we cannot understand what God’s purpose is, we cannot even understand why we should have hard season in a process because our way is not God’s way, our thought isn’t His thought. God’s position is much higher than us.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

So, what should we do? There’s no other way besides handing over all the processes of our lives to God, doesn’t lean on our own strength, and trust completely in God. God’s word very firmly said:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding”  (Proverbs 3:5)

 Here, our faith plays important role.  Faith will enabled us to know and trust no matter how difficult the process, no matter how many tears, no matter how many times we failed, God’s plan and purpose is always beautiful as He has promised that:

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

 When the beautiful time comes?  Next week?  One year later? How long we have to wait? Well, we don’t know when and how long we have to wait for. Maybe need tens of years like the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. Maybe like Joseph who experienced suffering and injustice for 20 years before he became ruler of Egypt. Or maybe like Noah who struggled more than 100 years to build an ark as God command. We don’t know, my dear friend. There’s nothing happens instantly. All need process and through process we live, God actually guiding us until we’re ready to see His beautiful plans. In time we will rejoice to see His beautiful plan that has been conceptualized flawlessly. Moreover, through uncertainty, confusing and hard time, failure, and all unpleasant things in our life, actually God has a purpose in order that we getting closer to Him day by day and our faith grow stronger. Eventually by faith that sees the invisible, believe the unbelievable, and receive the impossible*, we are able to really trust that God’s plan are always beautiful as He said to us:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

My beloved friends, we are currently assembling piece by piece puzzle of our lives and we cannot skip one of it. Each piece has its own place. Maybe this time we cannot see the final result the grand design of our lives. We cannot know the end of our journey; we cannot know the ending of our story. Our life isn’t like reading a story book where we can easily flipping to the last page so we could know the ending of the story or simply choosing the certain chapter that we like. We must live each chapter of our live in complete.

We cannot figure out what tomorrow will bring and what lies ahead. What we can do is, by strong faith put each piece of our life to God. Believe that every single piece of our lives is parts of God’s grand design, still being sensitive to hear God’s voice, remain faithfully follow His guide step by step, though we will have difficult time and even painful, keep trust that God is always with us as He promise  to us:

“… I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

We don’t have to worry about our future. If God finally gave the Israelites Promise Land after long and hard journey in the desert, If thousands years ago God finally made Joseph as the greatest man in his era after facing hard times due to the ruthless betrayal did by his family, if God finally saved Noah from the flood, it all will also happens to our live now. If our lives seems too difficult to face, if our puzzle of life seems so mess and formless, please don’t worry and strongly believe God will not let us alone. He said to us: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”(Hebrews 13:5)  Don’t ever lose of hope because God is source hope and He gives us hope (Psalm 62:5, 1 Timothy 1:1) We have to trust that each piece of our lives designed by God and become a part of His great plan for our lives, and at the end, our puzzle slowly but sure will be revealed, the jigsaw puzzle of our lives will be complete, and we can see the beautiful grand ‘Image” designed by God remarkably. Amen

Note:

This post was inspired by a wonderful post “How Will My Story End?” Wrote by my beloved blog friend Anna Bachinsky  Please kindly visit her awesome blog and read her wonderful posts. Thank you for your inspiring post, dear Anna.

Karina – Living by faith

*Faith quote by Corrie ten Boom

Image source: cdn.shopify.com

 

 

 

Stepping in God’s Guidance

Stepping in God guidance

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13

I have a friend who until now never got a good job. Many times he tried to change jobs, as many as he also failed. Disappointment was enveloped his feelings. Then once time she said: “If only God would tell me what I should do, I will not continue to experience failures like this”  The question that comes to my mind is, is it true that God likes to hide in his plan for our lives so that we will be difficult or even impossible to find out? Is it true that only God tells us to obey and follow his plan but objected to tell us what His plan for us?

Of course God does not think like that. If God wants us to walk in His plan, He would want us to know what is in the plan. God is not a covered person who is too busy for us. Rather, God is a Father who loves us, loves His children even as He created his own image and likeness. If so, we need to think again if we had asked Him through our prayers or we even still too lazy to build a relationship with Him?  Or maybe we’ve been praying, but how much faith could accompany us to believe and hear? Perhaps we are still too often tempted by anxiety, fear, worries or other feelings that hinder our sensitivity to His voice. Or maybe we are still too often doing bad things so that God is not pleased upon the behavior of our lives.

David says that The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;” (Psalm 37:23) David could say this of course is based on the real evidence through his own life experiences. David firmly says that God ordained the people measures. People like what? In this verse say to those whose lives are pleasing to Him. So, whether we are pleasing to Him or not is an important key to experiencing God’s guidance on every step, each sequence in our lives. He would be happy to participate and guide step by step. One remarkable thing if we not only know that the Lord has prepared not only full peace plan to meet our future with hope. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) but also participated guide us step by step to fulfill them? That is exactly what God’s ready to be done to every person whose life pleasing to Him.

In the form of God’s presence, we can also see how if on our way we met with difficulties or problems. Walking with God does not mean that life will be entirely smooth with no problems. But the good news is, even when we are in a fallen state, God is still there with us. “though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” (Psalm 37:24) This means that we do not have to worry in stepping as long as the Lord is with us. David testified that since his youth to old age, he had never seen the righteous forsaken by God. Even the inclusion and blessing from God does not stop only on that person, but also touching his offspring. “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing”. (Psalm 37:25-26)

God is ready to give wisdom that allows us to be able to see what His plan for us. He has provided all that is needed by us through the talents that have been given since the beginning, and He is ready to guide us in living it gradually. But please remember that life pleasing to God is the key that will allow us to experience it. Moreover we need to know that God is never too busy or happy to ignore us, because the God’s word says: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”. (Jeremiah 29:12-13) See that the Lord is not a closed figure. Instead, he was very open to us and will always be happy to reveal His plan upon each of us. Once again David says: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”(Psalm 37:5-6) Goes according to His plan and experience God’s guidance directly in every step, will make our lives find its meaning, just like what God wants for our lives, both today and in the future.

My dear lovely friends, whether we are experiencing a failure that makes us disappointed? If we feel that we are experiencing failure is because God does not tell us what to do? Let us reflect on ourselves if we are living pleasing to God? Think again if we had asked Him through our prayers, or we even still too lazy to build a relationship with Him?  How big we put our faith to God? Or whether we are still too often doing bad things so that God is not pleased upon the behavior of our lives? Let’s we ponder together. Amen

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Karina

Photo Credit: devianart.net

God’s Plan For Us

God plan for us

As Christians, we believe that God already has a plan in our lives. We also truly believe that God’s plan is very best for us. But we are often asked how can we know God’s plan for our life and sometimes we feel God’s plan is so absurd, abstract or even unreasonable. For 26 years I have experienced many things that I think is unreasonable and out of my thoughts. But in fact what I have experienced over the years is the best for me. It’s all part of God’s plan in my life. A few days ago my friend asked me about this issue.” How we know God’s plan”

The answer is not so easy. But I am trying to answer that question based on one bible verse: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11). This needs to be the first stepping stone in a believer’s journey.  God had a plan for us before we were even born. (Galatians 1:15)  As believers, we can follow God’s plan for us by believing that He has everything in control and His sovereignty will guide us exactly where He wants us to go. In Matthew 4:19-20 it is written: “’Follow Me (Jesus) and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they (Simon and Andrew) left their nets and followed Him.” This verse is illustrates that Simon and Andrew truly believe with God’s word. So the first answer to know and follow God’s plan in our life is put a deeply trust to God’s Word. God’s word is never wrong and failed!

The second is one great way to see what God has planned for our life is to look at the skills that we have been blessed with.  Exodus 35:30-35 has Moses speaking to Israel about specific men with specific skills that they were given by God to use for His glory. If God has blessed us musically, so we can serve Him in the church worship team.  If we are like public speaking, maybe consider being a preacher. If we like children, maybe consider being Sunday school teacher. There are many parts in a church in need of our skills. Through the skills that have been given by God we can see how we can benefit His kingdom.

Third answer is Prayer. Prayer is the way to stay connected with God through open communication.  If we don’t know what God’s plan is for us, ask Him in prayer.  “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will he hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.”(1 John 5:14-15) When we pray that “God’s will be done” in our life, God “will” always show us our next step in His plan.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”  While trusting in God to lead us, it is important that we stay in contact with Him.  God still yearns for a relationship with us.  As we honor Him in prayer, He will guide us according to His will.

The fourth, Be Intentional, stay committed, and in love. “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).  We can be sure of one thing: God’s plan for us involves love.  We may be doing what the Holy Spirit has placed on our heart and mind, but if we are only active in your mind and leave your heart behind, then we are missing the point my friends.  Be active in God’s plan while loving those that we are in contact with.  Keep your heart engaged in every opportunity we have to do the Lord’s work.  “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.  Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a)

The last answer is, answer when God calls. I have a longing and a burden to be intercessors since I was in college. So I serve God seriously in this part. Believe it or not, through this ministry I am getting to know and understand the God’s plan for me. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

Well my dear friends do not waste the opportunity when God calls us to serve Him.  Through serving Him seriously we will know what God’s plan is for all of us. Asking Him carefully through our prayer when we feeling doubt about His plan, use our skills to involve in the part of church ministry. They need our skill and then God will show His plan in our life. Be intentional, stay committed, in love and Keep trust in God’s word. God’s word never wrong and failed.

When God calls, He is serious.  Matthew 25:35-40 says, “’For I (Jesus) was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Amen.

Karina

Photo Credit: Wikimedia.org

From Zero to Hero

As a woman I have a lot of woman figures who become to my inspiration. I never get bored reading their stories. This evening I would like to share story about one of my inspiration figure. I called her “From zero to Hero” I knew this story for the first time from my mother.

One day a woman introduced herself in a student conference at a famous university in the U.S. and said: “I was an illegitimate child and my mother was a very poor, deaf and mute. One day my mother was raped by a man, so I never knew who my father is. Our life is very poor, so in a very young age, I had to work together with my mother as a laborer in a cotton plantation. I hate my condition and I was disappointed to God because He is not fair. I cannot understand why I have to be born in this world, while I am useless at all. ”

The sentence above sounds like the contents of our hearts when we are disappointed to God, when we are not accepted by all around us and dumped in this world because of a sad background, so we’re wondering, “Why was I born?”

But let’s we take a look the further of this story.

“One day there was something inside me said,” you can choose. You want to keep it like this or do you want out of this useless feeling. The choice is yours! “I finally chose to get out of this useless feeling. I started to work hard to get the money to pay for my school and my mother.”

That woman worked so hard and finally he achieved success.

What is the moral of the story? After I heard this story, I draw the conclusion that beside talk about faith and hope, this story speaks about choices in life. My dear friends, did you know and realize that our life is a choice? When we experience a bitter life like the woman in that story, whether we want to stay alive in it or get out from those conditions? The choice is in us. But one thing that we should to ponder is God already had a plan in every step of our lives and God’s plan is not to harm us. as written in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” as long as we can choose, choose the best.

Like the woman in that story, maybe we are often disappointed to God or even blame god when we are in the very bad condition. But we can see what that woman did! She chooses to get out from the bitterness because she believed indeed there is always hope in life. She had made ​​the right choice. She did not want to be too long to live in an adversity.

What about us as a Christian? We certainly do not want to live in bitterness and misery. But if we have to experience it, what would we do? Remain in it and kept complain, blaming God and judging that God is not fair? Or we stay move on, constantly rely on God and always direct our view to the light of Christ’s love. Work hard to try get out of that condition and stay on God’s promises that God never forsake us. Like Psalm said: “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”(Psalm 9:10). Which one will we choose?

Azie_Taylor_MortonAt that time, a woman who initially introduced himself as an illegitimate child, standing in front of students in a famous university to prove strength of a choice and she also knew that God really loves her. She is from nobody becomes to someone, from nothing to be something, from zero to Hero. We should learn from this woman and make her as our inspiration. She is Azie Taylor Morton (1936-2003), Finance minister of the United States of America in the time Jimmy Carter became a President, her signature is in U.S. dollar bills for 3 years.

Karina

Photo credit: wikipedia

In His Hand

In His Hand

 

We know not what tomorrow brings

Although we plan ahead

For only God alone can know

The pathway we must tread

We cannot know the future

Neither one minute nor one hour

Each circumstance that we must face

Lay only in His power

It’s vital that we live by faith

From minute unto minute

And trusting that each step we take

He’s walking with us in it

We cannot see the future

Nor the trials we must face

But in all things, God promised us

Sufficiency of grace

This alone should give us hope

Whatever be our plans

In knowing that our future lies

In His sweet, loving hands

 earthlink.net

When God Knocking our Door

Knocking the doorI do not know how many times in a day my secretary knocked on my workspace door. She comes in to my room with many purposes. Need my signature, give me a pile of documents that I should have to read, or just asking what I need. Sometimes I feel a little bit disrupted with this situation. Occasionally I need to be alone to thinking, reviewing any decision and policies that I have taken, make a plan, etc. If I really need that time, I will have to order my secretary to not disturb me within one or two hours ahead.

Suddenly I imagined something. What if someone who knocks at my door is God?! How do I react when God knocking my door and say:” My child, Let Me in. I want to be with you and talk with you now…” What is my answer? Whether I will answer: “No! Not now, God. I am busy to drive my life purposes now!” or like this;”Could You wait for a moment? I have to complete my task first. Or this one: “Ok, please I am ready now!”

In our daily lives, we must admit that we often avoid God’s call or do not open our door when He knocking. We often too busy with our purposes. Too busy chasing our dreams. We often forget the existence of God in our lives. Instead we more often to knocking God’s door when we are facing difficulties and when our lives become so hard. When your life is in a bit of a mess and you wonder if  God is really interested in your problems. We have a tendency to always knocking God’s door when we need His help.

I think it isn’t fair! Why? Matthew 7:7 said: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” This verse is one of the many promises of God. This Bible verse has a meaning; God always available for us. If God always available for us, how about us? We should have to remember and  ponder if God always have a time for us, why we not give our time too when He call and knocking our door ask for a little bit time together with Him.

Like my secretary, God knocking on our door with his purposes and plans. He wants something from us. God knows each person’s life intimately and God will wait until we are ready. God is always knocking and always calling to us to let Him in, reducing our bustle, turn down our voice for just a few moments to hear the voice of God. Are we ready for it? God always waiting for us to let Him in. Amen.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.(Revelation 3:20)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(Jeremiah 29:11)

 

At the door of your heart, God is calling, with sweet and gentle voice

Patiently He waiting for us, what is our answer?

He was waiting for us for a long time, Patiently He waiting for us

Waiting for us to open our heart, He greatly misses all of us

What is your yearning too?

Karina

Photo credit: pictureweekly.com

 

 

 

Blessing within Suffering

This morning before I go to the office I have to visit my mom’s family who had an accident two days ago. She is 97 years old and she fell and her hip was broke. Both her doctor and the whole family have decided that surgery is not an option in her case (considering to the age factor). We chose, instead, at-home hospice care. Essentially, were trying to keep her as comfortable as possible until the Lord decides to take her home to Heaven.

A question comes across into my mind. Why she got it all? In her old age why she still had a suffering and what does God want from this accident? She is a good great grandmother. She has a very good relationship with God and being an example to the entire family. My mom said:” My dear princess, this is what we called a God’s will” I am a bit pondering and suddenly I remember with a bible verse in a sermon few months ago which is talk about suffering.

“Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19). This Bible verse becomes a basis of the sermon. Sometimes God’s will for His children is not comfort, but suffering. Yes, I do believe that is true. In fact, that may be the truth more often than you can imagine.

I am pondering again and slowly but sure began to understand. After the accident Many of her children, grand children, and great grand children have come around her bedside to pray with her and sing songs with her. God is receiving much, much glory because of all that is happening while she suffers. Imagine in your mind a bedroom filled with family members all praying and singing with loud voices to the glory of God! Through her suffering and pain we all entire family has more intimate relationship with God. God gave us blessing through the suffering.

If we read all of the 1 Peter 4 verses we will know that of all the verses dealing with God’s specific will for your life, one in particular is rather tough to swallow. It could be that God’s will for your life is not what you might personally consider a wonderful plan. It just might be that God’s desire for you is that you suffer, and suffer long, and suffer hard, and suffer painfully.

1 Peter 4 : 12 said : Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” continuing in verse 13 : “But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Sometimes or might be often God using physical suffering to be amazing blessing to others. The sermon gave a story about Joni Eareckson Tada as an illustration. In 1967, and at the age of seventeen, Joni was injured in a diving accident that left her a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. No doubt, there were many nights that Joni spent by herself with no one other than God. And there were likely times when she would ask questions like, “Why me, God?” or “Why did you let this happen to me?” But as one looks back at Joni’s life since that life-altering day, you can’t help but notice how often God has used her to be an amazing blessing to others.

Joni has authored over seventy books, served on the National Council on Disability under President Reagan and President Bush, and more recently on the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But as impressive a resume as that is, there are untold thousands of common folk who have been helped, encouraged, and ministered to by the positive outlook on life that Joni so eloquently models.

She has a heart of hurting people and grieves right alongside those in desperate need. I don’t think it to be a stretch in saying that it is highly unlikely she would have ever been used in the capacity she has obviously been used by God in, if she hadn’t had that terrible diving accident in 1967. God works in mysterious ways, indeed.

Does God care when His Children Suffer? Absolutely yes! When God’s children suffer, God also feels the pain. When Jesus was nailed to the cross for your sin, God the Father also felt the nail’s sting. Jesus endured God’s wrath for you. God understands your pain, and He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrew 13:5). But there are times when God’s plan might not be what you are expecting. Down through the centuries, millions of God’s people have been murdered, enslaved, and viciously beaten due to nothing more than their uncompromising Christian faith. But suffering comes in many different shapes and sizes, and not all suffering is created equal.

Through the suffering God wants us to entrusting our soul to a faithful Creator who will never leave or forsake us! He has our name written down in His Book of Life. Our acceptance is engraved on His hands. You will always be a part of God’s plan, for all eternity to come.

Karina