Gleanings: Off to Moab

“In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.” – Ruth 1:1, ESV

Elimelech wants to spare his family from famine. Tulad ng isang mapagmahal na ama, gusto lang naman niya ang best para sa kanyang asawa at mga anak. Sino ba naman ang ayaw na mapaayos ang sitwasyon ng kanyang pamilya?

Off to Moab

During the time of famine, life was hard for the Israelites. Remember Jacob’s family during famine? They even went as far as Egypt para lang makahanap ng pagkain. During this period in Elimelech’s life, even Bethlehem, also called as the “house of bread”, ay nawalan na rin ng supply. Kaya naman napilitan si Elimelech na dalhin ang kanyang pamilya somewhere na may maibibigay siyang pagkain.

Elimelech, whose name means “my God is king”, have forgotten his God and King when he faced a time of great need. Instead of trusting the Lord, he relied on his own wisdom to carry himself and his family through. May sarili siyang diskarte. Sabi ko nga, he just want to spare his family from famine.

OK lang sana kaso the problem is he will be moving from the land of promise to an “idolatrous” land. He will be moving out his family from under the hem of God’s protection to a place of temptation and idol worship. He will be exposing his family into a compromising environment. Their law even says not to give their children to the ungodly people for intermarriage. He’s putting his family in danger.

Maybe on his mind he’s thinking: “pansamantala lang ito. We’ll go back to Bethlehem when the famine ceased”. So off they went. They left their own country, trying to escape the famine, and headed to a land of uncertainty.

Elimelech went with his family: his wife, Naomi, which means “sweet, pleasant”, and his two sons, Mahlon, which means “sickly”, and Chilion, which means “wasting”. Ang weird di ba? Papangalanan mo ang mga anak mo na sakitin, at nanghihina, worse naghihingalo.

“But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years”. – Ruth 1:3-4

Unfortunate of Elimelech’s family, after they have settled in Moab, their place of refuge sana, they have lost the head of their family. So without their supposedly spiritual, financial and emotional leader, ang magkapatid ay naghanap ng kanilang mapapangasawa sa mga kababaihan ng Moab – a direct disobedience to their law. Along with the death of the father is the prolonging of their stint in Moab na umabot hanggang sampung taon, na dapat sana ay pansamantala lang.

“and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband”. Ruth 1:5

To top all the misfortunes Elimelech’s family has experienced in Moab, Mahlon and Chilion both died, giving justice to their names. Iniwan nila ang kanilang mga batang biyuda – Ruth and Orpah, both childless. #Sadlyf.

***

What I have gleaned from the account first few chapters of the book of Ruth is that we have the tendency to veer away from challenges na dumadating sa buhay natin. It was not mentioned in the Bible kung sila lang ba ang umalis at nagpunta sa Moab to find comfort, but it doesn’t matter. Looking into the life of Elimelech, he may have good intentions for his family’s welfare, pero he failed to trust how the Lord works on the welfare of His people.

God cares for us more than we care for ourselves.

Eh bakit may famine?

In the same way that there are sicknesses and trials and pains and challenges in our lives, famine represents a hurdle we must overcome for us to be strong spiritually. Bethlehem is a very blessed place, kaya nga siya “house of bread”. Ang lahat ay provided. Pero what if God has allowed all such blessings to be taken away from His people? Magtitiwala pa rin kaya sila sa Kanya? Unfortunately for Elimelech, he failed the test.

  • Tumatakbo din ba tayo kapag may mga challenges sa harapan natin?
  • Umiiwas rin ba tayo sa mga pagkakataon kung saan sinusubok ang pagtitiwala natin kay Lord?
  • When all His provisions went low, can we still trust in His love?

O baka naman instead of waiting upon the Lord, we begin charting our own plans and off we go to our own version of Moab. Isang lugar, isang sitwasyon na nako-kompromiso na ang ating sarili.

Saan nga ba ang ating Moab?

  • Rather than trusting in the Lord’s provision, nagpapa-rescue na tayo agad sa mga usurers kapag medyo na-challenge ang ating mga pitaka
  • Tumatakbo tayo sa anumang nakagawiang bisyo para humanap ng kapayapaan ng loob at solusyon sa problema
  • Ginagawa nating escape plan ang pagiging magagalitin at pala-away upang ilayo ang ating sarili sa mga tao
  • Eto worse, pero baka naman kapag may away kayo ng ka-relasyon mo e may “sidechick” ka na pinupuntahan
  • Sinusubo na natin ang ating integridad sa pamamagitan ng pangungupit, pandaraya o pangingikil ng iba pang ilegal na paraan para lang mapunan ang anumang kakulangan

Big or small, subtle or obvious, when we choose to run to other things as source of salvation and comfort other than the Lord, that’s the time we leave our “house of bread” for an idolatrous Moab. And like what happened to Elimelech, bad choice produces bad results. Mas may chance pa sana siya if he chose to stay.

God wants to make you strong in the face of difficulties. Don’t run from it – face it! It’s safer to be in the eye of the storm with the Lord on your side than in a stronghold where the Lord does not guide.

***

I am writing this at the eve of my father’s birthday. Well, he may not be a perfect father but I know that he loves us perfectly. We may have had arguments in the past, I may not approve of some of his opinions and principles in life, but still no one could ever take away his place in my heart.

We all have Elimelech tendencies within us. Kagaya ko, kagaya ng tatay ko, kagaya nating lahat. Yet the grace of God allows us to run back to Him when our Elimelech-ness urges us to sojourn to Moab. At kung napadpad ka na sa Moab, balik ka lang. Wag mo nang hayaan na mahuli pa ang lahat.

April Fools!

Marami na naman ang mga posts na maglalabasan na obvious naman na hindi totoo pero pinaniniwalaan pa rin. Marami na namang mga pranks na ibibida sa atin. Masaya, nakakatuwa rin na may mga bagay tayong ginagawang kasiya-siya sa kabila ng ating mga problema sa buhay – sa pinansiyal, sa pamilya, maging sa ekonomiya at sa politika. Hindi naman masama ang mabiktima ng mga birong nakakatawa paminsan-minsan. Kaya kung maging subject ka ng isang prank – wag naman masyadong KJ.

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Ok lang naman ang mabiro lalo na at di naman fatal. Pero kailan ba nagiging fatal ang isang biro?

Yung akala mo ay smooth ang lahat sa buhay mo – all is well and good, only to find out that you are missing out on the most important thing in life. Yung akala mo na you have it all together, that you are getting the most out of life, but at the end of the day you’ll realize that you have not pursued what matters most. Ito ang klase ng biro na mahirap sakyan – ang biro, ang deception ng ating sariling comfort zone.

There are times when we get too comfortable with our lives that we fail to see the world around us. We have been too preoccupied with our needs that we become apathetic to the needs of others. Our life’s purpose is reduced to getting the comfort that we think we solely deserve. Wala namang mali – Jesus wants the best for us. In fact the Apostle Paul claims that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).

Note that God is willing to grant us our needs. We are more valuable than the lilies in the field or the sparrows in the skies so we need not worry about anything (Matthew 6:25-34). Yet it doesn’t have to end with us. God blesses us and He expects us to bless others as well. We are blessed by the Lord to be a blessing to others. God showers us with gifts so we can shower others with gifts as well. This is God’s way of opening more doors of opportunity to bless us and make us a blessing. The cycle doesn’t have to stop. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25).

Kaya naman wala nang mas sasakit pa kung biniruin tayo ng ating sarili na “ok ka na, kaya na nila”, kung ang nakikita ng iyong mga mata ay hirap o kawalan ng pag-asa, sakit o kumakalam na sikmura, kung dinadaya ka ng sarili mong comfort zone at nabubulag ka o nabibingi sa mga hinaing ng iba – wala nang mas sasakit pang biro. Ito ang fatal na klase ng biro. Fatal sa ating buhay-kristiyano.

Sabi nga ni Apostle James, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17). Ang sakit lang di ba? Ang maparatangan ka na may pananampalatayang patay.

At bilang pangwakas, ang sabi pa ni Apostle John, “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17). Ouch! #NoteToSelf

Ngayong April Fools, maraming maglalabasang mga pranks, mga biro. Pero higit na kailangan kong bantayan ay kung nabibiktima na rin ba ako ng biro ng aking sariling comfort zone.

Seeing Through Things

Minsan ba nasabi mo na sa sarili mo na sana nababasa mo ang iniisip ng ibang tao? Malamang sa mga lalaki, they can relate with me when I say, “sana naiiintindihan ko ang takbo ng isip ng mga babae”. It doesn’t matter kung sino ba siya sa buhay mo, as long as babae siya, marahil hinangad mo na maintindihan kung gaano nga ba kabilis tumakbo ang ‘train of thoughts’ nila. Ok sige, pagdating sa mga babae madali niyong mahuhuli ang mga lalaki kung sincere ba o hindi sa mga sinasabi namin, though alam naman namin may intuition naman talaga kayo sa kung ano ang totoo sa hindi.

seeing through thingsIf we can read minds, most probably we’d think that we can minimize misunderstandings sa mundo. Paano ba naman, alam mo na agad kung sarcasm lang ba ang totoo na ang sinasabi ng isang tao. Madali lang din malaman kung gusto ba nila tayo o hindi. Ang dali-dali siguro magdesisyon kasi we will no longer be left in the hands of presumptions. Imagine how things will go between couples. Ang saya di ba?

Pero when we see through things, malaki din ang mawawala sa atin. Sa context ulit ng mga couples, mahirap nang i-qualify ang effort kung ‘effort’ pa nga ba na matatawag kung hindi naman talaga diniscover ang gusto mo at ayaw mo. Everything’s just plainly revealed. The element of surprise will no longer be ‘surprising’ but rather mapapalitan ng ‘expected ko na yan’. Yung raw emotions nang pagkamangha, pagka-gulat, pagkatuwa at iba pa ay mababawasan, o di kaya’y tuluyang maglalaho.

Eh paano kung hindi mo magustuhan ang iniisip sayo ng ibang tao? Ang sakit sa puso nun di ba? Posibleng makaramdam ka ng galit sa taong yun, at malamang ay iiwasan mo na siya sa susunod. Maraming relasyon ang masisira. Hindi mag-ooperate ang tunay na pag-ibig kung lahat ng ating iniisip ay nakalantad sa madla.

Maraming mga panahon na naging laman ito ng panalangin ko:

  • “Lord, baka naman po pwedeng malaman ko po kung ano yung plano Niyo para sa akin.”
  • “Ano po ba yung gusto Niyong gawin ko, Lord?”
  • “Lord, I don’t know which way to go and what to do, tulungan Niyo naman po ako.”

What if we can read the mind of God? Yung mga tanong at panalangin natin na kagaya ng nabanggit ko ay mabibigyan agad ng tugon. We will be spared from lots of heartaches and pain dulot ng ating mga mistakes and missed priorities. Di ba ayaw din naman ni Lord na nasasaktan tayo? Generally, sino ba namang ama ang nagnanais na masaktan ang kanyang mga anak?

Yet things don’t operate the way we want it. It takes an intimate relationship with the Lord to comprehend His plans in our life. At hindi pa nga natin totally mababasa ang Kanyang isipan dahil syempre, He is an infinite, eternal, omnipotent God, as opposed to our finiteness. Yet He is gracious enough to lead us to His perfect will through His written Word, the Bible. Pero to give us specific, to the detail, and black and white instructions on which way to go, which option to choose or the specific words to say, unfortunately hindi ganun ang paraan ni Lord. It takes faith on our part to trust God na kahit hindi natin nababasa ang kanyang isipan, alam natin na maaari Siyang pagkatiwalaan. It takes faith on our part to understand na His ways are higher and dependable than ours.

Actually it’s a blessing din nga for us not to know the details of His plans sa buhay natin. Mas nae-excite tayo how things will unfold for us. Mas nagiging dependent tayo at mas lumalalim ang ugnayan natin sa Kanya. The moment He reveals His plans, mas nauunawaan natin at naaappreciate how He operates in His divine schedule. Mas naiintindihan natin kung bakit tayo nasaktan, kung bakit tayo iniwan, kung bakit tayo nawalan, kung bakit kailangan marami muna tayong maranasan. At the end of the day, as Christians we “walk by faith and not by sight”.

Isa pa, hindi Niya rin tayo hinayaang masaktan kagaya ng sakit na nararamdaman Niya sa tuwing binabalewala natin Siya. He can see through us clearly, dahil omniscient Siya. Everytime we reject Him, ignore or make fun of Him, He sees it, hears it and feels it. Alam Niya ang lahat ng iyon pero He is gracious and merciful enough to forgive us and bear with us. Imagine kung alam natin how people think about us – life will be a never-ending pursuit of trying to win people’s affection and escaping their judgment on us. Ang hirap nun! Ang bait ng Diyos ano?

John Piper, in his book Don’t Waste Your Life, quoted C.S. Lewis and it reads:

You can’t go on “seeing through” things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to “see through” first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To “see through” all things is the same as not to see.

Makes sense, right? Hindi rin maganda na ang lahat ay plain and bare sa ating harapan. Not being able to see through things makes life more exciting and rewarding. Mas maganda pa ring makita ang ‘raw’ emotions ng mga mahal natin sa buhay through our ‘efforts’.

The best thing is, we may not be able to see through things but let’s thank the Lord that He sees us through. Dun pa lang panalo na tayo e.

Run Relentlessly

Running to the One who heals the blind, following the shining light

In Your hands the power to save the world and my life.

– Take It All, Hillsong United

run-relentlessly

Lively naman ang kanta, buhay na buhay ang spirit ng mga tao during praise and worship time sa church. Nagsasayawan pa nga ang iba, but then I suddenly burst into tears. No, hindi naman yung hagulgol type pero that particular line ministered into me and I was caught in a comforting rebuke only the Lord can give. Once again, He gave me a gentle thud.

Hindi naman na bago sa akin ito, being part of a Pentecostal church. In fact, I love the variety of worship expressions. I feel deep appreciation how the Lord loves variety and how He cannot be put inside a box of a certain worship preference. At kahit pa nga sa kalagitnaan ng isang upbeat song, napapaiyak Niya ako. Sorry na, may pagka-emotional ako e.

While singing, I was reminded: when was the last time I ran towards the Lord?

I argued with that reminder with all the things I am busy doing: I read the Word, I pray, I attend to my ministries, I attend church, etc. Pero again, hindi ko pa rin nasagot yung question. Kelan nga ba ako huling tumakbo patungo sa Panginoon?

Napaisip ako. Oo nga, magkaiba yung hinahanap mo Si Lord at yung hinahanap mo Siya with enthusiasm. Magkaiba yung contented ka na nakikipagniig ka sa Kanya at yung intently, hindi ka makuntento sa pakikipagniig lang, yung feeling na you want “more” of Him. Ang pagkakaiba – yung desire. Yun ang tinatanong sa akin ni Lord that time. Am I desiring Him more than anything else o pwede ko Siyang ipagpaliban for any other thing?

At marahil ay tinatanong rin sayo. Kalian ka huling tumakbo towards Him? O naghihintay ka lang na makalapit Siya at magbigay ng mensahe o instruction o ng blessing kaya?

Kung tatanungin ako prior that message, pwede akong sumagot na “Lord, OK naman po ako e”. As what I have said kanina, I seek Him naman. Pero yun nga, baka sa regularity, sa familiarity, instead na tumatakbo ako with enthusiasm sa presence ni Lord, pabagal na nang pabagal ang paglapit ko towards Him… until such time na ang gusto ko na ay effortless pursuit of Him na lang. #NoteToself, this cannot be.

Kung ikaw man ay nawawalan na ng enthusiasm sa pursuit mo of the Lord, my prayer is that you will again find yourself in a relentless pursuit of Him. Takbo lang nang takbo. Huwag nawa na mawala ang excitement natin sa pagsunod sa Kanya, huwag mawala ang pagkamangha sa kagandahan Niya at huwag manghinawa sa pagsaliksik sa Kanya.

Nothing compares to the joy of knowing Him, so pursuit of Him is all worth it.

Stressed Lately?

As you are reading this blog post, let me ask you: are you feeling tired? Are you in a situation when you just want to rest your mind and body from all the stress given to you by your job, your kids, your neighbor, or just any other thing or person or any other reason? Napapagod ka na ba at gusto mo na munang ihiga ang iyong katawan, magpahinga sa lahat ng ingay at suliranin ng mundo?

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Hindi ka nag-iisa.

GfK-Infographic-Stress-Countries-Web-RGB-1120x631px.jpg

Across 22 countries, the top three major causes of stress para sa 27,000 survey respondents na mga internet users edad 15+ ay ang mga sumusunod:

  1. Money
  2. Self-pressure
  3. Lack of sleep

Source: http://www.gfk.com/insights/press-release/money-and-self-pressure-are-the-leading-major-causes-of-stress-internationally/

May mga araw talaga na pakiramdam natin ay sobrang pagod na tayo. Mga panahon na gusto nating sumuko na lang. Minsan nga stressed ka na sa trabaho tapos pag-uwi mo stressful scenario pa rin ang aabutan mo sa bahay. Pero isang magandang biyaya na malaman na sa kabila ng lahat ng kapaguran natin sa buhay, may dahilan tayo upang manatiling matatag, malakas at nakatayo sa ating mga paa. Kahit gaano karaming bundok ng trabaho ang dumating at itambak sa ating mga mesa, pwede pa rin naman tayong mag say NO sa pagiging wasted.

When stress level brings you to your knees, you are in the best position to find strength.

There was a time when David faced too much of stress, because the people spoke of stoning him to death because their families were kidnapped by their enemies. They blame the mishap upon David. They cried tears until there were no tears to cry. It was a very heartbreaking episode in the life of David (see 1 Samuel 30:1-30).

Astoundingly, David did not allow the negativity of the emotions get the most out of him. Instead he turned to the Lord:

“David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God”. 1 Samuel 30:6

His pain served as a launch pad for his faith. His frustrations served as a catalyst for greater trust. His weakening body and spirit found strength in the presence of the Lord.

Sa atin, in times of pain and frustrating situations, kanino tayo humuhugot ng lakas?

Sa mga kaibigan?

Sa mga self-help books?

Sa ating mga hobbies and collections?

David came to a point na ang mga taong sumusuporta sa kanya ay handa na siyang patayin. What could be more stressful than that? But David was able to get through the seemingly insurmountable stressful event because he found strength in the Lord his God.

And you can find strength in God too!

It is a good thing to know that:

“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18

And see how awesome God’s promise of spiritual and physical refreshing to the weary:

“Do you not know?

    Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

    the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

    and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

    and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,

    and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

    will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

    they will run and not grow weary,

    they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31

Are you tired? Turn to God and find strength.

How to Get Back on Track

When was the last time you found yourself lost in a certain place? Getting lost in an unfamiliar territory is both a scary and a challenging thought. Scary because you’ll never know what lies ahead, and nothing is more frightening than the unknown. Moreover, challenging because you’ll discover more of yourself and more of the world around you. It is like opening a new door of opportunity of learning and maturing in life.

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But what if getting lost leaves you in a desperate state of helplessness and you can’t seem to find yourself out? What if after all the good intentions to get to your destination you ended up lost in the middle of nowhere?

As you journey towards your purpose in life, there will be times when you find yourself losing focus and losing your way. You are not getting any nearer towards your goal. When this happens, consider these as your spiritual guide to get you back on track:

  1. Evaluate your situation

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23

Acknowledge your situation. Be honest about yourself and to yourself. Personally, there are times when it is obvious that I need help from people around me but I choose to remain silent because I don’t want to be seen as helpless and vulnerable. Obviously, this is pride. When you are lost, you are lost; when you need help, you need help. It doesn’t make you less of a person.

When you find yourself lost and in utter helplessness, look within yourself. Evaluate your situation in a truthful manner. Don’t allow pride to lead the way or else you will be left without help. There will be people around who are willing to help and guide you for you to get back on track – don’t hesitate to receive help. Fulfilling your life’s purposes doesn’t have to be a one-man journey, it can be a community project.

Moreover, as you evaluate your situation, allow God to search your heart and deepest emotions. Allow Him to check where did all went wrong and which of the decisions you made in the past led you into the wrong path you are taking now. Let Him make you halt for a moment, evaluate your thoughts and decisions, rest for a while and be your compass to lead you right.

  1. Go back to the Source

“It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect”. Psalm 18:32

Sometimes, it is easier to go back to where you started than to continue walking towards uncertainty. Never hesitate to go back from where you started. It will spare you from lots of wasted opportunities and resources.

Likewise, as soon as you have acknowledged your situation and have made a complete stop, find strength in the Lord. Go back to the ultimate source of your passion and purpose. Remember that our purpose in life comes from Him and him alone, so the timing and the strength and wisdom to carry through will come from Him. He is the power source so plug yourself in Him. He is the power source so go back to Him to recharge yourself with determination to be energized in your life’s journey.

Some people, as they go through life, often forget that God is and must be involved in their life’s journey. God is left in the sidelines and the will to move forward becomes centered only towards self-fulfillment and self-glory. This is the reason why purposes are derailed, people lose focus and determinations are sapped.

Go back to the Source.

  1. Take one step at a time

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

As you get pumped up with your renewed energy, don’t rush in! Learn from your past mistakes and be careful making your decisions. Remember that life is not a race you need to compete with, but a journey to enjoy and learn from. Take little steps if needed. Take strides when necessary – what matters is you take life seriously and by faith. You don’t have to test the depths of the water with both feet.

Allow the Lord to direct your steps. Allow the Lord to direct your decisions. Your purposes life has to be shaped and directed by His pacing and by His timing. He wants the best for you, He wants you to learn from Him. So trust His timing, take one step at a time.

When things go wrong, you don’t have to be discouraged. Our life’s purpose remains and is not dependent upon our present circumstances, but about God himself – the author and our purpose-giver. So when you can’t find yourself in the middle of your journey, take a pause: evaluate your situation, go back to the Source and take one step at a time.

Hold on to your Dreams

What are your goals in life? Or rather, have you ever considered making a goal for your life? It is one thing to have goals and be able to name those goals; it is another thing to merely say that you have. Baka hindi pa nga concrete ang goals na nasa isip mo.

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Marahil nung bata ka pa naisip mong maging isang piloto, o doktor, o isang well-travelled businessman, o kaya naman maging presidente ng Pilipinas? Our dreams might be influenced by the people around us. Maaaring dahil nakita mong successful ang mga pinsan mo o kapitbahay sa respective fields nila kaya gusto mo na lang yung gayahin. O baka naman dala lang marahil ng udyok ng mas influential sayo kagaya ng mga parents mo kaya yun ang tinatahak mong daan ngayon ay sila na mismo ang naghanda. We have different stories, different paths to take – but it doesn’t necessarily mean we have to take a detour from what God has instilled in your heart since the time you started dreaming. Here’s my piece of advice – just keep your dreams with you, but allow God to shape this dream for His glory.

A sad biblical account that can be related to our pursuit of dreams can be found in Numbers 13-14, when the band of Israelites led by Moses sent 12 spies to Canaan to survey the land and to give reports. From this story, we will realize that:

  1. Most of the time, our detractors will come from among us – not from outsiders

Nakakalungkot kasi out of the 12 spies, only two of them – Joshua and Caleb, brought good report. The rest of the spies spread out reports that is sure to discourage the people instead of cheer them up. Imagine, feeding the whole Israelite people with reports such as, “mga higante sila, para lang tayong mga tipaklong na titirisin nila” “mahihina lang tayo at di natin sila kaya, kumakain sila ng mga tao”. Who would not fear such reports?

In our pursuit of goals, there will always be detractors – people who will discourage you rather than lift you up and cheer your spirit. But whose report will you believe? Yung mga reports na alam mo namang exaggerated and sarcastic, or the ones that feed your faith and passion? Remember, detractions come not just from the outside, but might come from within your circle, your family and friends, or maybe from your own doubts and fears. Don’t feed yourself with discouragement. Munch on faith, not on fear.

“Sometimes, when we want something so badly, we fear failure more than we fear being without that thing.”
Matthew J. Kirby, Icefall

  1. Focus on the prize you are to receive, not on the price you are to pay

Pursuing your dream will cost you a lot of things – it will never be easy. If it’s gonna be way too easy for you to achieve, then it’s not a worthy pursuit. Kaya naman we ought to focus on the prize we are to receive, because it will justify all the cost. Joshua and Caleb might have lost some of their friends and relatives because they chose to focus on the prize of conquering Canaan at all costs, while the other ten spies and all the people who bought in their bad reports lost their opportunity to step into the Promised Land, and lost their lives as well.

If we’re gonna look at the challenges ahead, we’ll lose heart. Kagaya ng mga spies na kasama nila Joshua and Caleb. Nakatingin sila sa pagsubok na dadaanan nila, and they lost sight of the beauty of the “land flowing with milk and honey”. In reality, the greater the challenge, the higher the cost you are willing to pay for your dreams, the more value you are giving to it. The prize must always be greater than the price.

It’s just a matter of perspective.

  1. Not because you are motivated to take hold of your dream doesn’t mean you are ready

It is a great misconception to think that just because you are so eager and motivated to take hold of what you desire most you are already able to take hold of it. God has his own timing and plans to ready you for your dreams.

It happened with the Israelites. They realized how great their sin of unbelief is, so they rushed to attack the “giants” they are dreadful of moments ago. Contextually, they were just being punished from their sin so their failure in subduing these “giants” is nothing but consequence. However, I believe that even if God had given them approval to attack their enemies, victory will only be ensured as soon as they are ready to receive it.

It happened with King David. He was anointed as a boy to be the next king of Israel, but he waited for the right time to succeed the kingdom. He never usurped God’s timetable. His waiting time allowed him to grow in maturity, wisdom and stature.

It happened with Joseph. He was given a dream as a boy, but his dream brought him to pit, then to prison and finally to the palace where he was able to fulfill his calling. His journey from pit to prison to palace prepared him to be the person God wants him to be.

It will happen to you and me. Just because we are given a dream to pursue doesn’t mean we are ready to take hold of it. We need to grow and mature muna.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Again what are your goals in life? Kung wala pa, ask God what He wants you to become for His glory. Kung meron na, always remember to keep your dreams with you, allowing God to mold you and your dreams to fit perfectly in His grand purpose.