Availability, Not Ability

Doing the ministry of the Lord is not about ability. It is about a heart of servanthood, which is evidenced by availability.

When we talk of ministry, you will find out that availability counts more than the ability. In fact, even Jesus, the greatest leader and influencer of all time, chose people not because of what they can do but on their willingness to submit to God’s agenda and schedule. He could have chosen the Pharisees, the spiritual leaders of the time, to mobilize the Good News. They have the influence, prominence and the eloquence to carry out His divine mission. But Jesus turned the world upside down with his ragtag team of ill-tempered, proud, doubtful and cunning disciples. Again, ability counts less, availability matters.

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Yet the world looks after people with obvious gifts and prominent influence. We often follow those whose star shines the brightest. We admire them from a distance. We want them on our team. We think we can do more when we get the best and the brightest turn our steering wheel. While there’s nothing wrong with this, often this leads to frustration and defeat. We can’t always have the best people work for us.  They are often busy in their own domain that they might not have time the capacity to give you their full attention and own wholeheartedly your vision. They might not always be available.

But we have around us those whose star flickers unnoticeable. They may not stand out but they are there. We just fail to notice them, but they are waiting for their turn to take part in something worthwhile, something great. These “average-gifted” individuals fuel the team’s productivity, and bring the most contribution to the table. They are present most of the time, and are willing to sacrifice for your vision. They have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

There is wisdom when Paul said “God chooses the weak to shame the strong”. The famous, the influential, the strong, the intelligent – the best out there, are busy being the best in their respective domains that they don’t have time to work with others, to work for others, to be there for others. But invest in people who are always around you, no matter how “weak” they seem, and see how God do some wonders through their efforts. These people, like the disciples of old, have the potential to turn the world upside down.

Doing the ministry of the Lord is not about ability. It is about a heart of servanthood, which is evidenced by availability.

 

He Can Catch You When You Fall

The question is, are you willing to trust Him just like what Miriam did?

The life of Ms. Miriam Quiambao – Roberto, Ms. Universe 1st Runner Up 1999, is a story most of us can find encouragement. She has her share of fame and fortune, as well as of failures, and this is the reason why most of us can actually relate to her. We may not be as popular nor rich like her, particularly when she was still an active celebrity, but we can always identify with her tears and disappointments in life.

He Can Catch You When You FallMs. Quiambao – Roberto was the guest speaker for our 47th church anniversary held at the Ballroom Hall, Riverbanks Convention Center on November 29. She was accompanied by her husband, Mr. Ardy Roberto – the man behind the books “Ang Buhay na Hindi Bitin”, “Ang Pera na Hindi Bitin”, and “Real Men are P.O.G.I.”. I kinda feel elated sitting just a few seats from them, but more than the couple’s presence, what moved me more is the story behind Ms. Miriam Quiambao’s conversion.

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Miriam Quiambao-Roberto speaking for our 47th Church Anniversary

Her testimony has already been broadcasted in 700 Club Asia of GMA News TV 11.

Here are some of my ruminations on her testimony

  1. God is our Great Orchestrator

Miriam recalls that since childhood, she longs to be a beauty queen someday but the desire died down awhile as she prepares to be a Licensed Physical Therapist. However, God has orchestrated things for her. God acknowledged her childhood dream and brought her in the ranks of the most beautiful women in the world.

You wanted to turn to the right but you took the opposite direction. Perhaps this isn’t “misdirection” – it is God’s predetermined direction for you.

Like us, we have different longings inside. Have you ever experienced a seemingly “misdirection” in your life? You wanted to be a successful engineer but circumstances led you to a different field, say you ended up being an entrepreneur or an accountant instead. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to be a distinguished celebrity or fashion model but you landed in a very rewarding teaching career – away from the glitz and glam of show business. You wanted to turn to the right but you took the opposite direction. Perhaps this isn’t “misdirection” – it is God’s predetermined direction for you.

Miriam’s Ms. Universe stint is a story of fulfilled childhood dream, but for most of us, we’ve never realized our childhood desire [yet]. But wherever you are and whatever you might be doing in life right now is exactly where God wants you to be and wants you to do. In His perspective, there is never an accident nor an out-of-place-scenario. He is the Great Orchestrator and all things are perfect in His plans.

  1. God is our Great Problem Solver

She thought she had it all going well on her life. With her popularity and riches, she felt secure. She even had high hopes on her first marriage on 2004 with an Italian businessman. But two years later, they ended up in divorce, which led to her depression. As if this isn’t enough, she lost much of her showbiz projects and was even scammed of her investments by people she once trusted. It was a season of falling, of disappointments.

More than the usual problems we experience from day to day, our greatest problem is our sins and separation from God. But thanks be to Jesus, we now have a solution.

They say that when it rains, it pours. For Miriam, all her treasured possessions – career, investments, connections, relationships – seemed to be smashed into pieces. Problems – no matter how simple or complicated they may seem, makes us dependent to others for help. In response to our dire need of help, God sends us people who will help lift us up from the miry clay we’re drenched into. In Miriam’s case, it was Mr. Anthony Pangilinan. She was led to Jesus and soon enough, the once depressed, miserable Miriam Quiambao has held her hopes in the loving-kindness and saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course not in an instant, but her problems met solutions in the Lord, and the marred pieces of her life were replaced with brand new ones.

Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior and acknowledging Him to be the only One who can save us from the wretchedness of our lives is the eternal solution to all our problems. More than the usual problems we experience from day to day, our greatest problem is our sins and separation from God. But thanks be to Jesus, we now have a solution. He is not just a problem solver – He is the solution Himself.

  1. He is the Great Provider

After all the bitter incidences in Miriam’s life, she found hope in Jesus. Now she is ready to embrace what the Lord is willing to offer her – immeasurable joy of having Christ in her heart. Eventually she regained what was taken away from her: occasional showbiz projects and other sources of income, restored relationships with people dear to her, was relieved of her depression and a partner in life in the person of Mr. Ardy Roberto. On top of these, she is actively involved in the ministry, inspiring people with her testimony. She can also be seen in CBN Asia as one of the hosts. God has indeed redeemed the Beauty Queen and made her God’s Princess.

God is our great provider. No matter what was lost to us, He can and He is willing to give it back, even hundredfold. What’s asked of us is complete surrender to His plans and obedience to His promptings. Miriam wasn’t given favor because she is beautiful or influential. She was restored because she is just like us, in need of grace and mercy, hopeless on our own. God doesn’t look down on people and look at their beauty or physical appearance. God looks at the heart. And He is delighted to reveal Himself to those whose hearts are yielded to Him.

What are your pressing needs today? God is more than willing to provide – and His provision goes beyond material things! Be it peace of mind, restored relationships, secured future or even food on the plate, He can be trusted. The question is, are you willing to trust Him just like what Miriam did? Surrender it all to Jesus, and you will never regret it the rest of your life.


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Buti pa si mama (and friends) nakapagpa-picture kay Ms. Miriam 🙂

I was led to this blog (link here) about Ms. Miriam and Mr. Ardy’s wedding. Indeed weddings are events where you can capture joy at its finest. Just look at the pictures! Hearing Miriam’s testimony firsthand, I love how God orchestrated everything for her life, solved all her problems and provided what her heart yearns for. What a remarkable story. Indeed He can catch you when you fall!

If you want to purchase a copy of Miriam’s book “He Can Catch You When You Fall”, you may visit your nearest bookstores or you may order it online through Philippine Christian Book Stores or CSM Publishing.