Pagod ka na ba?

“Napagtagumpayan ko na ito dati, ngayon pa ba ako susuko?”

We all have felt tired and downcast at times. Probably ngayon yung moment na yun para sayo. Season ito marahil na gusto mo nang isuko ang mga bagay na pinaghirapan mo mula noong una. Doubts may have crept upon and you begin to question your calling. Gusto mo nang umayaw.

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However there’s a voice telling you to remain strong, that help is on the way. Minsan pa, pinipilit mong kumapit sa pananampalatayang “napagtagumpayan ko na ito dati, ngayon pa ba ako susuko?” Totoo naman, kung babalikan mo naman ang naging spiritual walk mo, hindi naman nagkulang ang Panginoon; hindi ka naman iniwan o pinabayaan.

In times like these, we often run frantically searching for answers. Gusto natin madaliang solusyon sa kalungkutan, sa spiritual exhaustion and drought na nararanasan natin. Sa mga ganitong panahon na tayo’y nakakaramdam na tila pagod ka na at wala nang pag-asa, I would like to share a few insights on how to fight your battle kahit na wounded ka na. Hindi ito formula guaranteed to get you through but it might help you greatly just as it helped me and many others.

Be silent before the Lord.

To be silent means to not speak. Pero minsan, this may mean to just free your mind from all your worries. Hindi ka nga nagsasalita pero sa isip mo ang daming mga alalahanin ang naglalaro. What if ganito, what if ganyan? Yung tipong kapag binigyan ng microphone ang isip mo hindi ito matatapos nang kakasalita. Start with silence. Oftentimes, much of our worries come from the unnecessary noise around us, at dun tayo napapagod. So begin with shutting your mouth and your mind for a moment and let the noise of the world just die within your thoughts. Forget about your deadlines for a while. Kalimutan mo muna lahat ng problema mo nang sandali. You will be amazed how relaxing this will be.

Wait upon the Lord.

Ayaw natin na naghihintay. We want quick-fixes sa ating mga problema. Kung kulang, we want to be filled agad-agad. Waiting is a waste of time para sa atin. We selfishly thrive on instant gratification. Pero si Lord, hindi lang ang “bunga” ang concern Niya, He cares as well sa process. May mga pagkakataon na maaari namang tugunin ni Lord ang mga panalangin natin agad in His power pero He waits for the “kairos” time para sa lahat. Waiting is a virtue that develops our faith. Our faith is tested and strengthened when we have to wait for something for a longer time. Kaya we need to wait upon Him. As you remain silent before Him, wait upon Him. Wag kang mainip kung pakiramdam mo napakatagal – while you are waiting patiently upon Him, He is actually intently looking after you.

Listen unto the Lord.

Madalas kapag nananalangin tayo, we do much of the talking ‘di ba? Lord, pahingi po ng ganito, sana po ganyan… This time practice the lost art of listening. Listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within you. However, you can only listen intently kapag silent ka before the Lord. Sabi nga ng librong nabasa ko, we can hardly hold on to what we never hear. So paano mo maiintindihan ang sinasabi ng Panginoon kung hindi ka naman talaga makikinig? Listen, and let Him do the talking.

God has already laid down His message to us in the Bible and yet God is never limited in His ways to communicate with His children, only we need to intently listen.

God speaks. Masyado lang kasi tayong masalita kaya hindi natin Siya madalas naririnig. You will be amazed sa mga paraan Niya kung paanong sumagot: through nature, through a song, through a memory na pinaalala Niya sayo, through a verse na nabasa mo sa Bible, or even through a person who just uttered something na naka-encourage sayo. This is of course not to be mistaken as over-spiritualizing things. God has already laid down His message to us in the Bible and yet God is never limited in His ways to communicate with His children, only we need to intently listen. Always confirm whatever you hear from Him in the context of His written Word.

Take rest in the Lord.

Nakakita ka na ba ng isang baby na natutulog? Di ba ang peaceful niyang tignan? Lalo na kung pinaghehele siya ng kanyang ama o ina, sobrang relaxing ng scenario. Imagine yourself to be a baby, at ang Panginoon ang iyong Ama na naghehele sayo. Will you be need anything, knowing that the Creator of heavens and earth carries you in His arms? Whatever message you have received in the Lord as you wait upon Him, take rest in that message. Panghawakan mo. Make it THE source of your strength. Ang sabi nga sa Psalms, God is an ever-present help in times of trouble. Kahit kapaguran man yan o pag-aalala, He is always present to give help. Find rest in Him and let Him fight your battles.

I would like to share a very familiar passage which has strengthened me just recently:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

Find strength in the Lord. He is waiting for you, and is always ready to receive you. May you find rest and strength for your soul now, dear reader!

Stressed Lately?

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

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.

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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.