Saturday, February 23, 2013

How my dad died and I did not get to see it - where is Jesus? 2/2

(cont from part 1) Though many circumstances surrounding my father's death may have caused me to doubt Him, thank God I did not.

I guess it is important to know someone's heart. I have more than one close friends from the past who went from being my very good friends to suddenly not speaking with me because they felt something I said offended them. They took something I said and felt I meant to say something else. It is because they were focused on a problem they had that nobody knew. And focusing on their problem causes them to understand things differently. For example, say at the pantry you see a group of colleagues speaking and laughing and one of them take a quick look at you. On a normal day you might just walked off without taking note. On another day you might walk over and see what they are chatting about and join in. But on a day you feel depressed thinking that no one likes you, you will immediately think that they are talking bad about you and you may get angry with them. At that moment it depends whether you know what your colleagues stand for, whether with your doubts do you still trust them to be good to you - whether you still know their heart. If possible, clarify the matter with them, and give them the chance to be able to explain.

In the same way, if we have experiences that make us feel offended with the Lord, it is good to: 
  1. Remind ourselves that the Heart of the Lord is for us, knowing that He remains the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrew 13:8). If He is kind to us in the past, He would not suddenly be unkind to us. He died for us to save us even when we are still sinners (ref 1).  In our most challenging moments when circumstances cause us to change our opinion of Him, He will not change His opinion of us and will still be good to us. Jesus is always our answer, He is always on our side. If we feel He isn't for us just because we have bad experiences, then we must know we are mistaken. Look to the cross and consider how Jesus loves us and gave Himself for us (ref 2).
  2. Allow ourselves time and opportunity to clarify matters with Jesus. Like if things are not well, cry out to the Lord and seek Him. He cares for us deeply. Like the prodigal son story (Luke 15:11-32), our Father would respond very quickly to turn things around. The worse thing we can do for ourselves is confuse our only help as the source of our problem. 
  And that's what I did then. 
  1. When I considered Jesus, I knew God will never play me out. God sent Jesus, His only Son, to die for me and my dad. Jesus was beaten and publicly humiliated. He was betrayed by one of His closest disciples through a kiss. All whom He loved and spent time with forsook Him. The person who pledged to die for him denied knowing him by swearing 3 times within meters from where He was laid captive. Jesus was rejected by His own people publicly when they chose Barabbas the criminal and sent Him for cruxification. Jesus was stripped naked for all to see, and nailed to the cross. He was publicly mocked. He lost everything He had. At the cross, God put all my sins on Jesus and God punished all my sins on Him. Even His own Father was against Him at the cross. And at the cross He bled and died my death for me. That today I can live as a righteous person part from works (ref 3). That I may be healed and my friends will not forsake me. I have honor in place of humiliation. I am made rich as a result of His poverty. And God became my Father who will never be against me because He was against Jesus with my sins at the cross. Jesus lost everything at the cross because He gave everything He has to me. I can never doubt Jesus who died for me that way. If God my Abba has given me Jesus, He would never withhold from me the requests I made about my father in harm to me (ref 4)
  2. In the bible, it says that God is Love (ref 5). This means if we ever have any capacity to love and be loved, it is because we got some of it from Him. And God is Compassion (ref 6). If we ever have compassion for anything, that compassion also comes from Him. And He is the God of all Comforts (ref 7). I would be wrong to think I have more compassion and love for my dad. That's not knowing my place before God.
  3. I will clarify the matter with God my Abba and Jesus when I see them in heaven. But I know God has eyes to see and ears to hear all the prayers I did in my spare room before I left the house for the hospital. God is going to explain to me what He did for me in answer to my prayers and how He has helped me and my father during those times. And I am sure the end result is that I am going to be in awed at His loving kindness and tender mercies towards my family. There is no other possible outcome. God is not going to fall off His chair. He is not going to tell me He isn't faithful to me. God is faithful. I am the lesser one (ref 8). 
All these years I never really understood what happened. But I have full confidence that after I have prayed to God, what happened is the best that could have happened under the circumstances, whether I can see it or not. 

You know my dad suffered all his life. He and my mum were estranged for as long as I know. There are many things that I don't know about my dad and I would not have arranged it better for him compared to God. It is better for me to pray for what I know in my human limitations and let God take care of everything else because God is better. My prayers will never be the best for my dad. But from the point I pray, God is able to exceed my prayers beyond what I ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). 

My dad and I are so close that when he passed on, I felt I have lost over 50% of my relatives. But thanks be to our Savior Jesus, I never really lost him. My father is in a much better place now. A place that I very much longed for. And if there isn't needful work for the Lord to be done here, I would rather go Home as well. I know my father will be there waiting for me. I will see him again and we will be together forever. Together with Jesus and our Abba Father. But for now, he is cheering me on, together with my Lord Jesus and God my Abba.

Shalom.

Bible references:
  1. But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, WEB) 
  2.  ...... That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20, WEB) 
  3. But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; (Romans 3:21, WEB)
  4. He who didn't spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32, WEB) 
  5. He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8, WEB)
  6. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. (Mark 5:19, KJV)
  7. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 cor 1: 3-4, NASB)
  8. If we are faithless, He remains faithful. He can't deny Himself." (2 Timothy 2:13, WEB) 



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