Last year was a roller coaster year for me. There were some good things that happened and some bad. I left a second job as a cashier at a store to focus on my first job working at a lab, and was fired from that job only a month later. I was studying for my real estate license and passed all of my exams and obtained my state license only to not make anything out of it. My cousin – my mom’s older sister’s youngest son who was like a best friend to my youngest brother passed away at only 20 years old from a brain aneurysm. My great aunt, my mom’s youngest aunt and possibly the last of her siblings passed away as well. I did not get to go to the funeral(s) nor console my family the way I would love to. And the list goes on and on.
I even participated in a competition and could not load the data onto a server despite knowing how to do it and attempting several times – possibly 20 times. When I merged with another team for this Data Science competition after receiving my preliminary Data Science Certificate, I worked 17 hours straight that very night and did not get one thing done because loading the data was taking too long. And when it did, it wouldn’t work. And then my phone started dying and I can’t use it at all for days. Basically, I lost everything …. yet again.
There might be people who would observe this and say that all of these things happen because I am unlucky or that God just wouldn’t bless me.
After all of these things happen to me I forced myself to trudge on and traverse the raging sea and broiling storm. Until I could not do it anymore. Until I realize my efforts were futile. By that time I have repented any known sins and forgave any unforgiveness I could ever know, and did these things again and again until I am blue in the face with tears streaming throughout sleepless nights travailing in prayer.
“God, what are you doing? Why am I here? Why are these things happening?”
There was silence. Not even chirping of crickets. Not even my heater made a sound. Silence was overwhelming the place.
I was exhausted from all of that. But I kept praying, reading Scripture, worshipping and praising God. And I gave up. I gave up frantically trying to work on my problems. I gave up putting in rewardless efforts.
I started resting by watching sermons and funny animal videos and food videos on YouTube. If nothing’s going to work no matter how much I put in what’s the point. Maybe God is just done with me. Maybe I no longer have a purpose. Maybe I should just not do anything. Maybe God just don’t love me anymore. On and on and on…
It’s interesting and mysterious how God works. I was in a lot of emotional pain and had a very heavy burden. Even today, I feel down in the dust as I write, but then it was so heavy that I was crying on and off and muttered prayers between sermon videos. I watched many different sermons, from many different pastors.
But there were also videos that I watched were about the Rapture. And the signs around the world or in the news that are pointing to the Rapture, including the Revelation 12 sign on September 23, 2017. In amidst the pain and the burden, it’s easy to want and hope for an escape, and the Rapture is a part of that. But we are also instructed to watch for the Rapture and/or the Second Coming of Jesus depending on the doctrines (please don’t make it a salvation issue about this one) one believes. I choose to be open to any of the possibilities.
And from these videos I was led to a certain set of sermons regarding the End Times and these were the titles of the sermons I watched:
- Contend for Your Destiny
- Keep On Praying Until the Burden Departs
- Don’t Give Up Just Because You Think It’s Taking Longer Than You Think
I was going through all of these things and then the pastor talks about how Daniel, Moses and Joseph spent a lot of time in prayer. Like in Daniel’s case, he was fasting and praying for 21 days before an answer from God arrived. The pastor asked the question, “Imagine if Daniel did not continue to pray until 21 days, Gabriel might still be held back by the enemy” (paraphrasing). The point here is that the answers to my prayers are not necessarily going to be a quick fix solution scenario. And I believe that is the answer to to:
If nothing’s going to work no matter how much I put in what’s the point?
In another of these sermons the pastor referred to how Elijah had just defeated the prophets of Baal in a prophecy stand off and it was a public affair. Everyone saw that Elijah’s God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had just flashed fire from heaven and it burned the bull, the wood, the stones and the dust despite being drenched with water and everyone who were present bowed down to the ground and proclaimed that Elijah’s God is God because Baal did not burn up the bull that the prophets of Baal put on the other side. (Baal did not burn up the bull because it is not God). And then he defeated the prophets and prayed for rain in the area. Imagine all of that glory that God had just showed through him and then when Jezebel threatened him, Elijah went straight into a cave and felt like God had just abandoned him or forsaken him as he was the only prophet left.
But of course, God did not. In fact 1 Kings 19, God showed him many wonders and asked him to keep going forward. In fact God asked Elijah “What are you doing here?” twice.
That was the answer to the following thoughts:
Maybe God is just done with me. Maybe I no longer have a purpose. Maybe I should just not do anything. Maybe God just don’t love me anymore.
God is so good. So good that He does not want us to miss the beauty of an intimate relationship with Him. Throughout this ordeal I learned how to wait on God and how to praise Him through my trials.
I learned that there were godly men of God who said that they will not leave the church building, prayer room, the jungle, the cabin, the camping ground or any other location of their choice as their secret place of prayer until God would answer them or give them an encounter. I have yet to learn to be that patient. And I will strive towards that end.
And finally, I learned to trust Him completely and listening to Him intently until He is ready to take me forward. I learned that sometimes all doors are closed because His cloud is staying put in the wilderness, and where His cloud goes, that is where I have to follow, not the other way round (Exodus 40:36).
I started prophesying that God has a purpose in my life according to Jeremiah 29:11. That He loves me according to Romans 8 and Ephesians 1. And that He is going to reveal me and the rest of us as His Sons and Daughters very soon (soon can mean 2000 years according to the Bible).
I guess this is what the LORD means when we read in Scripture:
Be still and know that I AM GOD.
PS: I am back to giving my best to work on the issues I am facing right now. But I am also surrendering everything to Him.