My parents taught us about God, going to church every Sunday, praying and other church stuff. I grew up with a knowledge of God. Until 10 years ago, I realized that wasn’t enough.
As I read God’s Word, I realized that God is not just a “someone” that we have to learn in our Religion subject. I realized that God is not just present when I go to a church building. I realized that doing church activities is not just what God really wants from me.
God, more than anyone else, is the most important. How important our family is to us, God is more. How important our friends are to us, God is more. God who created the universe that we can’t even imagine, who designed us in our mother’s womb that we can’t even fathom. This God, who after all, what He really wants is just for us to love Him first before anyone or anything. This God, who is Almighty and Powerful, after all, what He really wants is just for us to know and honor Him. This God, who after all, what He really desires is we go back to Him.
In 1993, my father lost his job in Cebu as the company he was working at that time shut down. I was very young back then, I really didn’t understand what was going on. I just knew then that we would move to Bacolod City as my father found a job in Negros Occidental. God provided for my family – a job, a home, a school. God was faithful even when sometimes we failed to honor Him.
In 1997, we got robbed inside our house. A lot of our relatives from abroad came home because of my grandfather’s funeral. My siblings and I all slept in the living room and it was a good thing no one woke up during that time. God protected us from those men. God was faithful even when we forgot Him at times.
In 2001, the portion of my grandparent’s house where we stayed got burned. The whole second floor were our room and my parent’s room where were turned into ashes. It was a nightmare as I saw the fire rapidly eating the whole floor. But, I was grateful that none of us got hurt. I was glad that my brother who was in my parent’s room sensed the fire and was able to get out. God kept us all safe. God was faithful even when we fail to make time for Him.
In 2006, this was a very painful year for us as a family. My mother was going in and out of the hospital for a month because of family issues that affected her health. Everyone in the family was coping on how to handle such painful family matter. And the most unexpected happened, my sister passed away because of hemorrhagic dengue fever. During this time, it was only God who could truly see and understand the depth of our pain. God was our comforter. God was faithful even when we neglected Him sometimes.
In 2014, just this month, my father got into an accident which caused him to have his left hipbone dislocated. I was telling God how funny it could be, that if He allowed this to happen why not before I resigned from my work. My HMO could have covered the hospital bills of my father. But, I am grateful that my father is okay and the operations performed to him was just to align his hipbone and a minor surgery for his fractured ankle. This was an unexpected expense for us but God provided for our needs. And I know that He is at work at my father’s life that He allowed this. I’m grateful for this trial in Papa’s life. God is faithful even when we lack faith in Him and doubt Him at times.
These were not just the trials that God allowed to happen in my life, in our lives as a family. There were a lot. But these I highlighted are the ones I can clearly look back and be amazed of how GOOD God really is. It brings me to tears every time I remember His faithfulness and goodness to our family despite the times that we continue to disobey Him and even ignore Him. He remained faithful and He got us through all of those.
You see, more than our good works, good performance, good looks – God wants a relationship with us through Jesus. Like a father to a child, that’s what He wants from us. Even if we forget Him, He has always been there, waiting for His children to come back, to the point of giving up His Only Son, Jesus. That’s how much God loves us.
Life is difficult.
Life is more difficult without Jesus whom through Him we can go back to God.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” – Romans 8:32
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-31