March 22, 2011

Do I have to move mountains to prove my faith?

My sickness has given me sufficient time to rest, pray, meditate, read the bible, reflect and write. All the wonderful experiences  my previous hectic schedule deprived me. Among other things, I have been grateful to God for the subsequent  inner renewal taking place in my life. My faith has been strengthened every day.

During those extreme  moments when I was bed ridden, the bible became my constant companion. It continues to be, providing new insights and inspiration, no matter how many times I go over the books, chapters and verses. Literally or symbolically, the scripture has provided me relief, guidance, assurance,  and strength.

I  cannot count the times I revisit the Gospel. So much so, at times, I find myself on the actual scene of the encounters of Jesus with harsh realities of life. It is not difficult for me to realize his frustration with established, exclusivist religious structure and leadership and the skirmishes that follow. Likewise, the consequent effect of stirring the hornet of  exploitative system which takes its toll on his life and ministry.  I understand the jubilation of his followers and the tensions created by the triumphant entry leading to his crucifixion. The inevitable price of  advocating and standing for  the way, the truth and the life. I can easily identify with his concern for the poor, the deprived, the oppressed. My social work experience and involvement in the people’s struggle during the dark years of dictatorial rule in our country make me sensitive to the situation.    

Literally, I follow his teachings on forgiveness and love even the enemies. Though difficult it may be, I enjoy  its soothing effect to my soul. Even his exhortation concerning worries about the cares of the world including the daily needs  is feasible.  Although the expected provision does not always come on time, still I continue to follow his teachings. Whereas before, skipping daily maintenance due to lack of resources made me panic. Now, I take it as part of my healing process. Of course, at times my heart complains when deprived for weeks of the medicine. But I have to assure it that all things will work together for good and wait for the provision.

Yes,  I can attest that the teachings of Jesus are relevant, feasible and worthwhile.  But I stumbled on some things. Foremost, is his teachings on faith as recorded in  Mark 11:22-24.’'Have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 'I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, "Go, throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Its realization appears to be elusive. Many times, I try but  fail. I  cannot  not even move my health condition into another level, no matter how I  apply  suggestions on the power of faith or power of  mind or a combination of both. But always, I find refuge on the belief that the fullness of time will soon come. The delay is part of God’s preparation for ministry. At times, I reflect:  Do I have  to move mountains to prove my faith?  

March 17, 2011

An invitation to blog

Hi, I am Edwin Ibanez Lariza, registered social worker and ordained baptist minister.

I am in the process of recovery from  lingering illness.  I was at the peak of  service when  attacked by chronic heart ailment, compounded by unusual nerve disorder.  Such condition has constrained my active life of service for more than a year now. Most of my time is spent at home due to limited mobility. The delay of complete healing makes me vulnerable to discouragement and depression.

A pastor- friend advised and taught me  blogging  to help the healing process.  Indeed, it works. In the process of sustaining the journal blog , my interest in writing has been revived. Hence, I  opened another blog to ventilate  my suppressed commitment to the service of the people towards development. Visit my networking for social development.

Just recently, I  am inspired to create  a sharing blog. A forum for life and  faith experiences of people who have survived the test of times and circumstances.  This is a venue for us to learn from one another and share  so that others will also find inspiration in their faith journey. Thus, this invitation to blog.