December 25, 2012

Unexpected answer to a long time question

Article first published  August 1, 2011 on Lariza. Website.

Today marks a shift in my service at Central Philippine University. Our department chairperson filed a one year leave and recommended me to take her place. She returned to her previous public service endeavor in the government’s social welfare agency in the region. Similarly, this is also a sort of resumption of my previous position for almost seven years prior to my stint as director of the University Outreach Center. Thereafter, I experienced almost two years of hiatus caused by my chronic heart ailment with almost year of sick leave.

Both the university and I are put in a position with limited choice. There are only three of us working full time in the department. The other one has filed a leave earlier. While the administration has still reservation on both my health and my association with the previous president, there is not enough option to choose. In my part, despite my health condition and mutual reservation I cannot bear to leave the department in limbo. This is the department that gave me another chance to prove my worth after being banned from my previous theological studies due to technicalities and my political leanings.

My involvement during the martial rule in our country was a taboo in our religious denomination. Hence, apart from neglecting my studies to give way to my commitment in service, ultimately quitting school few months before my graduation, I was included in the blacklisted pastors which ruined my image and even future. But the Department of Social Work accepted me “just as I am” and gave me the opportunity to complete my social work course and subsequently theological studies, too. Thereafter, I served the department as faculty and later department head especially when the old guards either retired or resigned to seek new challenge or greener pasture. My wife, also a social worker and colleague in the university at that time, was my partner in sustaining the department during the transition period.

However, this is not the main reason for blogging on this topic. It is my previous painful experience that left some questions unanswered by God. It took almost 7 months to date that I finally find the answer . I now understand why God allowed me to be deprived of the sabbatical leave privilege despite my need, earnest prayer, benefit to His ministry, and corresponding favorable conditions. Why I have to undergo the pain of failure when my health was still very volatile due to prejudicial decision of the selection committee. For if I availed such privilege earlier, what would happen to the department?

Indeed, God sees what is best not just for us but for others. At times, He may appear to disappoint us by delaying the response or denying our request, even making us experience failure and defeat. But it does not necessarily mean he does not love us. It is because it is not the best for us, as well as for others. I even have the feeling that this resumption is a sign of my complete recovery. For he will not allow me to get this post which is far from my dream or desire, unless he sustains me with strength. Indeed, His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither His ways our ways. Glory be to God!


The Christmas break has given me time to visit my blogs, review and evaluate them. Subsequently, I have decided to give each blog a  focus and transfer respective posts to where they belong. Hence, the start of reposting of faith related article to this blog. Merry Christmas. 

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