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?