My Spiritual Life Ramblings

Saturday, March 15, 2003

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”
Proverbs 9:10

Years ago, in the final year of my university, I needed cognition desperately to comprehend complicated theories in journals and conceptualise extensive formulations in my graduation thesis.
However, understanding could not be guided by another much. Understanding and revelation has to come by yourself. In desperation I sought the Lord constantly, who gave me a verse. And miraculously a few weeks later, every thing took light. Suddenly everything seem to be at ease. I have a clear mind that worked like a sponge, taking in complex issues, having a good and firm grasp of complex theorems, and having deep understanding.
The most remarkable benefit I reap from this sudden influx of blessing from the Lord was that I grew in stature and understanding in His Word too. God even began revealing certain plans He had in store for me and I drew closer to Him.

Years later, and several trials and valley walks later, I have another revelation of this Word.
In the past year, in my trips of snorkeling (the beauty and myriad colour of the fishes and corals) and mountain climbing (the majestic mountains and dazzling sunsets) , I have gawked many times at His beauty of Creation and am reminded of how minute we are compared to His spectacular grandeur.
I recalled one particular mountain trip. I was suffering from attitude sickness and the pressure gets to my head whenever I lie down. As such I had to sleep propping up by the bed, and my bed facing the window at an attitude of 3000+m gave a spectacular view to marvel at. The stars and constellations were so clear, and God’s Word in Job 38:31-33 came to mind “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its seasons? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominance over the earth?”
It brought me to a new level of the fear of the Lord when I comprehended, as His Creation, how minute I am compared to His splendor.
I’ve seen some who stumbled and fall in their walks in the valleys, complaining and murmuring at God. (Just my humble opinion, have those who murmured ever stopped to ponder on where they come from?)
Yet, in midst of these, they are some, who like Job, did not “sin against God” and let the deception of satan fall through. (One of satan’s plot in making us turn against God is to make us misunderstand God’s intentions and misjudge God)

So in midst of trials and tribulations, I just need to hold on to this belief, to have a fear of God, know and understand that He is in control, and as Solomon aptly put it,
“Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” Ecc 12:13

Sunday, March 02, 2003

In my workplace, I seem to be surrounded by several people who seem to purposely provoke me to anger and frustrations.
And I have a problem dealing with my emotion of anger and frustration.

I get irritated easily when deadlines are looming, things need to be resolved and yet some people take their own sweet time. Then dump the problem to my side when problems arise, like it’s my fault that I do not keep track of progresses.
I snap easily and explode emotionally sometimes to vent out the frustrations and grievances.
Just the other day, I was in a meeting and have to resist a strong urge to storm out of the room when some hurting and false accusations were thrown my way. Could feel the heat in my face and the tears that were beginning to well up inside had a hard time to be held back.
Read in the news today that the Saudi Crown Prince stormed out of some Arab summit in anger due to some unpleasant remarks, of which I can empathise.

Is a Christian supposed to have emotional outburst and vent out our frustrations?
Do I acknowledge my emotions or do I bottle it up, forgive and forget, just because it is a ‘Christian-y’ thing to do?

In Psalm 109, David's angry words seem almost ruthless
How could David pray all those evil things about his enemy? It sounds like pure hatred.

But I think David's words didn't surprise God, After all, if it’s not meant to be, why did God let these words stay on 2000 years later so we can read it today? I believe God already knew what he was thinking and feeling. David was simply expressing his pain, hurt and anger frankly to his God.

I feel that God want us to dump these hurt, frustrations and hatred to Him so we won't dump it on others in destructive way.
David was as candid about his need for God as he was about expressing his feelings, who closed the psalm by praying: "Help me, O LORD my God. . . .With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the LORD"

And I think the way David acknowledged his feelings is healthy.
A Christian could come to his private time with God feeling angry, depressed or frustrated and then express some pious comments as if God doesn't discern how he feel.
But I don’t think God will be pleased. As such, we’ll be mere hypocrites, trying to deny our real feelings and trying to act ‘holy’ in front of God.
In God's eyes, if we are not real with Him, it does not please Him.
Afterall, the fundamental basis of our creation is fellowship with God,
A real and honest fellowship, and not some mere hypocrisy.

Acknowledging our emotions also involves being real in front of a few trusted friends.
During his travels, Paul had Barnabas, Silas or Timothy to lean on.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus expressed His grief to His inner circle of Peter, James and John.

I pray, Lord, that I can be real and honest with You.
Help me develop a few trusted friends who will also welcome my emotional honesty.