The morning wasn’t like any other morning as things got messed up between Nevin and me. We had a conversation which ended in both of us getting angry and upset with each other to the point that we didn’t have our breakfast in the morning. We had differences of opinions and ideas on a certain matter which resulted in a harsh talk. Both of our words and actions have hurt each other and we knew it. We didn’t talk further but remained silent for the rest of the day.
A Christmas star which we have put in front of our home too wasn’t lit up that day. Both of us weren’t in a mood to let the star shine. The star which illuminated our entrance every evening was hanging there in the dark. It was the only Christmas star in our entire locality but that evening it didn’t give light at all. A few days back, it was the same shining star which made us feel the beginning of the Christmas season as we so excitedly hung it in front of our entrance. But today, the anger and grudges which we held within our hearts prevented us from allowing the star to give us delight. We chose darkness instead of light literally and metaphorically.
A few days back my husband and I were talking about the Bible verse in Mathew 7:13-14. In this particular verse Jesus predicts that many will hear His message but only a few will obey and follow Him. It’s the very familiar Bible verse you will probably know about the wide gate and the narrow gate.
So, in actuality if we imagine going through a gate which is small and a road which is narrow, the journey will seem difficult but at the same time the wide gate and the broad road is easy to get through and walk on. However, here comes the real test. Jesus calls us to enter through the narrow gate as it leads to life, which He has come to give us and not through the wide gate because it leads to destruction.
Dr. Myles Munroe’s book “Understanding your potential” which I read recently, discusses this verse and sheds light on its significance. It says that most of us will hear the message but will never fulfill the deepest desires of God’s heart. Only a few percent of those who hear the message about who they are will ever become all they could be. Many people will never fulfill their purpose in life. They will not become who they were designed to be because they won’t receive and practice what God is telling them. God can only do His part if we are willing to cooperate with his purpose for our lives. Dr. Myles Munroe goes on to encourage the readers to be in the category of the few who are willing to fulfill their God-given potential to its fullest as He has planted within us a treasure to be used for His glory.
As I was sharing with my husband about this particular passage of the book, my 8 years old son overheard our conversation and wanted to know what were the narrow and the wide gates that we were talking about. It was his study time but seeing the curiosity in his eyes to know about these two gates, I thought I should tell him the meaning of the verse by drawing a sketch of a narrow gate and a wide gate for his better understanding.
I indicated the difference between these two gates mentioning them as narrow gate activities and wide gate activities. I explained to him that multitudes of people are choosing the wide gate because it has the easy life, the comfortable path which has no goals, no purpose, no relationship with God and no discipline required but in the end it leads them nowhere but into troubles. But very few people will choose the narrow gate which requires relationship with God, courage to use their potential, hard work, integrity, purpose, determination and self-discipline which seem hard to stick with. But this gate will lead them to a great life Jesus wants to offer.
Wondering how much his young mind could grasp of the meaning, I gently asked him which gate he wanted to choose. Without thinking a single thought, he happily pointed to the picture of narrow gate. I was able to help him learn this profound lesson through a simple activity. However, back in my mind I wondered if I was really choosing the narrow gate in my life, if I was truly obeying and following Jesus, if I was among the few, if I was knowing deeply the purpose God has for me, if I was trusting Him enough to give Him full control of my life….
Walking through the narrow path can be hard at a time, as the life of faith is a constant exchange of the known with the unknown. It’s a journey of complete reliance on God and denial of oneself; it’s all about His plans and not ours; it’s about being willing to wait for His timing; it’s about keeping on trusting His promises despite the circumstances we find ourselves in; it’s about having courage & audacity to follow the dreams He placed in our hearts; it’s not about how the past was or how the present looks; it’s about how the future will be.
In the world where everything is instant, where affluence is considered the only blessing of God, where perfection is applauded, where instant gratification is desired by all, where giving up feels better than perseverance, where doing easy and entertaining things feels easier than doing hard and necessary things, where comparison is the most played game, where quick fixes are in demand for the tough problems, where impressive social status is acknowledged, where integral principles are closed in books, where choosing our own ways feels much better than waiting on the invisible God, we might just get tempted to go on with the multitudes.
But Jesus invites us to choose the opposite; He wants us to trust the path of the narrow gate which seems hard but is the only way to life; it’s the only way to know who we are in Him; it’s the only way to know the rich potential God has knitted in us; it’s the only way to find the courage to make our dreams a reality; it’s the only way to know our true worth; it’s the only way to know that our sufferings are temporary; it’s the only way to know that our life is given to us to make a great contribution to the kingdom of God.
Every single day is a choice for us to choose either of these two gates by our actions, thoughts and determination.
Which category should we stand in?
Let’s be among the few, who walk through the narrow gate, who choose the life of faith in action, who despite their weaknesses find courage to believe in His strength, who follow Jesus with all their hearts, who know their true identity, worth, purpose and potential in Him alone, who are willing hard enough to let their lives count for Jesus and who are striving to fulfill the deepest desires of God’s heart through their lives!
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Mathew 7:13-14
I sat in the Women’s Fellowship waiting for my turn to share what God has been doing in my life, especially during the last four years of challenges. It wasn’t easy to recall everything that has happened in the past and how I managed to face it. Even though the severity of my challenges is now reduced, they are still present. I was actually sharing my testimony from the place of waiting…waiting on God.
Bringing the scars to life again was not possible without being emotionally moved. Words chocked in my throat and my heart was heavy sharing about the goodness of God and His abundant grace on my life. If not by His grace I wouldn’t even be living today; and that is the biggest part of my testimony I could ever share with them.
The trauma was unbearable after the scary diagnosis of my daughter four years ago.Each day had been a challenge. All I wanted was to get relief from the heartache I was going through. It was unbearable for me to see my child suffer day and night with seizures, vomiting and many other health issues. I was clueless as to what the future would hold for her.
As a mother, I felt helpless; not being able to comfort her in any way. Numerous sleepless nights, hospital visits, blood tests, one after another treatment plans, following my son’s severe speech delay & behaviour issues and most of all the chaos in the family made me to doubt God’s love and even His existence. Why wouldn’t He see my tears? Why wouldn’t He stop this storm? I questioned…
..but at the end of the day, all I could do was hope. Hope for a day when everything would be ok…and this hope was given to me by Him.In the midst of all these hard days, if I could still come to His feet, dive into His Word, trust Him for my future, praise Him for leading me each day, think of pursuing my passion, it was all because of the hope He placed in my heart. He strengthened me when I felt weak, He lifted my soul when I felt all was lost. He held me near Him when I felt bitter and troubled. “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
As I began to share my life in the women’s meeting in the church, I wondered if my story from my waiting season would make any difference to them. Because I had no miracle to share except the story of my continued faith in God; my perseverance and the hope I clung to in the midst of my challenges. But the things I was hesitant about in my story became the most impacting insights for them. He used my hurts, my tears and my disappointments to bring encouragement to their hearts.
I realised that my testimony is not something about my greatness but His glory alone and how He wants it to be. It doesn’t have to be perfect but true and genuine. It doesn’t have to be a miraculous or glamorous one but hope-filled and real.
Friend, are you in a season of waiting and wondering if your life story would ever be a blessing to others? Do you feel that you haven’t got any miracle to share yet? Do you feel your testimony doesn’t make any sense?
God wants to use your broken places to bring glory to Him. He wants to be glorified in the midst of your waiting season. Your testimony is all about His glory no matter how it looks at present. He wants you to share your life right from the places where you feel broken, discouraged, and hopeless. He wants you to bring comfort to others with the comfort you have received from Him.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
As I imagine walking along a path with a lamp that I hold before me, I can see only the next step clearly. Everything beyond the lamp is dark and hard to see. Lamp will give just enough light for my steps and keep me from stumbling. It will guide me to the right way.
This verse took a whole new meaning for me. Just like lamp guides our steps in the darkness, God’s word guides us in the darkest paths of our life journey. Indeed it’s a lamp to our feet. It allows us to see the right way. It protects us from stumbling and getting lost on our way.
Are you walking through a path which seems dark to you? where you think you have lost the way? You can see nothing but the darkness. You feel hopeless, heart-broken and overwhelmed by your sufferings. You think to yourself that you can’t see a way beyond your trials.
Be encouraged and know that when you see nothing but the darkness, God’s lamp will guide you. His Word will give just enough light to your feet. His promises alone will show you the next step to walk through the darkest way. His word will give you hope, strength and guidance. Let the light of His Word be your GUIDE.
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“When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.” Mark 5:15
When Jesus and His disciples came to the region of the Gerasenes, a demon-possessed man came from the tombs to meet him. This man was suffering terribly because evil spirits were controlling his mind and body. He lived among the tombs, separated from his family and loved ones. For a long time he had not worn any clothes or lived in a house. No one could bind him, not even with chains. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to calm him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. He lived a pathetic life. No one had hope for him. His family and loved ones probably gave up on him. He was equal to dead in the tombs. Nobody cared for him. He wandered among the hills and tombs without any proper food, clothes or shelter. His body was all wounded. The demons had tormented his life and he was left alone in the tombs without any hope for his life.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of Jesus. He shouted at the top of his voice and begged Jesus not to torture him. He was possessed by a Legion of demons. When Jesus commanded the evil spirits to come out of this man, they begged him to send them among the large herd of pigs that was feeding on the nearby hillside. Jesus gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. The man was delivered!
This story reveals that Jesus values each single life. In Him, there is hope for everyone. The demon-possessed man was not only delivered from demons but He also received a new life and a purpose. He met his saviour. He desired to be with Jesus and follow him. People who saw him sitting near Jesus, well dressed and in his right mind, were surprised. He wasn’t the same anymore. His life story was changed. He began to tell others, what Jesus had done for him.
Are you struggling to keep up hope in your life? Are you thinking of quitting? Are you tired of making it through your trials? Do you think you are too messed up to ever get better? Be encouraged and know that your life is precious to Jesus. He values you. You are worthy because of His perfect love. He alone knows your circumstances. No matter how dark the night is, His light will surely shine through it. He promises to give you a new life, a new beginning and a new purpose. He promises to bestow on you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. When you meet Him, your life will never be the same again. Your story will not end in defeat but victory because Jesus is the hope of your life!
Going for a long drive with my family excites me a lot. But at the same time, I really get panicked during the travel. I have a travel phobia or whatever you call it but I can’t be at peace on a high way. I keep on telling (yelling at) my husband to watch out every car, truck, bike or bus that comes in speed from the opposite side. I sometimes squeeze his shoulder to reduce the speed. Even though he drives the car but in reality I control it. This sounds really crazy to me. But my dear husband got so much patience to deal with my “travel phobia” every time he takes me out. He says, “You just relax, I will take you safely, trust me.”
Often times we do the same thing with God. We want to enjoy our life journey but at the same time we are freaked out because of all the difficulties that come rushing from the other sides. All the fear that entangles us on the way. We yell at God, “God! Don’t you see I got financial crisis? Look! My child isn’t feeling well, God! Did you know I have got so much debt to pay, God! Did you see what the medical report says? Do you know my business is ruining, have you noticed? I have not succeeded in my life etc. We keep on telling him about the difficulties that we see as “threatening” to us. We let Him drive our life but we want to have control over it. But God is so patient with us. He knows our fears, our anxieties and our concerns. He loving says to us “Just relax, I will take you safely, trust me.”
Trusting Him simply means just giving your life completely in His hands and letting Him have control over it. There will be difficulties, rough roads, curves, and slopes but He will take you safely throughout the journey. There will be times you may face financial crisis, health issues, family disputes, bad breaks in your work place or business, difficulties in your career, your marriage, job or relationships. But when you know He is in control of every aspects of your life, you can just relax and enjoy the ride. You can be at peace even in the midst of the rough roads. Remember He is behind the wheel and He is in control of your life. So go on and have an adventurous journey!