We all carry labels. Labels that we sometimes give ourselves or given to us by family, friends, or our profession. But what does God have to say about all the things we are and we do? While some of us have learned the art of getting out of our messy places and shake off our labels, some continue in them.
I was about 8 years old when I first read Aladdin and the magic lamp. Since then, at different stages of my life I have attempted to answer this magical question –
If you would be granted one wish, what would that wish be?
I’m sure many of you have attempted to do this too and have come out with some really innovative ideas, including asking for a ‘million wishes’. With our ever-changing desires, you probably would ask for wealth, fame, travel, or even be the best athlete /singer/dancer, etc.
One man was asked the same question by God, and he found himself receiving more than what he asked for – Solomon, better known as King Solomon. He is known as the wisest man who ever lived on earth. Kings and queens from far-off nations would visit him to hear his words of wisdom. Yet, the more significant message is the reason behind this great wisdom of Solomon. Continue reading The Glory of Humility→
If I were to ask you to describe someone for me, say people at work, college, church or within the family, I’m sure at first instance, we come up with a list of people whom we remember for all the nice things they have done to us or for the kind of person they are. Subconsciously, there also lies another hidden category of people that we definitely do not want to remember or associate with. By remembering them we invoke memories that caused pain – Judgment. Hate. Negativity. Arrogance.
The list could go on. We all live in a world where such things are bound to exist. Most of us at one point or the other are -Hurt. Betrayed. Manipulated. Misunderstood. Backstabbed. Continue reading The Invincible Struggle→
Don’t we all make it a point to pray for our children? As a mother, I do! I pray for my children every day without fail. While this seems like the ‘normal’ thing to do, the quality of our prayers often surrounds our concern for our children’s safety, studies, spiritual growth, health, exams, future, etc. And sometimes very generic such as ‘Lord, bless my children’.
“All the other kids do it so why can’t I?” – Nathan said, as I questioned him on something he did. He tries to defend saying “Mummy, because he did that to me”, with all the expressions and pointing fingers at the rest of the kids. “It was never his fault”! Well, that’s what he wants me to think of him. How many of you have heard this elusive statement from kids when we ask them why they did certain things?
It’s that time of the year again … the hot summer gives way to a mild winter in this part of the world. In this transition, the mornings are welcomed with heavy fog and mist. It’s more of an eye test for me, as visibility hits low extremes, even driving becomes a challenge. Sometimes there are pockets of thick fog and I suddenly emerge from the cloud to clear view until I hit the next pocket. I always wondered how difficult it must be for pilots who try to land aircrafts in such conditions. Thank God for radars that helps them land safely.
Faith – a small five letter word, but more powerful that anyone can imagine. To most, it is associated with their religion and what they believe in. To others, it’s Continue reading Is Your Radar On?→
I was hurrying to drop Nathan to school one morning and it was already quite late. Of course, this is not the worry of a 4-year-old and he was in his own little world as usual. He stopped me at the main door and asked me to look through the key hole. I was quite hesitant but knowing the after effects just in case I don’t, I thought I will give a look just to satisfy him. My thoughts were set on leaving home as soon as possible.
As I looked through the key hole, I told him what I saw… ‘The outside gate’. Well, at the back of my head, that was my focus and getting out through the gate was my primary thought. Nathan stopped me asking, “Mummy do you also see my green ball? It is lying in the sun” and then he went on describing his ball.
The description of his vision explained with all colors is what caught my attention. He saw what I couldn’t see. I smiled as I listened to his words. As I drove to school, this message is what God put in my heart. In our busy lives, Continue reading Do You See What I See?→
A story I grew up listening to so often and one of my favorite Bible stories is that of little David and Goliath the giant. While the entire army of Israel stood intimidated by the giant, a little boy walks up to Goliath with his unshaken and unwavering trust in God. This story taught me at a very young age that physical size does not matter as much as ‘Faith-size’ does.
Goliath had a brother just like him and together there were about 4 other giants in the land of Philistine. We read in 2 Samuel 21:15-22 that years later, all of them fell by the hands of David and his men. There were other mighty men of David who accomplished great acts.
Last year we visited UK and spend a few days with my brother in London. I had looked forward to this vacation for a long time, but a few days after landing, both Nathan and I fell ill. The remaining vacation was spent in bed, recovering. All I wanted at the time was to get back home to Sharjah.
A recent encounter in the kitchen with the Holy Spirit has taught me yet another lesson in life.
An unused vessel had been hanging near the stove for a long time and it had been exposed to a lot of oil over the past months. The result – it lost its initial shine, charm, and beauty and now was slightly discolored too. Moreover, Dust and oil combined to form a thick layer over the vessel. I set out on a task to get it clean..Besides, how hard can it be?! After 2 rounds of scrubbing and washing, there was still no change to the vessel’s appearance. Out came my secret weapon against tough stains… my steel scrub! Part by part the layers cleared, and finally, the vessel was restored to its original state.
This could be an everyday story for most women who work in the kitchen but if we pay close attention, the Holy Spirit can teach us something here.
In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he compares our lives to vessels. A vessel will only be used by its owner if it is clean. There is a constant struggle trying to maintain this cleanliness in our lives as we are so vulnerable to outside influences. Past wounds, our ego and complexes, and other priorities have left us stained with layers over layers. This accumulation has not only made us lose our original shine but dipping our face value (worth). One fine day, we wake up to a realization that we are no longer being used by God and all our so-called ‘achievements’ have gone in vain.
I like how Ravi Zacharias quotes in his book ‘I, Isaac, take thee Rebekah’ –
“If God has reminded us that His desire is to dwell with us and to meet with us in the sanctity of the human body, the violation of that locus destroys its purpose.”
The Bible calls our bodies as the temple of God. The sanctity of this temple is our responsibility. No amount of detergent is stronger than full surrender to the Holy Spirit for a cleansing of all that has defiled our hearts and mind.
In 2 Timothy 2:20-21, we read – “In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.”
The next step obviously is not just to ‘go’ through a cleansing but to ‘grow’ through it and not repeat it. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the Wellspring of Life and be a vessel of honor to be used by your master.