Wednesday, September 27, 2006

a Christian: then and now

I've been feeling particularly weak and worn out these past few days. Whether you call it a spiritual trough, "the dumps," backsliding, or by any other name, no words can fully express the dreadful emptiness of turning away from God.

I guess it's inevitable that all of us Christians experience this one time or another in this narrow path to Life. But, oh, what I would give up not to be in this wretched predicament ever again!

After washing down my woes with warm shower water for half an hour, I pulled out Desiring God from my bookshelf. From the very long list of books I've read since second grade (which, jfytk,* includes almost all of Stephen King's novels) it stands out with the select few that have profoundly influenced and radically changed my thought life and world view.

With a brief but heartfelt prayer that God would moisten this hard rock of my heart with His life-giving dew, I leafed through the well-thumbed pages and started to read.

Let me now share to you this passage -- one of the most underlined sections in my copy of the book (I always use a number 2 pencil instead of a neon highlighter. The intense green, pink, or any other color, for that matter, overwhelms my eyes. Plus, I can erase pencil marks with ease) -- which time and again has moved my heart to shout with joy at the abundance of His grace.

Once we had no delight in God, and Christ was just a vague historical figure. What we enjoyed was food and friendships and productivity and investments and vacations and hobbies and games and reading and shopping and sex and sports and art and TV and travel ... but not God. He was an idea -- even a good one -- and a topic for discussion; but he was not a treasure of delight.

Then something miraculous happened. It was like the opening of the eyes of the blind during the golden dawn. First the stunned silence before the unspeakable beauty of holiness. Then a shock and terror that we had actually loved the darkness. Then the settling stillness of joy that this is the soul's end. The quest is over. We would give anything if we might be granted to live in the presence of this glory forever and ever.

And then faith -- the confidence that Christ has made a way for me, a sinner, to live in his glorious fellowship forever, the confidence that if I come to God with Christ, he will give me the desire of my heart to share his holiness and behold His glory.

Nice, ano? It makes me want to sing.

* Pastor Bob, the preacher at Higher Rock, used this really amusing way of introducing a digression in one of his sermons. It means "just for you to know," and is pronounced just as it's spelled: "J-F-Y-T-K." Hehe.


Anonymous said...

Number Two penci. Ha, I'll keep that in mind.

Oo nga, Jef. Ganda ng sinulat mo. :D

Unknown said...

Thanks. :-)

By the way, malala ba talaga si "Milenyo"? May kuryente na kayo sa Yakal ngayon?

Anonymous said...

Yep. You got it right. Check out the link for photos.