“One day, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and he was baptized by John in the Jordan River.” – Mark 1:9
A momentous, single day that has been the deciding point of Jesus’ human life – to leave Nazareth inorder to fulfill the will of the Father and launch His ministry. The thirty years that has prepared him inorder to start his “real work” on Earth. I pause and think about the things that he let go in Nazareth – his family, friends, a trade maybe ( being a carpenter’s son) and everything else that are all-too- familiar with him. His comfort zone! I can pretty well relate as we have been moving many times over. Leaving our own ” Nazareths” inorder to embrace the new places and new circumstances in our lives. As a growing child, we have moved thrice due to career decisions of my parents, sent to boarding schools in my high school and college years, and now as an adult, we have been moving – following my husband because of new job locations.
Letting go is a learned art, I know. When I think about Jesus, how he let go of his own Nazareth, I know that everything else that I let go has an eternal reward. That ONE , significant day that I let go of something in order to take a step into the unknown – the next step of God’s will in my life. Yes, there are inconveniences, we feel sad leaving friends and families (or could be the other way around, friends and family, especially grown-up children, leaving us!) , but I know that I have entrusted the unknown into the Maker’s hands. Jesus is my Teacher in the art of letting go. He teaches me to open my hands (and my heart!) so I can hold on to something new and beautiful once again.
Grateful for that ONE DAY!
“But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
- – Isaiah 43: 18-19
Hebrews 11 – the Hall of Faith. Each action of those enumerated was borne out of faith. Whenever faced with similar situations, I go back to the “hall” and get reminded that faith always overtakes fear. When I move in fear, I am looking into my own and depending on my abilities but when I move in faith, I look beyond what is seen and trust God who is able. Here are some:
1. Enoch not experiencing death – and this was because he pleased God – and no one can please God if he doesn’t believe that He exists and He will reward those who earnestly seek him. I believe in the existence of God and how he became flesh in Jesus Christ. In my quest for Him, I have found a personal relationship with Him. Because of this, I know that eternity awaits me after my “earthly tent” shall come to its expiration date. I find it amusing that goods have been marked “best before xx-xx-xxx (expiration date) “, while if we think deeper , we, as Christians are best after our expiration dates! For by then we are in the BEST place ever!
2. Noah saving his family – it has been my prayer up to this moment that salvation will come in our household. I never stopped praying for the time to come that we will profess the same faith and always have an answer whenever asked about it.
3. Abraham as a nomad – in our 13 yrs of being married, we have transferred and created homes 9 times already and I know God’s not done with us yet! Embracing this nomadic lifestyle earns us a title of being “residents” (transients) on earth, not really homeowners. This requires submission to my husband’s leadership as he brings us to places where God is leading him.
4. Sarah’s barrenness – there are “famine “episodes in our life but God always has a way of opening up a ‘’closed womb’’ – If he can use Sarah’s womb to be a blessing to many nations, He can also use me. He has opened up the skies and poured out rains to refresh us not only in the form of financial breakthroughs and creative opportunities but also in relationships and in our health.
5. Isaac offered as a sacrifice – 8 yrs ago, I gave birth to a bouncing, healthy boy , only to find out 3 days after that he had to be treated for blood incompatibility. Chance of retardation was high but everyday as I fought for my boy’s life, God was asking me to offer him to Him. And so I did just like Abraham, believing that just as He gave Boj to me, He will correct any abnormality and let him live to be a healthy boy.. And he is! Recently, God is asking me again to give Dana to Him when she enters a boarding school come June. I will remember what He has done to Boj so I can fully appreciate what lies ahead for my 13yr-old Dana.
6. Kings and Prophets spared from the swords and lions – times when we experience persecution, hear lies from the enemy that try to defeat us – I always think about how God has shut the mouths of the lions and I know He is also able to shut the enemy’s mouth and turn stony hearts into soft, fertile grounds ripe for releasing and accepting forgiveness and giving / receiving a blessing.
Stories of the glorious and the suffering filled the whole chapter but as for its end, we know that none of them received what had been promised, “ since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.’’ (v. 40)
So we continue the fight, we press on and run the race. My prayer is I don’t get disqualified in the course and I will be able to bring many right back on track.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”