Abiding Grace: The Joy of Companionship

In moments of sadness and happiness, we always need someone’s company to be with us.

‘Companion’ in its verb form could be ‘accompany’ with whom one spends lots of time with or travel with.    Synonyms of ‘companionship’ are friendship, acquaintance, togetherness, and many more.

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the joy of having companion

We do know that God is always with us.  His abiding grace is sufficient.  But many times, we cannot feel His companion right away.  To feel it, first, we need to empty ourselves and give Him, His much deserved, space.  Surely, He will make us whole again.

Let me share you part of my journal entry.


June 14, 2017 14:00

As usual, some unwanted occurrence visited me.  This time, it’s a bit harder.  But I try to let it pass as soon as possible.  It might be due to the change in weather condition, I guess, as it happened before.

We were at home with my two little children.  I let them know of my situation and that God’s abiding grace will be with us.

I kneel down to pray sliding on our bed.  My eyes got a bit blurry but I was fine.  My little ones did not want to disturb me.

They came, and as we pray, I hold them in my arms – one on my left and the other on my right.  I told them to put their holy hands on my head and pray for me too.  And they did!

“Heal my daddy’s head inside-out.  Please give daddy longevity.  That, we will live together for a long time.  We love him very much!”

On hearing their prayer, it gives me new strength and I was filled with tears of happiness.  It gives me strength to carry on.

Then I resume my prayer and thank God for everything.  His companionship came in the form of my own children today!  I am really hopeful that my God would consider their request.


We cannot, always, have the same strength as yesterday’s.  It might be due to different reasons.  Small things, for some other persons, can still let us down.  As long as we are breathing, it will exist.

When we were discouraged and disturbed, we want companion, at least.   But, if you’re like me, we don’t want to let loose our mind and everything either.

For us, we waited some years for the arrival of our first child.  He became my best companion till date.   Many times before, he took care of me.  Since we are living in a city very far away from home, we need each other the most.

Today, in what form do you get your companion – that, I did not know.  However, our heavenly father is and was so kind to be with us.  It is just that we don’t have time to realize His presence.

It reminded me of how Elisha was prompted to ask God to open the eyes of his servant to see ‘the invisibles’!  (Read 2 Kings 6: 14-17)

In moments of loneliness and helplessness, several times, we wanted to see ‘the invisibles’, if you’re like me.  For a person who easily gets disturbed because of the long-suffering and not living the dream, we wanted to feel His presence, His abiding companionship, every day and every hour.

For the wandering mind, the companionship of someone is most needed.  For the insecure at heart, it gives relief with someone’s mere companion.  That is one among the JOY of living with an abiding grace.

Do not fear. He will keep you safe and sound, in His companionship.s

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Sleeping

It was well past midnight.  I close my eyes but I did not sleep.

I am in my thirties, not old as yet.  My normal body functioning has changed, some years ago.

Just one mistake, I did not take my medicine in time.

My body needs rest.  My mind needs rest.  And the pain will ease.  If I didn’t get enough sleep more serious problem might follow.  I was, already, warned about the possible consequences during my hospital stay, and I knew that too.

When we were young and healthy, sleepiness comes too soon – even before I wasn’t ready!  I wanted to read more but felt too sleepy to go on.  Before I knew it, it was morning!

When morning comes, I woke up fresh, hale, and hearty because of the good night’s sleep – rested well.  Get ready for the day’s work humming music with a huge smile.

Yet, when I thank God for the goodnight sleep, I rush through it.  I hardly pause for a moment to let my heart be filled with joy from up above.  The happiness was priceless.   God’s abiding grace, which was bestowed upon me, I hardly gave sincere thought.

The night in my bed, turning from side-to-side, I battled for sleep and rest.  It was not as easy as it seems.  It was a gift from God.  When I can’t sleep in time, the night seems to be a long dark period of life.  One night feels like a year of drought where everyone is deprived of good harvest, which would eventually led to happiness.

But still, in those sleepless nights, when I can sense the Lord’s presence; my heart rested.  However, the body witnessed strain eyes and sleep-deprived body ache.  The Lord gives sleep to His beloved.  Sleep gives us rest!

Medicine-induced sleep is tiresome and non-enjoyable.  Several times I’d experienced it.  More than that, sedation is hard to bear when you wake up.  I have been through it, and I could say, I knew it.  The one gifted by God is all special more than we know.

To sleep and be able to wake up again is the greatest gift of all.  It signifies the superiority of the living God.  The day will come when we won’t wake up again.

I lay down and when I woke up the Lord is still with me.  When I won’t awake again, that day, I’ll be with my Savior!

sleeping peacefully
sleeping peacefully

Sleep is a wonderful gift we get from God.  And to wake up again is even more beautiful.  It is because of His abiding or enduring grace, which cannot be bought.

God’s abiding grace is sufficient for all, especially to His children in Christ.  His grace is priceless!

Let us be thankful!

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Breathing

I feel obligated to talk about the abiding grace showered upon me.

Synonyms of abiding are: enduring, persisting, long-lasting, lifelong, unending, constant, stable, unchanging, and many more.  While grace in its verb form is also used as dignify, bestow honor, favor, enhance, and the likes.

Here in this series I wanted to emphasize ‘His abiding grace’.  God’s grace and favor is enduring as well as unending.  We are bestowed with many good things, some are considered small, and taken for granted.

air breathing
The Joy of Breathing

The Joy of Breathing has been revealed in my journey of life.  Breath-holding games – who can hold longer by diving in water or in open air, are popular in my childhood.  However, we did not think so much about breathing because it seems so normal.

Read this:

I was unconscious.  I can’t feel the oxygen mask being attached to my nose.  It was supposed to increase my oxygen intake, in case I didn’t get enough.

Frankly speaking, the doctors know my condition is critical and they are doing whatever they could!

Taking you back few hours; it was a fine winter morning.  We were strolling and getting fresh air in the park nearby.  Getting home, I decided to take rest.  I could sense something is wrong in my body.  Something unusual is taking place.

I wanted to take as much air as I can, and I know, I need more air.  However, the more I tried to breathe-in the more difficult it was.  Air did not want to enter through my nostril nor my mouth!  It was more than tiresome.  The feeling was hard to put in words.

In short, I remained unconscious in few minutes.  Several hours of battling for life ensued.  However, in the end, my God spared, what I called, my life.  I’m alive!

In the past, I couldn’t recall myself thanking God for the air I’d breathed in.  The oxygen, the entire volume of oxygen, intake for my living was free of cost!  I must be thankful!  I was filled with great joy, indeed.

I did not ask for these things: to provide fresh air, to regulate my breathing process, in particular.  Now, I realized I was getting beyond what I could ask for.

It gives me immense pleasure and joy, to breathe take in air freely.  When in need, it was costly to buy oxygen.  We must be joyful for what we get!

In today’s world, we feel blessed and happy only when we acquired big things that are expensive.  We value based on the cost of them.

Very small things, it seems, but think of them and be happy.  Breathe in as much air as you can or while you can.

 

Before the time comes: The Waiting Period

“Don’t be afraid.  Jesus (Christ) will calm the storm when the time comes!”

My five-year-old son consoled his baby-sister.

One evening, strong tropical monsoon winds blew the neighborhood unexpectedly.  As it generally happened with our young ones, our little daughter was covered in fear.   The trees bending up and down were a rare sight for her.

huih nung

Few days before, I was narrating when Jesus Christ calmed the squall in the Sea of Galilee.  The disciples were unhappy with their Teacher being asleep in such dangerous situation.  They felt He didn’t care enough for them as they had expected. (Matt. 8:23-26)

No one knows how long the wind will blow.  Nor did we have authority over the winds.  Several measures can only be taken to take shelter.  Modern technologies also failed to measure the exact consequences.

So, it is important to know what to do, how to do, just before ‘the time’ comes.  Jesus Christ rose from the dead but after three days.  The waiting period was three days.

On the road to Emmaus; “…we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.”  They are lonely and deeply troubled.  The news of Christ’s Resurrection, simply, astonished them.  (Luke 24:19-35)

Several times, the pain, caused by the neurological disorder, in my body was hard to tolerate.  Yet the time has not come when I will be completely free from it.  It will come sooner or later, in His time.

So, in the meantime, I should not be left discourage or afraid.  I needed to remind myself this more often than before.  He will calm the storm one day.

Fear often overshadows faith.  When the pain is there, it is a good reminder that I am conscious and fully alive.  Fear kept the going troubled.

It is wonderful how one get strength – from where and when.  This time it comes from my son.  As he consoled his baby sister who was in distress, often times I am the one who needed to be consoled.

When you are hit back by what you’ve told others about comfort, being God as our refuge.  It makes me wonder whether I did less in the past or not.  It can become an important step forward in the way of life.

Wait on the Lord, with all your heart.

With my little ones: In the same shade

Reflecting back on what has happened to me when I first take up almost the full job of looking after our two children; my three-year-old son and eight-month-old daughter, then.

I had undergone right Amygdalohippocampectomy on December 14, 2015, and the unexpected huge repercussions that happened early in January 19, 2016 that nearly ended my life, here on earth.  Now the time has arrived for me to spend most of my time with my two children again.

Left my permanent job with the sole purpose of looking after my two children, life has been more of a blessing than sadness.

I had spent, most of my childhood days, missing my parents, as I have the chance to stay with close relatives, for the purpose schooling and helping them or them helping me.  Many tears have been shed by me because I had missed my parents so much.

So, it has been my goal that once I had my own child I will not leave them whether they are with somebody or not as long as possible.  I want them to have me by their side in whatever they need and witness them as many as I could.

In that way our emotional attachment and understanding might reach the necessary level needed by a normal human being.  However, I do not want to be a possessive Dad, throughout my life, either.

They are my (our) hope for a better future.  Even if I didn’t succeed in trying to mold them into a good human being, I will simply say, I ‘d tried my best.  I gave them my whole time, in this short span of life.  Furthermore, it is more important for me that they live their life in the likeness of God.

On the contrary, I have this fear that I might not be able to provide them their financial needs.  Also, there is also this fear that in my old age I might not be able to take care of myself and left alone by myself.  There is no guarantee in life that every good or bad thing is going to happen.

A life, once lived, will not come back, as they say.  I may regret or I may regret not, that is in the hands of the Heavenly Father.  Sometimes, I did missed my office-goer life.  “Fight the good fight”.

Yes, it is important for me state that I am not a single parent.  My wife is working hard to put bread on the table every day.  Work culture in our city was hard.  No reasonable off-days when most needed were common.

Happy Father’s Day!

*Re-published Sept 2016

Children of God: When the Angels hold them dearly

We lived in the third floor of a building.  We used the stairs every day.

There is no escalator or lift service in our block.  Only for some fitness freak people, we are their envy.

For instance, walking in the lofty stairs could be risky as we have small children.  One day, as we walked down the stairs:

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”Dear, walk slowly.  Let me hold your hand,” I said to my five-year-old son, cautiously.

“Papa, the angels are holding me! I will not fall” he replied joyously.  And he was right!  Sometimes, when he is galopping down the stairs, I couldn’t hold him.  The angels did!

Although this time, he was hinting at me that I don’t need to be over-cautious when his confidence is building up, as he walked.

Accidents and/or mistakes occurred in split-seconds.  In all the other remaining time, we are protected and hold dearly.  Even those split of seconds are priceless.

“Oh! I also wanted to have that kind of faith,” I sighed heavily.

Certain number of my life’s trouble would wither away in thin air, should I have that kind of faith in me.  My son was always a good reminder, or an agent of assurance from above.

It also reminded me of Psalms 91, also referred to as the Messianic Psalm in the Bible. The deliverance of how the Messiah would be.  We are blessed to have Him in our life.

Many times, Fear takes over my Faith, which sometimes, makes me wanted to live in reclusion: the short-lived joy, seeing the future as bleak, no way out in my reach, seeing self as a burden.

In those moments, in the least expected way, God speaks in a still small voice, as we waited on Him.  Troubles and sorrow are for life-long but His assurance in our pursuit of Happiness, is what we longed for.

Psalms 91 says, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High.  (He or She) Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”*

Now, this is what I talked about or that my son had reminded me today.  Psalms 91:11-12 says,

“For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.”

How much care is bestowed upon us!  To us, the unworthy souls!

Had I knew it and be in Him, day in-day out, in all possible path of life, why would I be weary and so tired?  I said to myself over and over.

One very important thing to be noted here: The devil (read as Satan here) who is trying every possible way to deceive us, simply, did not take rest either.  The devil quotes these very verses (Psalms 91:11-12) during the Temptation of Christ. (Luke 4:10-11)

Once in a while, our eyes are blinded and we missed our path.  And, we wandered away from the protection of God via the angels.

In the end, let us remind each other, again and again, God binds us with His ever powerful words and deeds.

As the Psalmist declared; I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (v.2)

*my emphasis added.

Being a Stay At-Home-Dad: As the journey goes on

  • Being a stay-at-home-Dad is a bigger challenge than I ever thought.  I was happy to be with them the whole time and play with them. It was a great privilege on my part to witness the growth of my children.  Every new thing they learn and taught by me gives immense pleasure on me.
  • Teaching the way of life with my own life becomes a big task.  Children are more affected by their surroundings and they learned from what they see.  So many things in the life of an adult had to be kept away as long as you are with them.
  • The privilege of enjoying my children comfortably sitting on my lap is my priority, for now.  My small kisses, wrapping them around my arms, my assurance, giving them ‘high fives’ for every small achievement, me being hugged tightly when they came home from school, etc. meant the world to me.
  • From time to time, even in the least expected situation when they uttered “Papa, I love you…” it makes my living worthy.  The feeling of happiness was more than words to describe.  The time will come when they too would want to live as their heart desire, with the adrenaline kicking.  But they will love their parents more when they can reasoned again.
  •  To be in the mood of a child for most of the day was heartening.  You should be quick to change your mood instantly.  Dance, when they demand, and cry at the same time to keep them entertaining.   Office life is a big get away ticket.  Since I’ve experienced both, I think, I can say this.
  • It made me realized what my parents did to bring me up is worth more than an appreciation.   I respect them.  I love them more for what they did.  Something beyond what money can buy that cannot be repaid in its entirety.  When it is time for me to takeover as a full-fledge father, I simply, cannot leave it for somebody.
  • Sowing a seed of life that thought would best suits their life is always risky.  It is more important to be able to keep them focus in the will of God.  To let them live a life worthy in the eyes of the Lord would fulfill my duty to look after them.
  • Never did I think I’d be doing this job during my student life or when I first joined my banking job.  Working till retirement was what I had anticipated.  Unexpected turns are common in life.  And I know it will turn again, someday somewhere, for better or for worst.
  • The time will come when my kids are all grown up, by God’s grace.  I don’t know what I would do in those times.  They may want me to work again so that I might earn again.  Since I have already left my fulltime job and getting a new job isn’t that easy.
  • Day in day out, the thought of leaving my children in some crèche was disheartening at that time.  I do not regret doing what I do either.  Their happiness is my happiness.  I’d shed few tears when I put up my resignation for consideration, as it is a dream for any man to work in a reputed sector.
  • In the meantime, my health plays a big spoil-sport.  It was, sometimes, disheartening as I could not spent time and play with them as much as I wanted to.  I have a big plan, for and with them, when I started to spent my time with them.
  • Since we don’t know what future holds, we tried to fill their heart with valuable instructions, which I could impart at my best, to them.  So every moment was used as best as we could, I would say.
  • Big respect to my wife, for putting food on the table, every day.  Every deeds and hard work of my wife was deeply appreciated.  In this way, when we worked together, we are able to run a small family, at our best.
  • Should we be able to form a family, which is under God, it would be our dream fulfilled.  With great faith and hope, my children would, hopefully, walked in the ways of the Lord.  That would bring contentment to my life.
  • Though there are certain difficulties and obstacles, at times missing my office atmosphere, in our chosen way of life, we are hopeful that our work would bear fruit someday.

PS: These are based on my personal journey in metro city.