99% of the time we don’t make connections between every single event we experience in every single day, unless something very significant or different happens.
Yesterday, for instance, Mai from a national news paper company sent me a text message, asking for my zip code so she can finally send the flat screen TV I won in their anniversary raffle. I was elated, of course, but not very surprised as we’ve been exchanging text messages concerning the TV these past few weeks. What was very remarkable about yesterday was this email I received from a new friend I made in the internet lately. We were naturally drawn to each other because of so many reasons, one of which is our being fans of Bro. Bo Sanchez. It was a very lengthy email but I enjoyed reading every text in it. What lingered in my mind the most though was her message that reminded me of how Bro. Bo always reminded us to love people from a distance if we can’t stand living near them — or something like that.
LONGING FOR AN ANSWER
The thought stuck. I breezed through her words, through my inbox through the tabs and through the windows I opened, as I usually do every morning, taking note only of things that needed urgent attention then I proceeded to the tasks I had for the day. As I went through the day though, the thought still stuck and I began to wonder why. I wanted to read her message again but I couldn’t find it online anymore; I had forgotten I received it via email. I went to bed, with the message still lingering in my thoughts and as I wondered why “loving people from a distance” haunted me all day, I spoke to God in prayer. Well, I never really heard his voice talking back to me, but I somehow felt he recognized my need to understand and I think I imagined Him smile. That was good enough for me and I slept.
LOVE LETTERS FROM HEAVEN
The following day I woke up long before the break of dawn and meditated, so deeply I fell back to sleep. You can’t blame me, the temperature was pretty low outside, my windows were open, and the sheets were so soft and warm. Okay, so much about me, let me go back to what happened to that message that was stuck in my head all night. At the end of the day I finally had a chance to open my Days with the Lord journal (I know, I should be ashamed; that was supposed to be read first thing in the morning). I went through the readings and then to the gospel of the day. It was then that I received the answer to the question that was haunting me since the day before. Jesus Himself said (in Matthew 5:43 to 48), “…Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”
What the elders said must be true – God speaks to us in the Scriptures. If we want to grow closer to God every day, all we need is spend a few minutes reading a few verses from the Bible. It may have been written thousands of years ago but His message remains the same (Psalm 119:160). The Scriptures are indeed the heavenly Father’s love letters from heaven.
THE STORY BEHIND THE TV
So like I mentioned earlier, I won a 32″ smart LED TV in Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Anniversary Raffle Promo! Yay! You might say, “Big deal; people are winning in raffles across the planet every day. It’s just a TV. Besides, you don’t watch TV, you hate it!” I know, but I believe there’s a message in this winning the raffle thing and I want to share that beautiful message to you.
When we lost almost everything we had in a fire eight months ago, my husband was away somewhere in a private health facility recovering from a serious illness and so I had a difficult time disclosing to him what happened. Nevertheless I had to tell him because the doctors said it’s his right to know. Naturally he was upset, to put it mildly. He was silent all night as he ran a mental list of the every item he will no longer see when he returns. It hurt him so much he was almost consumed by his anger, especially because the fire wasn’t an accident.
In connection with God’s message on loving one’s neighbors, I placed my arms around my husband and gently spoke to him about not holding a grudge in our hearts. It was tragic, of course, and it’s only normal for us to feel the pain. But there is always a perfect time to let go and embrace what is. If it’s any consolation, I told him, I believe God has a better plan for us when you come back home. Not only will you come home to a new life but to a new house, new couch, new bed. You’ll wear new clothes, drink coffee from a new cup and watch your favorite TV shows from a new TV set. Nothing in the house will ever remind you of the crappy old life we once had before we went into treatment. Just let go of the anger, pray for consolation and trust that for whatever was taken away from you something better will take its place.
Eight months after the fire I received a text message saying I won a smart TV after texting only three entries. I smiled and thanked God. I know this wasn’t for me; I don’t really watch TV, remember? It’s for my husband. I didn’t have to remind him what I told him eight months ago as he excitedly opened the huge package that arrived very early yesterday morning. I’m confident in my heart that he remembers. The TV is just one of the many presents we are about to receive and it’ll surely be put to good use.
So did we really lose everything in the fire? Not really. I kept my desk top computer, which I moved to my mother’s house five months before the incident, and so I am able to write about it and about God’s saving power and miraculous deeds.
Many are the foes that persecute me, but I have not turned from your statues. See how I love your precepts; preserve my life, Lord, in accordance with your love. Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me…
– Psalm 119:157,159,175