HE MAKES, BREAKS AND SHAPES US

In the church, we usually share our praise points and prayer points so that we can praise God for all the good things He had done in our lives and pray for all our needs along with the whole congregation. Last week, I stood up to share my heart, I was overwhelmed with emotions. I said, “I am thinking why I am living on this earth if I am causing so much pain to others.”

It was my hurt and my anger made me pour my heart like that in front of all but I kept on speaking quoting one verse from the Bible which reads, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.” This verse let me understand that God owns everything and if He can establish the whole creation on the seas and on the waters then He can surely establish me on any difficult path. Remember, the very nature of water lets everything to drown in it yet, it was God who established His handy work on it. I was comforted soon afterward though my heart still hurts. 

(Picture Credit: Pixabay.com)

But when I saw this image God spoke in my heart again and I chose it for myself to reflect on it.

A potter takes the clay which is so easily moldable. He puts it on the wheel and spins it. The clay may be modeled by hand or fingers while the potter’s wheel spins. The raw moldable clay soon molded into different forms as directed or designed by the potter. After a pot is designed or given a form the potter dries it with fire to make it strong and usable.

What a beautiful picture it is…! It is like God shaping us as He wishes and defines our purposes on this earth.

I used to always grumble with God for creating me with such an ailment for which I had to suffer a lot and was held responsible for so many things which were not even in my hand. I used to question God when I was young. But later, He made me so strong that nothing had really shaken or discouraged me until the last few months. My present hurts and agony reminded me of my brokenness and how weak I am.

Yet… Yeah, Yet, I don’t lose hope on Him who says, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will announce My words to you.” And lo and behold, today when I visited the potter’s house through this picture and saw how he was making something on the wheel. When the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. 

Whoa!

We all are in The Potter’s hands. And we are all safe in His hands. He will make us, He will break us, He will shape us into beautiful pots to be used beautifully in this earth and the life to come for eternity.

Stay Blessed!

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THE TASTE OF BETRAYAL

This is for those who know what it feels like to be betrayed, to be treated like you are invisible; Who know how it feels when you have a gut-wrenching pain and feel your innards burning to ashes; Who know what it feels like to give someone your heart, mind, body, love, and soul and in turn feel empty, powerless and unloved; Who know how to live every single second with the one for whom you are just a feeling of nihility; Who know what it takes to put on a smile despite everything wrong in your life, every day; Who know how it feels to cry in the darkness just so that no one sees your pain as they wouldn’t understand, they would judge you and hold you wrong; Who know how to pretend and say “oh nothing at all, I’m OK!” And smile again.

You are not alone!

This goes out to all who are awake in the middle of the night and probably wondering the same thing and who knows how this feels.

Zenith to nadir I fall
yet pretend to smile,
paint my face with glittering
glee, hiding the pain inside.
Rock bottom I hit
yet pretend to stand,
conceal my scars with a mask
of phony pride, as if
everything was planned.
I pant, I heave, I cry, I scream,
yet for the world I smile,
never show the ugly side
of my soul, so senile.
But, it’s okay not to be fine,
you can run, shout, be yourself as
you own no one a single petty dime.

I FEEL SORRY – IT’S A CALL

One of my favourite speakers Ravi Zacharias quoted someone –

The 21st century is the bloodiest century in human history. We have spilt more blood on the soil than the previous centuries put together”.

As I ponder on his statement, it is quite evident, there are more than 40 active conflicts around the world at the moment. Bangalore one of the smallest Tech cities in the world records 25 plus divorce cases filed every day, over one and half a million people are violently murdered each year throughout the world, 800,000 people commit suicide every year and 17% out of them are Indian residents. 2018 records 34,600 rape cases in India which are reported, there still lies thousands unreported. NCRB report says, 22,955 human traffic victims are found in 2016 alone.

I feel very sorry for such states of my country,

but is my being sympathetic enough to do!

Irrespective of our financial and social stature one common platform from where we deal our life is – “Problem and Struggle”. A pauper has problems and struggles to meet his daily needs, alongside an affluent has problems and struggles to maintain his flamboyant social stature, for the sake of which often each of them compromises with the ethics and morals which causes grievous inner wounds – some of them are visible and some of them go invisible in the bright spotlights and grandeur.

Some of the beautiful souls whom I met in Candles Online fraternity is Kalpana, Preeta, Payal, Vipra and of course Chiradeep. Each of them is from different background and struggles every now and then to meet their own life requirements but whenever I am down in emotion at least one of them will surely pop-up to enquire. A couple of weeks back, both Vipra and Payal were on chat and they emphatically asked me one question – How are you Bhaiya? Even after my reply, Payal counter questioned “Pakka (Are you sure?)” and that was something truly meaningful. Often it is hard enough to express the inner pain but being empathetic and aiding with little affection and care is enough for a blissful touch. About feeding the poor, aiding the physically wounded and supporting the financially downtrodden, they are somehow managed to push up from their sorrowful state but how about the one who goes through with inner struggles and is unable to express it to anyone!

I feel very sorry for that state of life of a person, I think I can take a step to be empathetic…

According to the Bible, the two greatest commandments for humans are –Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ And the second is, Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the other laws hang around these two commandments. Taking the second law, the intensity of the love towards our neighbour is the way we love and take care of ourselves. When I am in a problem, I always do my best to resolve it, and if I have to be empathetic for my neighbour who is going through the problem I will have to do the best to resolve his problem. It is my deepest love towards my neighbour or friend that compels me to go beyond than just feeling sorry and mind my own business.

The Bible says,

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.”

Feeling sorry is not just an emotion that sprouts in our hearts as we find someone in difficulty. Rather it is far greater than that, as a matter of fact, it is the call of God for us to empathize and go beyond our limitations to enquire and care for people.

Theodore Roosevelt rightly said,

“Nobody cares how much you know,

until they know how much you care.”

KEEP UP THE FAITH

It’s time to bid adieu to this year and welcome the new year.  It’s time to recollect the best times that this year gave and to dream for the next year.

For me, 2018 started with new hopes and new beginnings,  while putting an end to the sorrows and sufferings. Though there were remarkable changes that I went through- settling into a new city,  moving from a joint family to a nuclear one, my tag being changed from working mom to a homemaker,  the end result was worth it as I was reunited with my husband after one year of staying apart. The year also witnessed some lows as I lost a beloved family member. But,  at the same time,  God was kind enough to bless our family with good news too.
To accomplish great things,  
we must not only act, but also dream, 
not only plan,  but also believe. 
– Anatole France.

The year taught me to keep dreaming, without losing hope.  God tested my patience and gifted what I had asked for. The biggest learning for me was- just keep going,  just like the time!

With new dreams,  new hopes,  but my same old self,  I will step into the new year.  So, I hereby wish everyone peace and prosperity for 2019. Just keep dreaming and keep the faith in Him.

LISTEN CAREFULLY TO THE WAVES

Listen carefully to the loud silence
of the beautiful waves.

Each one has a new story to tell,
story of how they swim to the shore
to wash off the pain of those sand dune,
story of how they splash love
on those barren rocks on the banks.

Each one has a new experience
and a worthy lesson to share,
lesson of how they keep doing
the same thing over and over again
never getting tired of it,
lesson of how they bring cheer
and joy to all those standing at the shore,
waiting for them and never expect anything back.

Each one has a caution to tell,
show how calmness can turn into chaos and cause destruction.

FADING GLOSS OF LOSS

The articles of this week made me very thoughtful as I kept reading your hearts and minds each day. And each of you gave me a thought and taught me something or other through your articles and experiences.

Aditi made me understand that sometimes we have to put our losses back to comfort someone else whose loss is graver than ours.  And that will actually helps us to recover from our own loss.

Prabhjot assured that suffering and losses are obvious and expected.

Sreepriya made me realise that there are certain losses which are better to go through to safe guard your life, your family and your own self as well.

Rajnandini reassured that in every loss and pains that I go through our God is in absolute control.

Avinash’s article let me understand that God has a purpose behind every loss that I go through in my life.

But after reading Smruti’s article I became very thoughtful. One statement really struck me so hard that I still can’t forget it. It took me literally into a trance. “The raw experience of being in the moment with a deep sense of connection with people and things you love can be both exhilarating as well as putting you at risk for a deeply painful loss.” I reacted immediately saying that how I get attached to many people and put me into higher risk of an impending loss. Human attachments are like that when both are not on a common ground or pretending for sometime or not honest with what they really feel about each other or can’t tolerate the reality.

Now, it looks like I am pushed forward to the podium to give my share of Gyaan (Wisdom or Thoughts) about the word LOSS and how I manage it.

Just imagine when I came to this earth I came with a loss right from the word go. I had the feeling of loss at every stage of my life. We were not financially quite well to do that I would have got everything to compensate my losses. And my health issue pulled me back at every stage of life and made me feel worthless for not achieving things. I never could play though I had so much interest in different sports… I suffered the loss of a playful childhood. I never could go after a career despite of doing well in studies… I suffered the loss of a good career. I never could go for a good job even I wanted it… I had to suffer the loss in that regards as well. I could have earned well yet I had to suffer the loss of finance at my disposal. And guess what… I have the same feeling right now as well… I had all losses after losses all around me…

Don’t think that I am grumbling about life… Not at all… I used to do that every now and then but today, I don’t… But I do have that feeling of loss every time which I encounter every moment of my life and then, go through a process of dumping my losses.

How do I do that?

  1. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. I have always seen my life that I get peace when I listen to the problems of others instead of dwelling in self pity. The satisfaction that I receive listening to the pains of others compensates all my losses.
  1. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials. For we know that suffering help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our hope. I always tell everyone that I hate to stay sad and grumpy. And I feel extremely uncomfortable to stay gloomy. I make fun of myself and my condition and try to live above all the negativities and endure my problems with patience.
  1. Let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests. And all of you must have known how much I do that… I always tell my chat buddies – let me pray as I write and you pray as you read. It is not that God won’t help if we don’t pray to Him but it is because He loves it when we depend and rely on Him completely instead of relying on things that really can’t help only as a Jugaad (arrangements) or on a temporary basis.

Remember, I am not faking it. I am talking all these from my own life experiences. I let the gloss of loss in my life fade away every now and then with the strength of my Saviour. You can ask – why I am not completely recovering it…? Because as long as I am in this mortal body I will have the troubles but I know He has overcome the world.

To conclude I would like to share this verse which has always assured me and I am sure this might comfort you too –

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

​LOSS: THE REVEALER

We dislike the word “LOSS” but without LOSS there is no meaning!

At High school, I lost my primary school friends…

At College, I lost my school friends…

At University, I lost my college friends…

At my First workplace, I lost my university friends…

At my Second workplace, I lost my first workplace friends…

When “LOSS” becomes the story of every dusk, the journey of life goes jammed. Life seems burdensome and death seems the best place to bask. 

Is this life all about How can I replace my loss? Why this is supposed to be my story? Is it my life or just a matter of game?

In my early 20s, my life was juggled with these questions. I was unable to understand the loss and anguish I was going through and it was almost impossible for me to find the right person to explain me the “WHYs’ in my life”.

One of my favorite cover page picture of a book talks about a Sculptor who finds a stone on the roadside and brings it to his workshop, cleans it and chisels it every day. Finally, the stone gets a beautiful image which entices people for big a deal.

Undoubtedly, this is the replica of the big picture of our life, where lose is the revealer.

Loss reveals the PURPOSE:

The Final place is always a mystery, a darkness and full of uncertainties and while going through that painful chiseling every day, the stone losses it’s early shape. Yet, in reality, it is only that loss that reveals the final purpose of its existence.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Loss reveals the PRESENCE of God:

After losing something that was precious for us, the unexplainable inner questions galore us. Though we can’t ask help outside of us but we really need the help outside of us and that’s the point we question “WHY GOD?” Primarily, it seems just a question but in reality, it’s our soulful prayer to God, which reveals us the Presence of God to do the work of explaining and mending. 

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Loss reveals us our HOPE:

The Loss of life brings us to a new plateau with brokenness, limitations, fear and weak in every sense and thus life seems uncertainunknownunacceptableunreliable and above all uncomfortable. Whereas, in reality, the old does not exist anymore but in the new finitude there is hope as God being the sculptor of our life has started his work in us.   

This means that anyone who belongs to God has become a new person. 

The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

My story: 

I was lost in the darkness without a guiding light,

All I had seen hopelessness and my failing plight.

Yet in the midst of that darkness, there was a tender voice,

Quietly urging me, to make the right choice.

As I believed that serene voice and choose to hold His hand,

The fearsome boisterous waves of my life calmed.

Now, all that I see an unstoppable instructing voice behind,

Telling me to enjoy His navigation to my shore afar destined!

God be with you!