Tag Archives: praise

Honor the Builder

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There is a universal reaction when you see someone who was just beside you go ahead of you.

It’s not like you’re in a rat race. But there’s a twitching feeling in the heart when you look down at the ground you’re still on while someone else have gone up the pedestal way farther.

Call it jealousy. Call it low self-esteem. Call it pride. Whatever it is, it’s an unholy feeling.

I had that feeling recently when a classmate who self-admittedly wasn’t the most studious kind is now a lawyer holding a top post in the government. Yes, at our young age! And me, I didn’t pursue the law path, did journalism, went abroad, dabbled on creative projects, and if not for God’s sustaining grace, would have been a starving artist by now.

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On a blue morning, I was randomly flipping through my Bible when I found an unlikely verse that I never thought was even there. Hebrews 3:3, “He who built the house has more honor than the house.” It was a right-on slap-in-the-face comment for my sentiment.

How many times have we had a good meal and repeatedly shout out to the world via social media how good the food is, yet miss honoring, or at least, thanking the one who made it? How many times have we looked out into the great wilderness and gasp in awe at such magnificent rock formation yet dismiss the “maker of all things”? How many times have we credited the conspiracy of the universe for letting us be where we absolutely wanted to be instead of praising the one who has the sovereign will?

The Bible verse did more than just remind me of a God who created everything. It made me look beyond the accomplishment of other people and thank the God who was behind such achievement. Instead of letting this acid creep into my bones (“Jealousy is like cancer in the bones,” Proverbs 14:30), the wisdom of the Bible is teaching me to look up to Him who has transformed my classmate for the better and given her a very big break. And instantly, the unholy feeling dissolved in the mist. And I had added yet another praise list to an amazing and awesome God who does not settle for where we were, but brings us to where He wants us to be.

Let us worship the Creator, not the created. And that, in essence, recalibrates our wandering eyes, steadies our hearts, and puts our emotions in a good countenance.

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—June 11, 2015

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Wandering Morning

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This morning–in one of the rare moments when I woke up reminded that the first encounter I should have is not with the toilet nor a nice warm water but God–I read through Psalms 6 and 7. I had thought of just reading a chapter but I just couldn’t find anything there that spoke to me. Psalm 6 was a prayer of distress, and distress I wasn’t feeling! So I continued on to the next, until I stopped at the last verse of Psalm 7. “I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”

I recall times in my pilgrim life when I awoke to an overwhelming sense of praise. It’s like my night’s slumber had constrained me from this bursting fountain of delight. Well today wasn’t that day.

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Despite of that dryness, I slightly decided (yes, slightly because it wasn’t like I was so adamant about it as much as I was very reluctant, actually) to make a DUTY out of my DEVOTION. I told myself that there were times that I had forced myself to eat even if I didn’t want to eat, or had a conversation with someone even if I didn’t have a voice. So there would be times that I’d really have to come to the Lord even if my whole being doesn’t really FEEL like doing so. Then I recalled something I had read a few weeks ago about meeting God as a “get to” experience, instead of a “have to”. I GET TO hang out with the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Adorable, Amazing, Awesome God! That thought alone should make me enthusiastic in encountering God.

The verse states, “I will praise the Lord…and will sing praises..” Nothing much of praise on my end. So I thought I’d youtube a few songs to get me started. I thought of songs that wouldn’t distract. I thought of looking up on my music library. Minutes passed. After a few tries, I was led to a song that echoed my heart’s cry. It wasn’t a cry of praise, but a bare cry of slightly wanting (yes it’s still slightly even to this point) to come to God but not really getting there.

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above.

God, please tune my heart to sing. Your mercy is never ceasing and so should my praise be. Could You please put songs in my heart and mouth pretty much what the angels sing up on high in sheer adoration? I’ve been singing songs to myself, to other people, to things that I enjoy, yet there are times when these things numb me and I miss the whole privilege of singing to You. I’m really sorry. Would You once again orchestrate my heart to strum the right strings, let my voice ride on Your melody? 

Oh to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constraint to be!
Let Thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart
Oh take and seal it.
Seal it for thy courts above.

Here’s me asking You once again to bind my wandering heart to Yours, seal it with a kiss. And thank You for your grace and goodness. Amen.

Your Pilgrim Princess on the morning of the 29th of January 2015