Jacob’s Stew

Jacob’s Stew

Jacob’s Stew

 by Jash Bagabaldo

Attempt to tempt me with Jacob’s stew
Fragrant aroma steaming
Seething and teasing

A fool’s soul would gobble like Esau
Frightfully famished
Wishing hunger to vanish

And it would taste fillingly good
But sadly transient
Wonderful for a moment

Precious birthright’s gone too soon
Sorrowful realization
Regrets of misfortune

Thus, I shall kill any desire for you
Willingly obedient
Blessedly patient

For from your mouth a taste or two
Mightn’t be worth it
Could be nothing infinite

I want to wait for the time I’m sure
If you’re the one I need
Or but a testing received

Rememb’ring His promises are never overdue
Taking heed of warnings
From a faithful Elohim

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Jash Bagabaldo  is a Filipino Christian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music producer. She was recently questioned for her vow to wait for the right one, and so she wrote this poem. Find more of her art and love for life at https://jashael.wordpress.com

True Love Waits… But I’d Rather Not

True Love Waits… But I’d Rather Not

I want to get married.

There, I said it.

Who wouldn’t, anyway? Marriage displays God’s good purpose for us; and we are all wired to desire for companionship and intimacy. As a child who’s part of a generation that glorifies romance, I was one of those girls who would plan her “dream wedding” down to the most minute details. Growing older and more mature in my walk with Christ, the picture of marriage became even more beautiful for me. However, I fear that there is also a danger to this kind of perspective. The concept of “patiently waiting for marriage” has somehow produced in some people the thinking that getting married gives someone the license or go signal to serve Christ.

“Okay, Lord. Give me my husband and I will love and serve you with all my heart! I’m willing to wait, by the way. :)”

Wait, what??

In her book Emotional Purity, Heather Paulsen says that “an underlying, unspoken feeling in Christian circles seems to be that marriage brings you to a deeper level of spirituality. It is almost as though marriage is the pinnacle of the Christian life.”

I used to think like this, too. I used to only dream of that ideal wedding with the ideal man; and even created a detailed description of what he would be like.

But then one day, a sudden realization crept in: What if I’m not going to get married yet in the next few years? What if I’m not going to get married at all? What have I been doing with my life? All those daydreams, all those hours spent planning my married life, they will all be for naught.

At that moment, I realized how much I’ve been wasting my time (and feelings) all along.

Imagine the things I could have done with all that wasted time. I could’ve been a better student. I could’ve done more housework. I could’ve been a friend to someone who needed help. I could’ve learned a new skill. I could’ve spent more time with God. I could’ve done all of this… but I didn’t. Why?

I was crippled by my desires.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Waiting is a beautiful, beautiful act of worship. My point is just that some people (like me) have the tendency to make the process of “waiting and preparing for marriage” the single overarching purpose of their lives.

It’s not. There are things we can do to serve God as singles that married people may not be able to do. There are lives we can touch as singles that we may not be able to if we were married. There are fruits we can harvest now. Not when we’re married, not when we’re engaged or in a relationship, but now. And more importantly, there is a work being done in our lives right at this moment.

So instead of merely “waiting” passively for that person who would be our partner in serving Christ, why don’t we actively serve Him in the best manner we could in this current season of our lives?. Instead of imagining who our future lovers would be, why don’t we strive to grow deeper in knowledge of God, the ultimate Lover?

In her essay Becoming Esther, Charo Washer says:

Singleness is not a waste of time or a sitting on the sidelines, but a time that God has set aside especially for the woman, to make her into what He wants her to be, and to use her in ways that just might be impossible after marriage. Singleness is a time in which a woman is to cultivate the virtues that pertain to being a woman of God, so that she can offer to her future husband and the world something more than just a pretty face.

So I will wait, but I will not in vain. I will wait patiently, faithfully, expectantly, and fruitfully. I will wait not just with all of my heart, but also with both of my hands. I will work for His Kingdom. I will work for His glory.

That way, my singleness will not be only a season of waiting, but a season of passionate service and self-denial, as a sign of absolute surrender to His will.

 *****

Post by Jessamine Pacis, TLW volunteer. Jessamine is a writer, soon-to-be law student, and forgiven child of God. A proud INFP, she can usually be found daydreaming or consuming copious amounts of cereal at any time of the day. She prattles about random musings and her imperfect (yet beautiful) journey with Christ at itsjesss.wordpress.com.

True Love

True Love

True love sets your standards high,
But it cannot be confined to the standards of this world..

True love looks at the good and the bad
But it doesn’t merely rely on what the eyes can see..

True love starts with admiration
But along the way you accept more than admire..

True love can be defined using words so many
But defining it means you act more than you speak..

True love is finding the Ideal one,
But it’s always God’s idea of Ideal and not ours…

True love makes you do crazy things
But all those crazy things combined are nothing compared to being patient and kind..

True love puts someone at the center of your universe,
But the joy it brings is meant to be shared with the rest of the world..

True loves makes you say, “It’s time”
But only God can tell if it really is.. time..

True love, then, gives you patience to wait
But in waiting you do not count the days..

For True Love comes to those whose waiting was not spent on searching,
But on living fully for others as if they are not waiting at all..

True love comes when love is real,
And love only becomes real when you put your trust on God’s perfect will, not on what you feel..

True Love happens..
Just wait and see it happen. =)

 

Post by Carmela Ann Santos, TLW volunteer. Mel is a lover of written words, kids, and education. She values her faith, family, and her personal time. She dreams of writing a book, doing an interview with Mike Shinoda, and building her bookstore someday. Her favorite topics are faith, love, and others. She finds happiness seeing her loved ones happy. She wants to retire as a mobile teacher and spend the remaining days of her life in Batanes.

“WAIT!” THAT’S NOT WHAT I DID

“WAIT!” THAT’S NOT WHAT I DID

When God says WAIT, He means it. “Wait, because I’m not yet done with what I’m doing in your life.” “Wait, because the best is yet to come.” Our God is a perfect God. He wants everything to be in place in His perfect time. Hindi pwede ang pwede na.

For us humans, waiting is one of the most difficult to do. We easily get impatient when we are asked to wait, because most often than not we want to be prioritized. The word wait is like the equivalent of NO for some; the only difference is that there is hope of getting what we want when we wait. The problem is, we want things to happen in an instant and if they don’t, we enter into the picture, we trust our own instincts, and we force things to happen, sometimes caused by the fear of losing something or someone.

For God, waiting means the opposite. Waiting does not cause delay nor does it mean a loss. Rather, waiting prepares us to our destination. When God says “wait,” you don’t have to worry because He will take you there on time. Waiting doesn’t mean NO; God is simply telling us that the time has not yet come. It will come, but we need to be patient because everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) Just as everything happens for a reason, everything happens in the right season.

When we talk of patience and waiting, I cannot think of a better character to emulate than Abraham. The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation, I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:1-2) God promised Abraham everything we would want if we were living in his time: a great nation, a long line of descendants, a famous name, and the whole land of Canaan.

Abraham was seventy-five years old when he started out for the land that God promised. He obeyed God’s commands with no hesitation, and as he moved from one place to another, he built an altar and worshipped the Lord. Many times (eleven if my count is right), God repeated his promise to Abraham, but not even once did Abraham ask God, “When?” He never questioned the time or year that he will receive God’s promise. Instead, Abraham kept obeying the Lord and for over 50 years, he waited. Abraham did not fail in doing so because he has what it takes to endure the wait – he has faith. God gave Abraham a child when he was a hundred years old, and his wife Sarah was ninety at that time. When God told them about it, He said, “I will keep my covenant with your son Isaac, who will be born to Sarah about this time next year.” (Genesis 17:21) God’s promise was clear and He told Abraham when it would happen. This tells us that when God wants to do something in our lives, He will do it in His time, never on the time we choose or we think is convenient for us. God did not say, “I will give you a son. When do you want him to be born?” Abraham did not set the time. He waited, and the boy was born at the time God had said he would be born. (Genesis 21:2b)

God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His plans are better than ours. Our Lord is an expert in schedule. He can manage our time much better than we can. If we want the events in our lives to be in their perfect timeline, we need to consult the One who has already seen it from beginning to end.

I’ve been very persistent in asking God a lot of questions. I am eager to know His purpose behind bringing people into my life, to understand why they come and go. Today, God answered my questions and He even made me write about it. Yes, God was trying to teach an impatient girl about waiting. He wanted me to realize that I am not the author of my own fairytale, and most definitely, I am not the one to determine when the story will begin. Maybe I was overwhelmed by my feelings. I was walking a step faster, I was just looking ahead that I did not notice the signs along the road and I ignored some people along the way. My impatience resulted to disappointments; I neglected God’s time and followed my own. Now I know what it’s like when we put time in our own hands, when we rush things, when we fail to wait. Proverbs 20:30 says that sometimes, it takes a painful experience to change our ways. I know God allowed these things to happen because He wanted to change something in me. He wanted me to have an Abraham kind of faith, the faith that does not ask when.

After reading the story of Abraham, I found my strength and faith renewed. As Rick Warren said in one of his devotions, we should expect God to act on our behalf. We need to trust Him, to obey what He says – even when it hurts and doesn’t make sense to us. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Psalms 3:5-6)

God dares us to wait through faith. When God says wait, it might mean a year, a decade –or like Abraham–a century. But who cares how long will it take? We can be certain that good things will come to those who wait for God’s time.

**********

Post by Carmela Ann Santos, TLW volunteer. Mel is a lover of written words, kids, and education. She values her faith, family, and her personal time. She dreams of writing a book, doing an interview with Mike Shinoda, and building her bookstore someday. Her favorite topics are faith, love, and others. She finds happiness seeing her loved ones happy. She wants to retire as a mobile teacher and spend the remaining days of her life in Batanes.

I, Me, My

I, Me, My

One day, I tried listening to myself while praying and came up with a list of the most commonly used words found in my prayers. On top of them are the words “I, me, and my.”

“Thank you Lord for guiding me and for putting my schedule in place. I hope that you give me more wisdom and please give me the strength that need. You know how much want to pass my interview tomorrow. Please help me answer with confidence. I really want this and I hope that you grant my request. I am also in need financially, please take care of my needs, Lord. ”

Praying is our personal time with God. From the word “personal,” most often than not our prayers tend to revolve around us — our needs, our thanksgiving, our wishes, our requests. We like to pray for ourselves. Imagine praying everyday and God hearing I, me, and my all the time.  Of course He will never get tired of listening to us, but imagine the joy we will bring to Him when He hears us pray for other people as well?  How about dedicating a day or two in a week to pray for them? — for the people we cherish, for those we seldom see, and even for strangers, including the person that God has meant for you to meet in the future. Praying is an expression of love first to God, and second to the people we pray for. It can be a friend, a family member, a loved one, a classmate, even a person we don’t like, or a stranger on the streets. In short, we can pray for anyone!

“Thank you Lord for guiding my mom and for putting my sister’s schedule in place. I hope that you give them more wisdom and please give my father the strength that he needs as well. You know how much he wants to provide for the family. Please guide him in his decisions. I also pray for my friends. I may not see them too often, but I pray that You stay by their side always, and may their hearts find joy in You alone. I pray for my workmates. Bind us together and help us rise from the challenges that come with our daily tasks. Finally, I pray for everyone I will meet today and in the coming days. I don’t know who they are yet, but I know You have a purpose behind every encounter, every time you put people in our path. Please help me accept them as they are.”

Praying for other people is an expression of love and selflessness, a reflection of how much we value our relationships and the future blessings God has in store for us. God is pleased when He hears us say thank you for someone else’s blessings or when we ask for His favour on behalf of our brothers and sisters. He is interested to hear us pray for someone else as much as he enjoys hearing our “I, me, and my” prayer. Growing together entails praying for each other. There is power in togetherness, and I would love to believe that the prayers we lift up together are echoed to the heavens much, much higher. We can start by praying for one person, and then another one the next day, until we realize we’ve already prayed for more people than we know. And the only thing left for us to do is wait in excitement to see how God will answer each of those selfless prayers.

We at TLW invite you to take this moment to pray for that person in your mind right now.

 

Guest post by Carmela Ann Santos, TLW Volunteer