Not having control

As humans, were always looking for all the answers.

The creation of the universe has always been investigated. We want to know why things happen, when they will happen and how to prevent or modify them towards our benefit.

That feeling of thinking that we own control over what surrounds us or happens to us, gives us a false sense of security.

Why do we always say life is difficult? Because although we try and strive, we cannot have total control over the experiences we live day by day. We are facing unexpected events, which can bring us joys or sufferings.

We have no control over health, losses, the behavior of those we love, retaining jobs or success in a business.

We could find ourselves in great anxiety about what has not yet come, in overtime efforts wanting to control situations or build a castle of material things that does not resist life’s problems.

The key to success and peace is not having control in our hands. The key is to recognize that the God of heaven, our Lord and Savior, sustains all things, and that not a leaf of a tree falls without his consent.

It is difficult for many to understand if God has control of all things, why do we face suffering in this world? Don’t they tell us all the time that God is good?

God is good because it is his kind and nothing changes him. On the contrary, we are not good. We are all sinners. Other people make us suffer and we have made others suffer. People have failed us, and we have failed others. The only good that can flow from us is by the gift of God.

Sin has corrupted this world, and filled it with evil, diseases and wars. But God offers salvation of our souls, who are eternal over this passing world that has its days numbered.

God offers to heal us, not only physically, but offers us healing for our heart. God gives us peace in the middle of the war in which we can live. He offers us his strength in the midst of our weaknesses and fatigue. It offers us joy in the midst of our sufferings. It offers us sustenance in the midst of our need. He offers to accompany us every day of our life in the midst of our loneliness. God gives us hope in the middle of a world that only walks towards chaos.

I can trust Him while going on this pilgrimage, knowing that I don’t have to work hard to try to control the things I can’t. I can rest knowing that He will renew my strength. I can enjoy myself in the midst of battles knowing that my Savior walks with me and fights for me.

I prefer to turn things in, on my knees, where I will get the victory, than stand trying to control what I can never take. My battlefield is at His feet, and on my knees. My faith will carry me forward and the Holy Spirit will show me the way forward.

When things change

Christmas is a very remarkable time for everyone, but not everyone celebrates it in the same way, even some people do not celebrate it.

It is a time of joy and excitement, parties and gifts, especially when we are children.

As we grow older, the gifts and the family around us may decrease. The elders are culminating their time, and the young may look for another future in distant lands.

It is a time where many people enjoy living the moment, while many others suffer from depression and see their loneliness increased.

In my case, I miss family parties with my parents, grandparents, uncles and all cousins. We laughed a lot, we ate a lot just like we sang a lot. There are beautiful memories that will remain in my heart forever.

And although I miss those times, and today my circumstances are different, there is something that has never changed or will change. I can see how God has always been there.

God does not change. His love does not change. His Word never changes. That love that two thousand years ago sent his Son to be born on this earth and die for me, is the same love that today sustains me in everything I need, whether physical, because he is my supplier; emotional because he is my protector, and spiritual because he is my Savior and Lord.

Today I can see it as a blessing to have a God who is faithful in spite of me. Despite my weaknesses and imperfections, He always glorifies in my life. I know that I count on Him. I know that he listens to me, and I know that I can stand on firm ground because it is the immovable Rock.

I see all my memories as a great blessing which are part of my life, that formed who I am today, and lead me to want to bring joy to others. I had the blessing of having a family reunited on special days when the lives of others have not been like that. Now is my time to give. Now is my time to sow in others, the blessings that I have received by His grace.

When you see that your times have changed, remember that God has always been the same. Be the agent of change for others and carry the message of true Christmas. Give life, give love and give company.

Pray to God giving thanks for his faithfulness and patience with us, unfaithful servants. May we rejoice in this time when the world celebrates Christmas and helps us to bring to others the message that gives true peace, the message of life. May we use the beautiful memories we have to transform them into actions of kindness towards others.

Between comfort and minimal effort

We have reached an era where everything should be easy. We believe that things are done in record time and reachable at our fingertips.

We criticize millennials with their reputation that they don’t want to work hard, but we fight if we take 10 minutes at the fast-food restaurant. We want the results of medical tests in 1 hour. We no longer want to wait several days for a chapter of a series when we can see them all at once. Why sweep our houses if we have a robot that we just put on the floor and will do it by itself?

I could keep listing things and the list would be very long. And it’s not wrong having a little help. The problem is that we want our lives to function like that, including our spiritual areas.

We have become conditioned to making the minimum possible effort where we can obtain very fast results.

There is no time to deepen the scriptures, for that, I read a devotional reading, the verse that I receive on the app’s alert, or while doing something I listen to preachings on YouTube.

It is not so necessary to read the entire Bible when I have books and biblical commentaries that do it for me.

And the aids are not bad, but they must be a side dish and not the main course.

Those of us who want to seek a little more from the Lord is satisfied with a little time of prayer and reading of the Word and if with that we already feel that God speaks to us, we do not seek to have a greater passion, an absolute direction of the Holy Spirit and dedicate our life to Lord completely.

The variety of shopping stores, at the colorful malls, the internet streaming channels and the many ideas to achieve the success ”we deserve” entertain us and divert us a lot from what it would be to have an urgency that does not let us sleep, that does not let us watch television in peace, do not let me forget about my neighbor, whether Christian or in need to hear that there is a plan of salvation for his soul.

Life, even of Christians, is based on glamour, comfort, well-being, and convenience instead of seeing us as enslaved bought by blood, called by the Almighty God to announce the virtues of the one who called us. The part of going around the world and making disciples is entrusted to any other that wishes to do so.

Comfortable Christian lives, which do not bother the enemy of souls, do not produce the expected fruit. It must be a continuous fruit, showing that the Holy Spirit dwells in us, that he is not grieved, and that he shows others a real God who continues to work in our times.

There is no room to be comfortable. Nothing we do should make us feel that we are well and that we are doing enough. Our self should not be so accommodated between luxuries and false control of time.

It is time to talk and show what we have believed, what we have received.

Pray to the Lord for forgiveness for being satisfied with so little doing and present our lives hoping that his Holy Spirit will disturb us until we have a great passion for souls.

Great pieces with history

As you know, I really like the subjects about cooking, decoration, crafts, and others of that creative type.

I am not an art expert nor do I know a lot about these topics, but rather an amateur.

Something that caught my attention recently, is how a simple piece of furniture or decoration takes an unexpected turn into relevant importance when the piece has its own history.

Just as a piece can have a story by the time it was created, it takes on greater importance when it is integrated into an emotional or historic event. When this is the case, it stops from being a simple piece of furniture, a simple table, to stand out as an original piece, and tells a story that takes us back to its creator.

Now, this piece has a purpose and is no longer part of the background, but instead, it highlights its attributes.

I invite you to read Psalm 107, which ends with the verse mentioned in the initial photo.

God creates new stories. God takes simple pieces and carves in them his glory, and they take a new turn. Now, they have a purpose and they stop being simple, to be highlighted and lead others to exalt their creator.

Our lives are shaped and transformed daily by our creator, savior, and heavenly father, in order to show his glory to others through our stories.

Every experience, every pain overcome, every scar healed, every change in our way of being, is accompanied by a unique story, a unique purpose.

God gives you a story where it is shown that we believe in a real God, who does not overlook any detail, which collects each of your tears and transforms them into a blessing.

Your story has unexpected twists and intense moments, which are softened by the grace and love of God. Every detail is contemplated and will be necessary for the final result.

Your story will minister others, while the stories of others will be ministering you.

Do not stop to mourn the process of transformation, instead look through his Holy Spirit at the unique work, a great story, which will be the key piece in the landscape of humanity.

Go every day to the Lord with an attitude of humility so that He continues to glorify in your life, and you can show his glory to those who need it.

God gives you a story that nobody can take away from you, with an ending that is already written in victory.

Let us pray to the Lord putting our lives in his hands so that he will glorify through us. May we enjoy ourselves in the midst of battles knowing that He is forming a unique and beautiful story in us.

There’s joy in being the framework and not the landscape

I love interior decorating programs! From there I take many ideas to decorate our house.

It is interesting to see how a room can take on another personality only because of the way you decorate it.

I was watching a competition between interior designers in England. They chose different scenarios and structures to develop challenges for them.

One of the challenges that caught my attention was to decorate some rooms in houses that were originally for fishermen on the banks of a bay. Those houses that have their particular history, attract everyone’s attention with a palette of bright colors that are the complement to the beauty of the bay.

I attach here a photo of the place so you can view it. The landscape is beautiful and the houses simply provide a framework that contains and highlights the natural landscape.

The houses in that place would not look so splendidly if they did not have the bay and those sunsets that are reflected in the water.

We are like the houses of the bay. God chose us, formed us and calls us for his work but we are a simple framework that should highlight the glory of God.

We could not shine without God’s presence in our lives. Everything we are is for his name to be glorified. We were created to praise his glory.

The closer we are to Him, the more we can reflect his character, his love and be witnesses for what we believe: a God who is real and continues to work and transform lives today.

As he says in John 15, apart from him we can do nothing. We must begin by presenting in prayer everything we are going to do in our day.

There is nothing better than living through the joy of the Lord when we are working according to his will. There is nothing that makes us look better than being instruments for showing his glory.

It is a privilege to be the framework and not the bay.

Pray to the Lord giving thanks for his presence in our lives. May it help us to be humble before Him so that his name may be exalted and his glory may be seen by those who need him. May we experience the joy of being His instruments to complete the purpose for which we were called.

So… you think you got it?

We might reach a time in our lives where we might think that we have achieved everything.

We may come to think that we have everything under control, as we wanted.

We may think otherwise, that we do not like where we are today or what we have achieved.

We might look at everything we have and think of how much we have worked.

We may also look at everything we have and think that we need to work a lot in order to achieve more.

The problem is that we get to forget very easily that everything we have, what we have achieved, what we have not achieved and what we yearn for depend on God.

If you could graduate from college it was because God provided you with intelligence and resources. I always remember preaching by Pastor Samuel Nina in our church where he said that if you had been born poor in Haiti, you probably would not have the profession you have today or your college diploma. And it is very true.

If you have been able to work, it has been because God has given you health and the opportunity to earn your living, which is ultimately the one who gives the provision.

We can admire the possessions we have and think that we have everything, but that is because God has allowed us to have what we have and there has not been a natural disaster that collapses it.

We may also look at our homes and broken relationships and think that it is because God has allowed it, and we do not see the reality that there has been an absence of God in all this.

We may see ourselves serving in a church and think we have the right to judge those who have left, forgetting that if we are serving the Lord it was only because his grace and mercy sustain us every day.

We must remember that we deserve nothing. Good! Yes, we deserve something! Hell.

All we have is God’s gift for our lives. All we do not have is because we have not heard the voice of God to obtain it or because the will of God that protects us and can see the whole picture, knows that it does not suit us.

Do you know that even running out of work was part of God’s perfect plan? Because we wrap ourselves in thinking that we have everything under control when we have never had anything. God has control of all things and we must learn to depend on Him totally and in all areas of our life, not only in the spiritual.

God owns all times. We live so enslaved by a clock and it is because we know that we cannot control the minutes and hours, whether you use them well or not.

And the God who gives everything also offers you rest. It offers you an easier saddle. It offers you to pray for wisdom. It offers you the forgiveness of your sins if you arrive repentant through faith in Jesus Christ.

You might want to live your life by planning every point of it, to finally realize that your plan in a second can be undone.

I invite you to live better, under the will of God, surrendering everything in your hands and trusting, while resting, that his plan is perfect and his times exact. Humility is required for that, and the Lord will exalt you whenever your time is.

Let us pray together to the Lord, in humility, giving thanks for all that he has granted us in his grace. Let us put our lives at his feet and surrender our will to have his done in us. Let us rest in what God will do.

Witness protection program

I have seen in films the ways of how witness protection programs work for an important case when witnesses lives are at risk of death.

They must leave everything behind and start a new life, in the place they place them, with the new identities assigned, and they must practically begin a new life from scratch, since they cannot return to have any contact with the people or the places where they used to hang on a daily basis.

Sometimes this happens temporarily but in other situations it is permanent.

It may seem very difficult and disconcerting, but the truth is that they are protecting your life. If they had stayed in their comfort zone, they would have lost their lives.

From another point of view, they have an opportunity to start over, in a stable and safe life, where they will try not to make the same mistakes of the previous life.

We could say that the new life in Christ is something similar.

We were spiritually dead, marked by the sin we inherit and carry on this body every day, which leads us to put ourselves in danger. We were in danger of death! In fact, we were already dead.

God in his love, as a gift, or by grace, sent his Son to pay our debt, and through faith in Him, he gives us life, a new life.

God gives us a new identity as his children and a new name.

We now have his 24/7 protection that guides and keeps us under his shadow through the Holy Spirit.

But we must leave our past way of living behind and extend to the goal, to our new identity and calling.

Living in Christ changes things. Our life is very different. The situations we will face will be handled differently.

It is not the same to suffer an economic crisis in our own strength, than with the provision of God.

It will not be the same to suffer the I have seen in films the dynamics of how witness protection works for an important case when their lives are at risk of death.

They must leave everything behind and start a new life, in the place they place it, with the new identities assigned to it, and they must practically begin again, since they cannot return to frequent the people or the places where they used to move daily.

Sometimes this happens temporarily but in other situations it is permanent.

It may seem very difficult and disconcerting, but the truth is that they are protecting your life. If they had stayed in their comfort zone, they would have lost their lives.

From another point of view, they have an opportunity to start over, in a stable and safe life, where they will try not to make the same mistakes of the previous life.

We could say that the new life in Christ is something similar.

We were spiritually dead, marked by the sin we inherit and carry on this body every day, which leads us to put ourselves in danger. We were in danger of death! In fact, we were already dead.

God in his love, as a gift, or by grace, sent his Son to pay our debt, and through faith in Him, he gives us life, a new life.

God gives us a new identity as his children and a new name.

We now have his 24/7 protection that guides and keeps us under his shadow through the Holy Spirit.

But we must leave our past way of living behind and extend to the goal, to our new identity and calling.

Living in Christ changes things. Our life is very different. The situations we will face will be handled differently.

It is not the same to pass an economic crisis in our forces, than with the provision of God.

It will not be the same have a chronic or deadly disease in Christ who renews my strength, than to face it in my weaknesses.

It will not be the same to walk with my family while in Christ, than to walk together while the world tries to separate us.

My life will be a blessing to others, reflecting the glory of God, and should no longer be stumbling and causing injuries to others.

Christ leads me to forgive, to be free and to live in his rest the abundant life that only He can give.

I live under his protection and care and guided by those who loved me and gave everything for me. Everything I live is for his glory.

Pray to the Lord giving thanks for giving us a new life and rescuing us from death and eternal punishment.

May we remember daily how blessed we are even in the midst of life’s circumstances.

Problems and difficult situations will no longer be the same because we are under the shadow of the Almighty.

Way maker

My parents’ house was in a residential area, two streets away from one of the main avenues of Ponce. My parents did not own a car or drive, so they took me walking to the elementary school, which was very close, but we had to cross the avenue.

In front of our house, there was a narrow alley, which continued across the next street and reached the avenue. It was a shorter route to take.

At the end of the two streets, the alley opened in an empty lot. There was no road, but with the footsteps of the people who used this space to gain time, a path was forming, on the ground.

There were times when the wild grass of the land grew quite high, but the path was maintained by the footsteps that affirmed it daily.

God ministered to my life on Sunday while I was in the time of praise. He is Almighty. He is able to break through the sea to create a path.

God can open paths where there are none. God can create rivers in the desert. And everything shows his glory!

God works miracles and wonders in our lives because he loves us and has grace and mercy for us. But the main reason is for his glory to be exalted.

The greatest miracle has already been done for us. The sin we inherited from Adam separated us from a relationship with God. All roads closed. Humanity was lost and there was no way to find a way back.

God, through Jesus Christ provided us the way. Jesus said: – “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”John 14:6, KJV.

Being almighty and holy, he created a way of salvation for us. Not by our merits, but by his grace, a gift.

Through my years on this new path, God has done wonderful things. He has boasted in my weakness.

It is when I say that I have tried everything, that I see no way out or possible answer, that I then see his unmistakable hand working in ways that I would never have imagined.

He has opened roads in my deserts! He has created rivers to refresh me in the midst of afflictions. But that always leads me, not to want to ask for more, but to humble myself before his presence acknowledging that I deserve nothing, and He gives everything to me.

Pray to the Lord giving thanks for all the times he has created paths where there were none, especially the way to salvation and a life with Him.

Let us thank him for all the details and care that he offers us by grace alone. May we exalt and worship him in the midst of any circumstance in our lives.