Everything has a purpose.

One thing I really love about being a Christian is knowing that everything has a purpose.  God isn’t gonna put us through a bunch of crappy stuff just for the heck of it.  He’s a kind God; He wants our lives to turn out well in the end.  He doesn’t want to torture us, or make us suffer, or depress us.  He wants us to be happy.

Everything He does for and to us is intended to be good for us.  But we can be pretty stupid.  Maybe not stupid, per say — not in every occasion — but we just don’t get it a lot of the time.  God goes through a lot of trouble to make us understand what He’s trying to say.  He became human and died so we’d understand.  But after all the trouble He’s gone to, we still don’t.  We still can’t see.

So sometimes, we think something is bad just because we took it the wrong way.

Because everything has a point to it, I know that when I’m going through something really hard, I should just try to understand what God is saying, and get through the rough times.  I know that if I do that, it’s gonna turn out all right in the end, and maybe even a little better than that.  I’ve learned something from the tough times.

As long as I stick with God, everything’s gonna be alright.  As long as I do what God wants me to, everything is good.

Thing is, most of the time I don’t do what God wants me to do.  And I think that’s when really bad stuff starts to happen.  We twist everything out of proportion, Satan eggs us on, and then we find ourselves in a really bad scenario that clearly is not from God.

And personally, I don’t think that kind of thing can be avoided.  I can try not to sin, and I can not sin for a little while, but I am going to sin eventually, even if I’m on a really amazing spiritual high.

So, in that case, spiritual highs aren’t gonna last forever, but neither are spiritual lows.

God does all things for the good of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

I don’t want to live thinking everything is a coincidence.

So I’ll stick with God.

 

 

Emilino

Pictures courtesy favim.com and hcprojectjournal.blogspot.com

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Sorry

 

Sorry for what I said

Sorry for what I did

Sorry for what You went through

My sin is rid

But You were dead

 

Sorry for mocking You

For all my despair

Sorry for ignoring You

Sorry for loving someone else

While you watched me and wept

 

Sorry for the tears You cried

Sorry for my sinful pride

Sorry for turning my back

Sinning tends to be my knack

Sorry for hating You, for being snide

 

Sorry for fighting Your arms

I don’t know how I looked away

From Your beautiful, beautiful eyes

I let myself succumb to harm

When all I had to do was stay,

and with my Savior rise

 

You’re my first Love, my true Love

I’ll never leave Your side

Heaven’s descending from above

To You I’ll always come

I’ll never break my stride

 

Thank You for staying

Thank You for raising

Thank You for everything

Forgive me for my sin

Stir my heart within

 

I love You.

 

Emilino

Picture courtesy raisinghomemakers.com

Humanity’s curse

 

 

Above the frost on which we stand

 

Trying not to fall

 

Living in shameful humanity

 

Straining our ears for a call

 

 

 

We know we should run for all we’re worth

 

Run from the train wreck of our own sin

 

Somehow we keep on returning

 

Calling His name with faithless mirth

 

 

 

Time by time we say His name

 

Irreverence replacing our honesty

 

He blocks His ears in pure disgust

 

How often we do exactly the same

 

 

 

Some day we’ll see our grave mistake

 

How we brought down our own ruin

 

Upon the heads of the innocent

 

And all that trash was ours to take

 

 

 

Unmistakable attraction lies

 

In between the feathers of Satan’s wings

 

Embracing evil as God Himself tries

 

To tell us we’re fighting for empty things

 

 

 

Searching for love in the farthest corners

 

Anything but the love that counts

 

Our flesh greasing up the walls of life

 

Step by step, we make our rounds

 

Jab by jab, bit in the foot

 

With Lucifer’s hounds

 

 

 

And Eden’s innocence has long taken flight

 

The olive branch in the beak of the dove

 

Brought to Noah in his search for rest

 

Is crushed beneath humanity’s plight

 

 

 

And the longing that fills the hard man’s eyes

 

And the sunset’s soft light that fills the sky

 

And we reach for a star that can never be touched

 

And we try on our own, but we still need a crutch

 

 

 

Yet He mourns for us as we mourn for ourselves

 

Jesus cried of finished redemption

 

Arching His back in the sinner’s pain

 

Crying for us not to search anymore

 

Please – not to search in vain

 

 

 

In His crucifixion

 

Written on His face

 

Carved into His back with a cat of nine tails

 

Bored into His hands of inhuman love

 

 

 

Softly, words fall from His beautiful wounds

 

Faintly, but clearly, He whispers our name

 

Telling us, return to His arms

 

Telling us to come back home

 

 

 

I love you”

 

I love you”

 

I love you”

 

I love you”

 

I love you forever

 

You’re mine.”


Emilino

Picture courtesy mountainsoftravelphotos.com.

My depression, my happiness

I told you in my last post that my next post (this one) would be about the time I felt most lost, and the time I felt most happy.

I’d been slowly eaten by depression, up until the night of Tuesday, March 22.  I was wandering much farther than I ever should have dared to wander.  I wandered too far, and I got lost.  My diary entries are filled with the things I wrote at a time that I was convinced I was nothing.  I would lie on my bed and sob and write, because all I could do, then, was spread my tears and ink all over my diary. I spent hours soaking up my gutter.  I hated life.  In a particular entry, I wrote, again and again and again, “I am nothing.  I am nothing.  I am nothing.”  Just that, for a whole page.  I don’t know why I was so angry at myself.  Every time I made a mistake, instead of letting it go and allowing myself to be human every once in a while, I rubbed it in and assured myself that because of this, because I hadn’t finished my homework or forgotten my stuff or not done my chores, I didn’t deserve anything.  I was useless.

My mom’s outbursts didn’t help.  Those two months, for some reason, she seemed particularly bitter.  She seemed completely jaded to all of my insecurity and emptiness and sorrow.  I doubt she really was this way.  But it seemed so to me, at least, since my vision was blurred.  I was watching rain through a stained-glass window.

I normally consider encouragement to help success.  If I’m confident and others are confident in me, and are kind to me and encourage me, I usually do fairly well — or at least, I am content with my completed work.  Because I tried.  And I did it with a good attitude.

But during this phase of my life, I didn’t have a positive outlook on anything.  I told myself that I should do well because I was nothing.  If I didn’t do well, I told myself it was because I was such a useless piece of crap, in the way of everybody else.

This continued until one day, I thought, If I’m so useless, and get in the way of everyone else’s progress, I should just die.

I wanted to die.

I’d told myself I was nothing until I believed myself, and then I thought I should die.

Maybe the only thing that kept me from killing myself was my knowledge of the existence of hell.

I wasn’t sure, not 100%, that I would go to heaven when I died.

Would I go to hell if I committed suicide?

But I kept wanting to die.  I wanted to commit suicide.  But I couldn’t.  Something, something deep deep inside of me — God — said, “No.  No.  No,” every time I said I was nothing.

You aren’t nothing.  You aren’t nothing.  You aren’t nothing.

I didn’t kill myself, obviously.  But all I saw, everywhere I looked, was darkness.

Then came Spring Camp, on March 22.  I went to that camp, what I got from my youth pastor’s first message was this:

When you tell yourself you’re nothing, you are telling Jesus that He died for no reason.

I was sitting on the floor as I listened.  And right there on the floor, right in the middle of his lesson, right in the middle of all those High Schoolers and Junior Highers, right in front of God, I began to cry.

My youth pastor and God had just told me I was COMPLETELY wrong about myself.

And it was the most beautiful news I’d ever heard in my whole entire life.

I WAS NOT NOTHING!

The message ended, and my best friend and I went back to our room and I cried some more.  Then I talked to my youth pastor, and he got our other pastor, and I kept crying.

I wasn’t crying because I was sad.  For the first time in years, I cried because I was so, so, so, so so so so so so so SOOO relieved.

It was like I could finally breathe, finally see, finally hear.  Finally LIVE.

I came home from that camp, and two days later, walked into my friend’s house.  And she looked at me and she knew I was different.  I was better.  I was finally, finally healed.  She told me that she and another friend of mine had gotten really worried about me.  They were concerned about me.  She said they’d been planning on literally sitting down with me and asking what on earth had happened to me.  What on earth was wrong with me.

She said, “I saw you, just now, though, and I knew you were finally okay.”

I was happy.  I was so, so happy.  My friends, and my youth pastor, shared my happiness.  They knew how much I’d changed.

My mom said she’d noticed I was sad, but she hadn’t known I was that sad before.  “I wanted to talk to you,” she said, “but you were so busy pushing me away, I didn’t want to make it worse.”

I was so depressed I had scared my own family away from me.

I had been a plague.

I know that was no mere depression.  “Depression” is an understatement, BIG time.  That was a spiritual attack.  That was Satanic.  That was living death.

But once it ended, I was so happy, I was glowing.  I watched a video my friend took of me after Spring Camp, and I was so different.  I didn’t even LOOK like me.  I looked happy.  And from my experience until then, happy wasn’t something I’d have called myself.  But now, I was certainly happy.

Actually, something I thought described how I felt really well was Psalm chapter 40.  I found it on accident at Spring Camp, and I took it to heart.  It’s become my signature chapter, I think, a chapter that means a LOT to me.

This is part of a passage from my diary, written on Monday, June 6.  Around this time, I was writing A LOT.  In my free time, I wrote in my diary.

“It’s like I can see.  Not just happier.   It’s honestly like I can SEE clearly.  Like the very colors are brighter. […]  All I can say is this–

“I have been saved.”

“It’s just like Psalm 40.  God brought me up out of the darkness and the pit; He heard my cry, and He took my hand and pulled me close and breathed life into me.

“And I can SEE.”

Around that time, a quote popped into my head.  I remembered something we’d read about, in a History book.  It was some book by Albert Marrin (he’s my favorite History writer) and in the prologue, I believe, he’d said he’d found a postcard jammed in the cracks of a war memorial.  On it was written a quote by Aeschylus.  I loved that quote.  I memorized it.  I thought about it when I was saved by God from my depression.  It was this:

“In our sleep, painful memories fall drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom, through the awful grace of God.”

I was relieved.  Completely relieved.  My arched back was straightened, the weight of depression removed from my weak, human shoulders.

One night, I wrote this poem.

 

That used to be me

That dead corpse laid in waste

Long given up on living free

 

I should perhaps have listened

The words on a page just blended

I pulled away when I could have been lifted

 

But then I was struck, and I broke

It’s stupid, but that took me by surprise

I stepped out of that musty cloak

 

You saw me, and You took my shame

Now it weighs me down no more

Now I see, all I did was

Just a game

 

So You took my pieces, and put them together

And now I finally see

It’s best to stay with You forever

 

My life might still be just a moment

But with You, it’s so much more

And You will always love it

 

I might just be a stupid kid

But as long as You’re with me

You’ll wipe away even the

stupidest tears I’ve cried

 

So I’ll reach out to touch You

For my entire life

And even though the devil will allure

 

Through all the pain and all the strife,

You’re here, at my side

And no, You’ll never leave me

 

And even those same hands

That traced the lakes upon the lands

With their time-old fingers

 

Will wrap themselves around my own

And there His presence lingers

So I’ll take off my own crown

 

And lay it at Your feet

Because, my Lord, all that I am

Cannot compare to You.

 

Emilino

 

Pictures courtesy:

emminhakbeca.blogspot.com

buzzle.com

hrushikeshzadgaonkar.wordpress.com

amnottheonlyone.blogspot.com

my.opera.com

Even if God isn’t real: we’re guilty

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”

– Isaiah 1:18

So, this is sort of a follow-up post to my first “Even if God isn’t real” post.  It’s interesting to write on this topic… maybe I’ll keep at it.

My first one was on thankfulness (go here to read it).

This one is on our guilt. (I really like to focus on the emotional evidence for God, don’t I?)

We’ve all done bad things.  A non-Christian can admit that.  They might not call it “sin,” but we have ALL done things even we ourselves do not approve of — we’re all hypocrites, we get mad at others for doing things we ourselves have done.  So there’s gotta be bad things.  Things we’re guilty of.  Things we feel guilty of.

Guilt — that annoying feeling you get about doing something wrong, like a pebble in your shoe, or a splinter in your finger.  Guilt is the feeling that this tiny thing you’ve done is slowly rotting away your being.

Sometimes guilt isn’t a mere splinter.  Sometimes it engulfs your mind.  It can make you hate yourself, make you avoid others, remind you of your sin everywhere you look.  You can’t escape it.

If God isn’t real, where does this guilt come from?

Someone once told me that your conscience (guilt) isn’t something you’re just born with.  It’s something that’s developed by your parents’ teaching.  Your parents taught you right from wrong, because wrong actions, bad actions, sinful actions, hurt others.  When you do bad things, you feel guilty for going against your parents’ will.

Okay, I can see that.  I understand that viewpoint.

But if you merely leave it at that, your guilt remains.

If God doesn’t exist, so what?  God takes away my guilt, cleans my slate so I can start again.

I don’t want to live a guilt-absorbed life.

Even if God didn’t exist, I would still believe, rather than feel guilty forever.

After all, with an atheist view, this life’s all I’ve got — I don’t want to spend it all alone.

 

Emilino

Picture courtesy cindysense.com.