In Him We Live and Move and Have Our Being
Another capture of a park bench; donâ€™t they just look so romantic? And because I think they are romantic they remind me of something happened about two weeks ago. Two weeks ago I was working with a co-worker who is new to Canada (he has been here for only four months) and has been married not long ago (he celebrated his first wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago). He speaks English but a bit broken; he certainly speaks better English than I did when I came to Canada. He is truly a joy to work with because he is very easy going, funny, and hard working, thatâ€™s why I usually work with him.
We were just talking while working, and he told me about his first wedding anniversary being that week, and how he used to work as a marine engineer back in his home country, and so on. From his talk his wife sounded like a very romantic lady who desires his attention and seemed to genuinely love him. I asked him if he wrote her any love letters before they got married because he was away at sea for months at a time. He replied very confidently, â€œNo, I didnâ€™t.â€ I asked him why, and he replied confidently again, â€œI donâ€™t need to, I know she loves me.â€ I laughed so hard when he said that, and he was laughing too, and I told him, â€œYou are the most romantic man ever!â€
Some time later that day while I was working I realized I had never had 10% confidence as much as this man has. I wondered how would it feel to live at least one day with such self-confidence. I asked the Holy Spirit something like this, â€œLord, will you give me confidence? Not confidence as in being prideful, but just a healthy self-confidence because of who I am in you.â€
Few days later, last weekend on Saturday, I went to on Lake Ontario, and I had to walk for many hours. While I was walking I started talking to God and I asked Him, â€œWhy donâ€™t I believe that my future wife will love me?â€ After some thinking I concluded because of two reasons and they are both because of my personal experience with the culture I had grown up in.
First reason is because generally women in the Middle East are oppressed by men. Uneducated men, which are the majority of men there, are insecure. For example: many men think if a woman laughs then she is flirting with the man she is laughing with even if he is simply a classmate or a co-worker; and they think if she is allowed to continue her education then she is going to run away with one of her classmates and marry him without her parentsâ€™ approval. And so many women are not allowed to go shopping, continue their education, choose their lifeâ€™s partner, or even read romantic novels. Some women are not even allowed to stand at the door of the house.
Because of this Iâ€™ve subconsciously seen women as victims of menâ€™s ignorance, and therefore kind of felt that men (the guilty party) donâ€™t really deserve to be loved by women (the wronged party).
Second, because women are not allowed to express their feelings, nor have a say in whom they marry, Iâ€™ve seen very few examples, if none, of a woman who truly loves her husband. Here is an example, and even though it is in reverse I think it illustrates my point well:
One of my neighbors in Iraq had always dreamt of immigrating to North America since his teens, but his tribeâ€™s traditions required him to marry a certain relative and so he married her. Few weeks after the wedding my mom and I saw him and she asked him a casual question while they were talking, â€œSo do you love her?â€ And he answered with very sad eyes, â€œWell, I have no choice after all she is my wife.â€ In other words he was saying, â€œNo, not really, but I will get used to being her husband.â€ Now, imagine the disappointed and pain his wife felt as a woman being married to a man she does not love. How could he, or she, show love towards each other if thatâ€™s how they got married in the first place?
Here is an example happened not long ago about women are not allowed to show their feelings:
A Christian man in Canada originally from a certain Middle Eastern country with a very, how should I say this, letâ€™s say â€˜old thinkingâ€™ yelled at his teenager daughter because she wanted to give him a hug. He didnâ€™t just yell at her, he pretty much tore her to pieces with his words saying things like, â€œShame on you! Donâ€™t you have any morals? Giving a man a hug?…â€ Good thing my brother-in-lawâ€™s mom was there and so she gave him few words to think about. (The reason I mentioned the man is â€˜Christianâ€™ because I am not writing this to lift a group of people up, and tear others down, I am writing this so we question, think, feel uncomfortable, and go to our heavenly Father for answers and solutions to our problems.)
I had never heard of anything like that happen before, but I wonder how many young girls all around the world suffer from emotional dryness because of the distance between them and their fathers, and this emotional dryness affects every aspect of their present and future lives from self-image, building godly and healthy relationships with boys, loving their future husbands, and their relationship with their heavenly Father.
Then last week I automatically started accepting, and being able to imagine what it means that my future wife loving me. Which is amazing because I had never done this before. Actually, until now I had no concept of what it means. I would like here to give you an example of how big a role past experiences play in our thinking and the direction of our lives:
Letâ€™s say that you have no knowledge of the physics laws whatsoever and someone asked you to write a statement to be made into a law in regard to the relationship between objects moving with constant velocity and the amount of force required to move them. Your thinking process will probably go something like this, â€œWhen I go shopping I have to apply constant force to keep the shopping cart moving with a constant velocity, because as soon as I let go of the cart it rolls a little bit but then comes to a stop. So the law should state: objects moving with constant velocity require constant force to be applied to them.â€ And more than likely it will look perfectly sound to you.
However, Newtonâ€™s first law of motion states this:
Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.
What it is saying is this: you donâ€™t need to keep applying constant force to keep the cart moving. For example, in space all you have to do is give the cart a single push and let it go and it will keep going forever. But on earth there is friction which you have not taken into consideration when you stated your law. So if you apply Newtonâ€™s law in space it works because there is no friction, and if you apply it on earth it still works because all you have to do now is consider friction, which he called â€œexternal forceâ€. But if you apply your law on earth it â€œseemsâ€ to work, but once you take it to space it falls apart.
What I wanted to show here is that many decisions, major decisions that affect our lives here on earth and for eternity, we base on our personal experiences. But what we learn from our personal experiences count for nothing–actually they count for our downfall and misery–if they are not in alignment with Godâ€™s truths stated in the Bible.
For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.” Acts 17:28
You may think: it is not as bad as you make it sound. Well, think about it this way: if engineers follow your law of motion then no moving design will succeed, and you can certainly forget about space shuttles! The Bible puts it this way,…
Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” Romans 3:4
God is not asking us to forget what happened to us, otherwise He wouldnâ€™t say in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
If we forget our past experiences how will we be able to comfort others? We canâ€™t because we will not be able to relate to them? But what He desires is for us to let Him do His healing process in us. I think this little illustration will help me explain my point better:
This morning as I was going to work on the bus I expected a certain area of the street to be rocky because it was being fixed last week. However, as the bus rolled over it everything was as smooth as the rest of the road was even though you can see very well where the construction workers had cut squares and rectangles areas in the street, removed those bad patches, and replaced them with good asphalt and tar.
You see, the scars are still there but they are not hurting anymore, nor were they healed in the wrong position like a broken bone because you have not gone to the Great Doctorâ€”your heavenly Father. The more we delay submitting to Him, the harder the healing process gets just like trying to fix a broken bone healed in the wrong positionâ€”because first the bone has to be re-broken again.
Has Satan been using a past experience to keep you down, rob you of reaching Godâ€™s full potential for your life, make it harder for you to believe Godâ€™s personal promises to you, make you feel hopeless when God has given you hope through believing His promises to you? Does Satan tell you that Godâ€™s promises to you are â€œtoo good to be trueâ€? Well, the God of the Bible is too good, but He is real, and His word is always true. The Bible says that none of Godâ€™s promises fail.
Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. Joshua 23:14
And I am not talking about â€œmind over matterâ€, nor am I talking about the best â€œhuman psychologyâ€ methods, what I am talking about is being brutally honest with yourself and Him, and asking Him to intervene by His mighty power. Here is what happened about two months ago:
2007 was the hardest year for me, something happened that affected me very much and I cried almost daily way into 2008. But two months ago I was lying on my bed in the evening and I told our heavenly Father, â€œLord, I just donâ€™t want to hurt anymore. I feel like something is broken in my heart. Please fix it and help me not hurt anymore.â€ I wouldnâ€™t have remembered that prayer if it wasnâ€™t for what happened afterward. Since that day until today, for about two months now, I stopped hurting. I still feel bad and sad some times, and even cried a couple of times, but it is a huge leap from crying almost daily.
Many of us are scared of the healing process, but Iâ€™ve experienced many times He carries me where I cannot walk, and helps me walk where I cannot walk by myself, and where I can walk by myself He is always there to guide me, provide for me, and protect me. He is indeed a good, just, faithful, and mighty Father.