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The Reason I Live
by Maria Franco
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"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

How often in life do we find ourselves standing at the crossroads unsure of what lies ahead of us, trying to battle the storms that rage within.? Perhaps there are many instances when our faith is tried and tested. Whether we are able to pass with flying colors is always a big question mark.

A beautiful depiction of the same is given in the incident when Jesus walks on the water and calls out to Peter to come to him. At first, we see Peter walking confidently on the water but later his faith takes a blow and he starts sinking. He cries out to the Lord to help him. The Lord immediately reaches out his hand and pulls him up.

I must admit that there have times in my own life when my faith was on sure footed ground and I was so confident that it would never be shaken. But, when the winds of trials and difficulties started to blow, my faith too started crumbling and I started to sink in my own tears. But as always, the Lord immediately reached out to me and I could almost hear Him ask me the same question as He did to Peter “O ye of little faith, why did you doubt?”

I have been taking recourse in one of the significant hymns where the soul soothing words are actually healing my spirit. “Give them all to Jesus, shattered dreams, wounded hearts, broken toys and He will turn your sorrow into joy.”
I guess, as long as we keep on holding firmly to our problems instead of giving it to the Lord, he can never mend or repair them. Unless we let go of all our pains and disappointments and place them at the foot of the cross, He cannot help us. The moment we let go and surrender, He takes over and like the true Captain of the ship steers us to the harbor of joy and freedom.

The sweet strains of this song further consoles with the words: “He never promised you only sunshine, He never said there would be no rain, He only promised you a heart full of singing, For the very thing that once caused pain.”
This clearly points out that life will never always be a bed of roses, we have to face the thorns as well at some point in time. But sooner or later, the joy will definitely overshadow the pain and He will save us in His mercy.

When we cry out to the Lord, He rushes to comfort us. His promises are so great. In Psalms 91, which is a wonderful prayer for protection, The Lord has pledged to put His angels in charge of us wherever we go. The Lord Himself has spoken; “When they call to me, I will answer them, when they are in trouble, I will rescue them. I will reward them with long life, I will save them.”

It is we who fail to recall His great words in times of distress. We forget how precious we are in His eyes. We end up being prejudiced against our own faults and forget that we have to first forgive our selves. We still hold on to our shortcomings in spite of the Lord having forgiven us.
Recalling the great words of William Shakespeare: “To Thine own self be true and it must follow, as the night the day.” We are always anxious about tomorrow. But as the saying goes “Do not worry about tomorrow, because God is already there.” When we look at the problems of others, our own problem seems minuscule in comparison. We see how Jesus tells his apostles in Luke 12:25;” Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

It all depends on what stance we adopt in difficult moments. We can ask God the way Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane to either take away the cup of suffering if possible or give in and affirm that we will faithfully drink from it if the cup cannot be passed by and allow His will to be done.
We can continue to walk on the water if our gaze is fixed on Him walking from the opposite direction. To look into His love filled eyes and know that we are safe. If Love can be ever seen clearly, it is always seen in the eyes of those who love us.

The season of Lent is the perfect time to draw close to the Lord, to be united with Him in the passion of His suffering, to contemplate on His salvific death and await for the stone to be rolled by to herald His glorious resurrection.
The very reason that we live is to worship Him; the Lamb upon the throne. Every breath we take is given by Him to be used for His purpose, to honor and praise Him. He gave us life and will fill our moments with an abundance of peace and happiness. Our hearts will be at rest when we know we can count on Him. We can live life to the fullest under His constant gaze of protection.

When a friend asked my birth date recently, I told her that I celebrate my birthday daily because I receive gifts in the form of blessings every day from the Good Lord above. Indeed, each new day is a celebration of life. Every sunrise holds the promise of life. It arrives fresh and blooming with its own purpose and moments of glory to love the Lord, to hold love, give love, share love and express our love for others in whatever way, language and style, to keep on hoping and believing, to deepen our faith and realize the full potential of life. The formula for life is to smile through our tears and walk confidently as if we will never sink.

After all, Heaven trims our lamps while we sleep so that we awake to a shining day filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Maria Franco

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