In July 25, 2014, I posted this blog that has given me much hope, faith and love during the last days of my Papang. I would like to post it again (with a bit of editing) in his memory…
In July 22, 2014, my wife and I are waiting to board the plane for a very special trip.
No, we are not going to Philippines or Europe or the Caribbean. We are going to a very special place where love abounds and caring is everywhere. It’s a place where a lot of miracles happen!
Many people don’t want to be in this place but there are circumstances when life would bring you here. (In my experience, this was the place where I experienced God’s comfort and presence.)
Do you want to know where we are going?
We are bound to visit my father in California who is currently in the hospital inside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
For almost a year now, my father has been battling with cancer. It’s been a tough battle not only for my father but to our family as well.
What kept us strong is God’s word through the scriptures. I’m very thankful that my father and mother believe in God, the Father almighty – a legacy passed on to us.
But even though I have my faith, I would be a liar not to admit the times when I cannot help but question Gods plan for us especially during the times when these critical moments happen.
You ask your family and friends to pray for healing or a miracle to happen but after days and months and years of prayer, nothing happens – then finally you ask, why is God not answering our prayers? Or worse, why are things going from bad to worse?
When you don’t get an answer to your prayers, a fair question would be – “Is God too busy to answer my prayer?”
I asked God this question several times!
It is hard to know the message of God when your mind is clouded with negativity like worries, anxieties, problems, and at the same time carrying the burden of taking care of our sick love one. When I’m overwhelmed by all these things, I cling on God’s promise of “seek and you shall find” and I’m given rest.
Oftentimes we find the answers in the scriptures. But do not limit yourself by seeking God’s message only through scriptures. The message of God is everywhere. It can be from an event, a teaching, a song, a friend, a relative, your parents, a love one and most from your wife or husband!
In my case, my answer came while listening to an audio recording by Bo Sanchez where he was giving a reflection about the woman with hemorrhage from the bible. I started reading the story myself and you know what; this is the first time I noticed that this miracle happened within an ongoing miracle. (It sounds confusing but I will explain how this happened)
In the Gospel of Mark 5:21-42 (Miracles and Healing), you will see that this is one of the unique stories where a woman “steals” power from Jesus (forgive me for using the word “steal” but I could not find a better word to describe what she did. Please correct me if I got this wrong).
To get an idea on what I’m talking about, especially when you’re not familiar with the story, here is what happened – “When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him.” (Mark 5:21-24)
At this point, I’m guessing that Jesus has set his focus in granting the request of Jairus – to heal his daughter.
The story continued while Jesus was walking through the crowd, “A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak.” (Mark 5:25-26)
Now, let’s picture this scene for a moment. Imagine a woman who has hemorrhage, coming through the crowd just to touch the cloak of Jesus. I can only imagine her struggle trying to go through the crowd while she was bleeding. Her faith, persistence, desire and determination to be healed was there.
Why do you need to go through that entire struggle if your intention is only to touch the cloak of Jesus?
I mean, you have already put all your effort to get beside Jesus, then why only touch the cloak? Why not pull the cloak to get the attention of Jesus or why not tear a piece of the cloak so you can use it to wipe your whole body every time you need comfort and healing?
I think the woman understands her capacity and she knew what she wants. Many of us try to do extreme things thinking that we would get better healing or have greater miracles when we do bigger and better things. This is a total misconception. Gods healing and miracles is equal for everyone and by his grace, we all get what we asked for even without effort. This is why it’s called grace.
This is exactly what happened to the woman – for she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'” And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5:28-34)
By now, you probably got the idea as to why I used the word “steal” when she drew power from Jesus because clearly, she stole power from Jesus. She took it without permission. She is aware of what she did and felt guilty about it. (I did this before by “stealing” a red rose from the church garden to offer it to mother Mary in return for a miracle!) But in this story, that’s only secondary. I’m not saying the end justifies the means but my point is, when we want healing and miracles in life, you have to find a way to receive it no matter what.
Let’s examine what happened to her to experience the miracle and healing power of Jesus.
First, she had a plan. Her plan was to simply touch the cloak of Jesus.
How many of us today have a plan in dealing with our current condition? What’s your plan when you have cancer? What your plan when you have diabetes? What’s your plan when you have a stroke? Will you change your lifestyle for the better? What’s your spiritual approach? Will you just pray and do nothing?
Second, her healing happened immediately.
Now, this kind of healing is special. Others go through a long process of healing. As to how fast you want to get healed, I really don’t know. I guess your faith has a lot to do with it and this is confirmed by Jesus – “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
Third, the disciples said, “See the crowd pressing on you?”
How many of you have gone to an event when you know you would really benefit from it but you didn’t go because it was too crowded or the line is too long or its too sunny or too cold or the sun shined today?
Let me ask you, which is better for you, to join a pressing crowd and take chances to be healed or simply say – too bad for me, there’s too many people. I’ll just go back tomorrow if there’s another one.
If you ask me, I’ll take my chances in squeezing myself in the crowd to experience the miracle I need rather than doing nothing at all.
Fourth, when Jesus was asking the crowd who touched His garments, the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32)
Regardless of how fearful or shameful you are in your situation, don’t be afraid to come before the Lord and he will give you rest. The more you hold your feelings, the harder it is for you.
Many people hold out the truth because of pride. Unfortunately, pride is not a cure but it’s worst that cancer. What you need is humility to surrender to the truth about your condition and you will experience the miracle healing of God!
Fifth, Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
Scripture says, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6)
That passage says it all on how much little faith we need to move mountains.
To summarize, all we need to do is to reach out, have faith and believe in God’s healing and miracles.
By the way, if you have been reading my blogs for the past years, by now know that I’m a very optimistic person. The bad will be good and the worst will be better.
When I found out that my dad was taken to the ICU, I really felt sad but here’s what makes me wonder – I don’t know why I did not worry. Maybe I know who is in control and that is God!
I told my mom and my sisters about this. Whatever happens, I know it is all for the good of our family – for my sisters, my mother and most especially my father.
The final outcome of my dad’s condition is all for God’s glory. I know with all the support that we are getting from our whole family and relatives who visit my dad every day, I’m sure everything will be okay because God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
To end, lets read the last part of that wonderful story from the Gospel – While He was still speaking (to the woman with hemorrhage), they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat. (Mark 5:35-43)
When we think it’s game over, that is where God’s power explode!
“Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”
(It’s almost a year now since my Papang passed away. Although we did not experience the healing miracle we asked for, we believe he is in a much better place. As for the other miracles, it continues to flow in our family, day after day, after day! It is my wish that God’s miracles be with you all the days of your life!)
God is the greatest!