The Unheard Music

God, as I lay me down to sleep,

You still hold the moon and stars in place

While silence’s what I want to keep

You create all songs with sweet embrace/

As I close my eyes to find rest

There echo words of serenity

And the universe does its best

To orchestrate its harmony/

What beauty and splendor I find

In music sung by all existence

Most loving, comforting and kind

Are His ways covered with His presence/

Now, as I drown in quietness

All I hear are unheard songs of old

The stars, moon and the universe

All conspire for glory to be told//

“You memorize me.”

Three words. But still, a hundredfold thoughts keep on mesmerizing me. 

Who has ever memorized a person, so deeply and completely, that he knows one’s every motive, deepest desires, and the soul’s innermost thoughts? No one, not even blood-related kins or closest of friends could do that.

But how? How do You do that, God? That even in my highs and lows, You know me? That in the midst of my wonder and praise You listen to me? And even before I say these, You hear me?

How come, my Lord, that You see the unseen in me? How did You know me so fully and incomprehensibly and yet you love me so purely? 

Why did You choose to hold me so dear and open Your ears to my voice?

As much as I have these questions, I drown in the answers that seem to elude my frailness and limitations. I am breathing the love that is vast and glorious…the  same love that keeps me seeking His glory, that makes my spirit soar and rest in the bliss of His mindfulness and thoughtfulness for me. 

His love knows me. He has known me before I came into being. He knows me today, and He knows me tomorrow. “He memorizes me.”

And when I ask why and how… I hear Him say,

“I love you.”

That’s when I know that He does  know me with the love that I will never be able to fully memorize.  

For it takes eternity to know a love that knows me forever.

Crazy Faith

Have you ever been told that you’re crazy? What did you feel about it? Were you thrilled, exhilarated, or offended? Or perhaps you just felt funny being told that you’re insane? Whatever you felt, you’re still crazy enough to have felt that way. 😉

I, myself, have been told that I am crazy. If I would count the times that people lovingly or sarcastically said it, I wouldn’t be able to count them with my two hands. Plus, I don’t know who labelled me as such behind my back, but let alone. I actually thank them for seeing that realest description of myself.

Ever since I became a Christian, many “weird” things took place. For example, since I was young, I have always loved reading books, however, the Bible was not even on my list. But when Jesus revealed Himself to me in a dream, I suddenly felt the natural urge and eagerness to seek Him and know Him by reading God’s words. I also felt convicted of my own sins, making me fall down to my knees and cry out in repentance. In a blink of an eye, my life turned around and I received His promises for me. I went from glory to glory and strength to strength, and from that day on, I lived each day with the wonderful hope that He is always with me and that He will never leave me nor forsake me. Receiving Him in my heart was the moment when I could say I almost felt weightless because all the burdens and bitterness I had kept long hidden were purged out and forgiven right before my eyes. And I could say I was out of my mind, too. Who would ever understand the mysteries and amazing redemption that God does in a person’s heart? Not even my mind could grasp it.

Weird. Odd. Strange. Abnormal! Name it. Because in this fast-changing, restless, hostile world, devotion to God and the decision to trust Him for one’s salvation is an unpopular and not a normal choice to make. We live in a world where people will mock you for proclaiming the good news, scoff at your conviction, hate you for the truth, and ridicule your stand and belief in Christ.

In reality, we have two choices- to be with God’s presence or to go into the wilderness and away from His love and forgiveness. The choice you make makes you the kind of crazy that you wanted to be. Would you prefer to be mad about the One who could save the world, or be mad about the vain, passing, and futile things in this temporary world? In this kind of generation, it pays to have a solid foundation and make a firm stand. It takes courage to submit yourself, your pride, self-righteousness, envy, unforgiveness, anger, rebellion, your sins to the One who can wipe them all away and make you into a new person.

Indeed, those who are true followers of Jesus have gone mad. They’re mad about God’s unfathomable love, power, and limitless grace. They’re insane about praising Him at the top of their lungs and worshiping Him with trembling and highest adoration. They are madly crazy about God and all that He is. Because in this life that we have, it is up to us if we would embrace our purpose of knowing Him and enjoying His amazing love that is abundant and most beautiful. For me, it is way better to have an undignified faith and endure all oppositions than to be away from the King of my very own heart.

Yes, I am crazy. Are you?

A Test of Trust

I don’t know where to start. Life has really been a roller coaster ride since my husband and I came here in the U. A. E. So many trials, difficulties, and testings of faith, patience, and trust… can’t count them all. Tears have fallen and disappointments have come flooding in, but at the end of it all, God remains faithful. 

This morning, I was greeted with a bad news. Reading the message on my phone, I saw myself staring blankly into the screen. “Why” was the only word that reverberated in my mind. My mind was hollow and my mouth was shut with yet another disappointment. But in the midst of the setback, even though words like “why” and “how come” were overwhelming and were crushing my hope, I prayed. I closed my eyes and constantly reminded myself that God is good, He never fails. The person on the other line kept on presenting to me the reasons and giving me further explanations. She said time ran out for me, that “it’s not in their control.” I acknowledged her message and eventually thanked her. Then I turned off my screen and sat down for a while.

I was downhearted and confused. God knew what we needed, but why?  I opened my Bible mobile app and checked out the verse of the day. It says,

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Wait on the Lord?

Renew their strength?

I was in the state of vagueness yet reassuring, wonder yet trusting. At the back of my mind, I still wanted to wait on the Lord and see how He will “renew my strength”, even if the situation was unlikely to work out. And in my mind, I knew I believed Him, and trusted Him that He can do the impossible. Yes, the impossible. Nothing is impossible with the Lord!

That day, I would often gaze at that verse. I delved into the meaning of every word and searched for that faith that was still within me. I was remembering my prayers days ago and the moments that I claimed the victory in the name of Jesus; that God will never fail me. And I did believe, that He will do something, something that only He can do.

I was in that scenario when, that afternoon, I received another message from the same sender.

“Camille, I have a very good news for you.”

In a blink of an eye, my world turned upside down. Then it hit me- the situation was reversed and the tides were turned for me! Tears immediately rolled down my cheeks. They were tears of joy and inexplicable happiness. “Thank You Lord!”, “God is good!”, “Hallelujah!” were the first words that came out of my mind. I knew it! Nothing is impossible with the Lord! Praise Him! Glory to God!

In that moment, I was filled with overflowing thankfulness and amazement. I knew it; that’s why I never stopped praying and believing! I just needed to wait for what He would do! Right, that’s what He meant when said He shall renew my strength!

I was tested. God tested my patience, faith, and trust in Him. In the end, God never fails. He never fails. The test was turned into a testimony. God heard my prayers and He honored my faith.

I love to dwell in His faithfulness and goodness in my life. I still have so many testimonies of His greatness and amazing love, but for now, I wanted to share the most recent one. True enough, when you have the Lord beside you, you will not be defeated. When you have Jesus in your heart and you truly and deeply believe in Him, victory will be yours. In this life, the tests that you face will only become testimonies. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, He has overcome the world!

 

A Universe of Wonder

Today, I was mesmerized by the fact that I am so small.

Not in height (I already knew that), but I am talking about my size in relation to the cosmos. I’m afraid that am nothing worth compared to such vastness and immensity… but still, I feel so great. And it’s a real good shrinking feeling.

I have always been fascinated by space, stars, planets, galaxies, light years, milky way. I am a huge astronomy fan! It just goes to show that in my tiniest existence, there is an unimaginably enormous existence outside of the world that I’m actually living in. I bet I am still smaller than a bacterium invisibly swimming in the Pacific Ocean, as I am in this universe. There are even claims that our universe is not the only one; there are a lot of other universes (multiverse) that are impossible to count or explore. These have always blown my mind, why, it cannot certainly grasp its enormity!

This astonishing knowledge leads me to the realization that, everything on earth, the things in my life, or the ideals I cling to, are just a speck of what there really is. Most of the time, we get so entangled with the mundanities of everyday life, including its worries, imperfections, injustices, doubts and fears. At other times, we get caught up in our happiness, pleasures, successes, and worldly affairs. There is nothing wrong with being on a pursuit to finding life’s joy and triumph. After all, we all live and struggle to attain happiness and contentment. However, if we picture it in a larger (way, way larger) scale, everything in life is temporary… and limited. And if we focus only on this finite measure of existence, then most likely we will end up always searching for something that cannot be possibly found anywhere in the visible reality. Thus, we end up always desiring for more, dissatisfied, discontented, hungry, thirsty, wanting, incomplete.

Empty.

That’s what cripples us- the void in each one of us that is so dejecting and gruelling. And so we desperately fill it with things in this meek, small earth in order to feel complete. (But even the earth itself needs the sun for survival of its living inhabitants). It seems that all things imaginable must depend on something or someone to be complete, but wherever we look, we just can’t find our fulfillment.

That someone complete and perfect” is sometimes the most neglected reality. Maybe because he is invisible? I say He is the most visible evidence of greatness and power in all existence!

Who keeps the planets in place in space? Who knows the number of the stars and each of their names (Psalm 147:4)? Who holds together the entire universe in His hands (Colossians 1:17)? Who goes from the beginning to the end (Revelation 1:8)?

No one, but the God of the universe.

He is the God who causes the sun to rise up in the morning and set at dusk. He is the God who causes bolts of lightning and sends rain from the sky. He is the God who creatively crafts snowflakes and cause them to fall from the clouds. He is the God who sprinkled endless sands on the shore and sends waves into the seas. He is the God who breathed the stars and made the heavens when He spoke. And He is the God who breathed life into us, His very masterpiece of limitless, endless, and immeasurable love.

We are a galaxy of thoughts from our loving and great God. If He created space and time in ways that we cannot fathom, then how much more when He created our very being that is infused with the love of an eternal God? How much more value and favor and power there is?

I may not be able to fully comprehend and describe this magnificent love that I’m talking about, but I’m sure it is what has compelled me to believe and surrender my life to the One who is the ultimate expression of His love, and that is Jesus. His son whom He sent to die on the cross for our own sins is, for me, the meaning of my existence and by which God’s love is measured. He is the beginning and the end, the power that is before all things and in whom all things hold together.

It is true that we are so small. But our God, who is bigger than endlessness and eternity itself, has loved us with such greatness that our significance stands out among all the universes…

That love alone completes us, makes us understand the unfathomable, and makes us see the invisible.

How great is our GOD!

If you want to be more amazed by God’s greatness in His creation, you can watch these videos (Links below). Trust me, they’re worth watching. 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAuGRhZsMCs

Just Before I Sleep Tonight…

Lately I’ve been sooo busy with crucial activities, basically those that involve my career. It has been a mighty challenge that I have to keep the wheels turning for me, moreso now that I am married and have bigger responsibilities than when I was still single. What made it more difficult is the fact that we’re living in a foreign land (let alone the adjustments and exertion of real patience for some shenanigans that we encounter 🙄). 

But tonight, after all those weeks of battling against the odds, I wanted to just.. feel peaceful. And content. And be rest assured that everything is going to be great and wonderful. 🙏🏻  And yep, I know one thing’s for sure: God has got our backs. 😉 So there’s really nothing to worry about. 

It’s almost winter! 🌬 Hooray for my new job! 🙌🏻 And here we come, Abu Dhabi! ✨

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.- ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ 

Everything is Meaningless

If the title has raised some eyebrows, or has made you cynical or wary for some reasons, then most likely you are reading this right now. Just who is this woman trying to say that everything is meaningless?

Am I not invalidating the toils and sweat and tears of those who struggle to make a living? Or, am I not discrediting all the good deeds of my fellowmen with kindred spirits throughout history?

For goodness’ sake, no.

But for King Solomon, he had all the guts (and glory) to proclaim that everything on earth is completely and utterly meaningless!

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now. (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)

The melancholic mood of Ecclesiastes is so great and articulate that when one gets to read this account of King Solomon, there may either be wonder, confusion, or curiosity lingering in our minds. If King Solomon really had “everything” then- unparalleled wisdom, great wealth, and fame- then what made him come to the conclusion that everything is actually meaningless?

For starters, King Solomon, amidst all the splendors of worldly pleasures and possessions, was saying that all things in this world are just temporary and fleeting. All things, i.e., material possessions, money, beauty, popularity, career, achievements, and trials, difficulties, hardships, pain, suffering, and misery alike, will all soon fade. Even life itself will pass away (Matthew 24:35, Psalm 103:15). He presents that reality that we are mortals and all that is on earth will soon vanish. Hence, “meaningless”, like a chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14).

He is asserting mortals’ need for something or someone who is imperishable or relentless. One that is persisting and enduring throughout the ages. Solomon is pertaining to the One who has an endless existence and essence. Every part of his Ecclesiastes account portrays the stark contrast between the mortality, limitation, and helplessness of man and the endlessness, power, and greatness of God.

I, for one, have spoken these for a few number of times, “Bakit paulit-ulit na lang? Wala nang katapusan. Para tayong mundo, paikot-ikot lang.” (“Why does this happen again and again? It seems to be never-ending. We’re like earth on its orbit, going round in circles with no end.”). When I heard myself crying out in consternation, I remembered the king of Israel. I concede to his words.

History merely repeats itself. I believe that I am not the only one in the boat, many of us are in the same boat. We go through a great deal of trials and heartaches and difficulties, and they are inevitable. Our forefathers themselves also experienced the circumstances we are facing today. Ever since time began, human beings all have felt happiness and sadness alike, peacefulness and anger, or fulfillment and frustration. Nothing is really new.

Now, who am I really to complain about the pursuit of human life? Even the wise King Solomon was not spared from the mundaneness and “senselessness” of earthly existence. Thousands of years have gone by since he reigned in Israel, and here I am, seeing these temporal circumstances as nothing more than ordinary and repetitive.

Nevertheless, I am more greatly filled with gratitude and content that in the midst of these tedious life processes, there is Someone who never ceases to give me a new heart each time I am weary. God’s grace for me is new everyday and His love for me never changes. I know that there is an end to these seemingly perpetual worldly undertakings, and, when that time comes, one thing is for sure will never end- my praise and worship before His revealed glory.

Love and Nonexistence

Yesterday, you were shedding tears for them.
Today, you are shedding tears for yourself.
Does love come back
to the one who shares it?

I don’t believe in unrequited love.
It is love or no love at all.
It is never in part or in some quantity.
It is absolute.

If love does not return,
Then it does not exist.
Because love goes around.
It never departs.
It never gets tired.

Now I don’t believe in senseless love.
It has meaning or it is nothing.
It is implacable, purposive, real.
It is not empty.

There is no such thing as loveless.
You are either alive or dead.
And even the dead is loved
And never forgotten.

You see, I still cannot fully grasp it.
It is vast.
It has no measure.
It is endless.

But still, I love.
I am alive.
I exist.
I am infinite.

On Idolatry: Who is Your God?


There’s this story I read tonight about a mother who is so passionate about writing her own book. Little did she know that she was slowly veering away from her duties and responsibilities for her family… all because of her utter obsession with her ambition. Then one day, a friend truthfully told her that her writing was not ‘that good’ and that it needs a lot of work. That struck her so hard that she realized she’s forgetting the real important things in life- her motherhood, her marriage, and most of all, her devotion to God.

 
I love how God simply describes idolatry. Idols don’t just come in carved little statues or beautifully painted images or faces. They can also be money, fame, vanity, physical beauty, profession, job, accomplishments, talents, intelligence, your ideals, your car, big house, your lover, your happiness, your calling, or even yourself. Basically anything or anyone you’re so obsessed with, and anything or anyone you put before God is an idol (Exodus 20:3). An idol is something that you want more than God. And it is as surprising as it is hard to accept that we all have had an idol at least once in our lives.

Like the woman in the scenario, I also dreamed of writing my own book. But time and time again, God reminds me of His most perfect timing for my dreams to materialize. He is most carefully laying out His plans before me, one by one.

 
Now that I am a married woman, living as an expatriate in a foreign land together with my husband, I know that God, in all His wisdom and love, will put us in such a place where we will declare His glory and praise. He is a righteous and a gracious God who puts beautiful dreams and truth in our hearts. He is a God who banishes all idols from our lives, only when we put our full trust and dependence on Him. He is a God of perfect timing, when everything happens as He pleases and as He knows. He is a God of wait-and-see and a God who never disappoints. He is the God who put Jesus in our midst to remind us that there is hope, always. And, unlike our once-idols, He is a God who speaks, sees, hears, and breathes… Like when He breathed the breath of LIFE into us… And when He breathed the stars and all that is within our universe.

 
He is my God, and He will always be, forever. 

“You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.” Exodus‬ ‭20:5

Cast Your Cares on the One Who Cares

How is it to really trust God? How is it to have peace that is beyond any understanding?

This morning, as I prayed about my concerns, from the mundane to the greater and bigger things in my life, God reminded me to put my full trust and dependence on Him. It is easier said than done, though. But through the years in my Christian life, I can attest to the truth that God has never failed me. Not once. Thus, who am I to complain or doubt His powerful might and good nature as my heavenly Father?

There have been times when we doubt and ask Him why certain things happen in the world around us. At times I am brought to a disposition of wondering how come God can stand seeing all these injustices, immoralities, lies, abominations, wars, chaos, pain, and killings. But today, God reminded me that He works through people and that He is waiting for His faithful ones to do something and stand or speak for Him in order to change the world (Bible Daily Devotional). The question is, do we, God’s children, really do our part in this Kingdom work?

Sometimes I cannot stand the evil things that happen before me. And so I am left with the agitation that God must do something for this to stop. And sometimes I forget that God also has His own ways, timing, and plan for such things. By acknowledging that He has His own decree, then I give all my stresses and doubts to Him, knowing that He is able, He is just and faithful, and He will never let evil overcome the good.

I have also been reminded of His word in John 16:33,

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

That’s Jesus Himself who said those words. Jesus has already overcome the world and everything that is in it. I just need to understand that eventhough there are evil things happening around us, I can rest and find peace in the fact that God is not blind nor deaf and He will bring justice to the oppressed, fooled, persecuted, or killed. These temporary predicaments are nothing compared to the glory that is to be revealed in due time.

Finally, here is one thing from a pastor that brought a reminder to me yesterday:

We can never have security unless we place ourselves in the hands of the One who is in control of all things.

The Lord is in control of all things, small or great. That’s why we can rest assure that everything in our lives- our concerns, pleas, prayers, and requests are being heard and are actually being answered, not on our own timetable and understanding, but according to God’s all-knowing wisdom and sovereignty. Trust in His ways and timing. Who knows, He might also be using you to bring to light His glorious plans today.