Thursday, September 25, 2008

One month crash update

Hadn't been blogging for quite a while. That's what happens when you are swarmed at work, coupled with Rachel recovering from various bouts of illnesses.

Two months ago, she first experienced sudden chills that shot her fever up to 40.1-40.4C. It was a Friday night. As since I did not have any project implementations that weekend, we had planned to go out as a family. So our weekend outing was thrown out of the window.

High fever broke on Sunday and I thought everything was slowly returning back to normal. I hadn't slept well. Woke up numerous times to sponge her and give her medicine. Boy was I cranky. It was as bad as my project implementations except that I don't get paid for the sleepless nights.

On Sunday she developed bacterial tonsillitis. Her fever returned and it hovered around 38.5 - 39.3C for the whole week. She had to take an antibiotics course. So poor Daddy. He was in a very sour mood because he was the only one who would fuss about his princess. The Queen? She said God will take care of it (er, quite true actually) and her beauty sleep was as precious as her darling daughter. Afterall there is Daddy.

In between I had encountered major project issues with difficult stakeholders. Quite sure I had committed murder numerous times in my heart when I was speaking to them. Practically sapped whatever strength I had left. In addition I had a couple of fiery bust-ups with a very unreasonable resource manager (whom I had 'murdered' in my heart numerous times) and also a heated disagreement with my direct reporting manager.

I literally cried. Cried out to the Lord for deliverance. And during those quiet moments with Him, He had never failed to strengthen my faith. In fact I picked up the guitar and worshipped Him every night. Each worship session lasted more than an hour - tears, sweat, casting cares, painful disappointments... yeah I threw them at Jesus' feet. We also prayed over Rachel and protection for the family after each worship session.

I cannot remember a time when my spiritual hunger was so intense, and how God gave me the awesome revelations about Christ within His Word. I don't know how to explain - 'Your Love is better than life' is so very real. The closeness I felt was as if God could have just whisked me up to heaven should I utter a request for it.

So each day through the trials and struggles, God's Word and faithfullness kept me literally alive. I clinged unto Him like a ship to the lighthouse in the midst of a howling storm. To Him who is steadfast and the Rock of my salvation. No one can help me, no one can understand the turmoils that Daddy went through. Three days after recovering from her tonsillitis, Rachel came home with flu. So another two days away from school.

A few weeks later, a boy kicked her in the stomach in school. She complained of a tummy ache that night. The next day in school, she started vomitting - 5 times! Yeah when the going gets tough, the tough freaks out. I freaked out.

I had to struggle if the kick in the stomach was the cause of the vomitting. If it was, then it must be something very serious like an internal injury. However the doctor assured us that it was gastro-flu. Rachel has mild fever of <38.5C. So another three sleepless nights to ensure she had medicine and drank enough fluid.

Through all these, I wonder if I had done something wrong or sinful that had displeased the Lord - that He allowed one thing after another to happen. That was how the devil wants me to see - my effort in sustaining myself. However the Word reminded me that Jesus, not only as our High Priest, was able to understand every struggle and temptation known to man. Jesus came as a man.

Not too long ago, God reminded me that Adam and Eve had the whole garden to enjoy - every fruit from every tree are theirs and theirs alone to enjoy. Yet the devil will continue to point to the ONE tree whose fruit God knew Adam and Even could not handle, let alone eat.

Similarly there are so many truths in God's Word - His promises, His blessings, His assurances. Yet in the struggles, we choose to see the ONE thing (like in my case Rachel's sicknesses) and 'tempt' God for answers. The devil keeps us focus on our troubles and symptoms. But all it takes was to look at Jesus and His beauty.

Isn't it amusing? Why do we keep looking for the ONE thing just to prove that God... is not God as He claims to be in His Word?

I realise how we see God (ie. we give weight to His Word) will determine the outcome of our struggles. Having a good opinion of Him will see us stronger, emerging better in understanding His love for us. As simple as each time the devil throws a lemon at us, God turns it into lemonade. That is how we ought to see our Abba Father is.

Exodus 14:13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

In order for God to fight for us, we need only to be still. And witness His deliverance. Often we try to be God and that complicates things.

When man works, God keeps silent and withdraws; when man says 'I cannot' and let go, God moves to work in our favour.

Just like King Jehoshaphat "The battle belongs to the Lord" passage, I believe strongly that when an aggressor (or the devil) attacks or steals from a Christian, there is a risk where he has to pay more than what he has taken (the bible says 7-fold repayment!). This applies only to those who put their trust in the Lord to allow Him fight their battles. When all is over, they only need to pick up the spoils of war.

Tomorrow we'll be flying down south to Tasmania for a much needed break. Eight days of holiday with family... wow. It's going to get better, that much I know how my Father will bless it.

In addition, we have bought a one-year old Honda Odyssey at a super-duper bargain price. It has clicked only 16,000 km and the price I paid was more than 10k off the market price of a similar luxury model and year (2007). No, it has never been involved in an accident (and never will). Brand new leather seats, with sun roof. I can still smell the newness.

Well, that is another awesome testimony.
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