After reading the Gospel of Mark, I began to think some of my new realizations about reading the Bible and other misconceptions I had about it. Then I thought to create a list of the realizations I’ve found in myself for the past years. It’s in random order, some are just plain silly, some are really significant.
-I thought I could never learn the piano.
-I thought I could never learn English (I’m still learning!).
-I thought ‘Mark’ (and Luke) was among Jesus’ 12 disciples.
-I thought I could never understand the Bible. Or, I thought I could never stand reading the Old Testament (but hey! I’ve already finished it for the glory of God :) ).
-I thought my heart could never be sensitive again (or, I thought I would be insensitive forever).
-I thought I could finally understand myself if I’ve become like others.
-I thought I was just moody.
-I thought everything I knew was sufficient.
-I thought I could never be changed.
-I thought I could never be used by God.
-I thought I could redeem myself by my own might.
-I thought I could survive in my own strength.
-I thought there’s a permissive will. But, uh, that’s still “debatable”…
Well the last one’s contrary to my other blog post about God’s will and permissive will. This came up when I had a little conversation with my mentor. He said I could ask about it at WeNestDay Makati‘s Q&A portion (I haven’t gone there again…! That’s why it’s still debatable).
Actually the first one I’ve thought was the 3rd one. After that, I got nothing else to think about. I thought I have a lot of realizations that I need to make a list of them. But God led me to think about the several things that had happened in my life before I’ve met Him. There are things yet to be realized. But one thing’s sure: I can overcome them all.
I just recalled our EGR (Encounter God Retreat)last April, which happened for 2 days. Every group had an SG (spiritual guide), or a leader, and in one of our sessions, she made us pick one from folded papers in her hands (I’m so not good in picking.. especially in raffles! >.<). Then I read: “Favored by God.” That would be our new names from that day on. I thought to myself, “What?..?” I didn’t have anything against it, but I thought it didn’t fit me just right. Or the one I wanted to be. My other groupmates got “Overcomer,” which was the one I like. I wanted to overcome — from all my fears, doubts, insecurities, bitterness. Believing if it would be my new name, I could live to it.
After our EGR, I told my mentor about my new name. He said, “So, you are now Benedicta!” Wha?! What a name! He said it means “favored by God.” Then I looked up the Net, and saw that it was “Hannah,” not Benedicta, and that the latter means Blessed. My mentor said, it’s still the same: you cannot be blessed if you’re not favored by God, and vice versa.
Though I didn’t receive Overcomer as a new name, I believe God favors me to overcome. In fact, it is His will, not just for me, but for everyone, to overcome from sin, failures, and the things that the devil had put in the lives of God’s people.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
God made me realize those in the list to know (and to remind me) that it is only by His strength, will, and power that will lead me to a victorious life. Everything I’ve just realized is out of His abundant mercy and grace!
In this earthly life, we have to face various trials. We can claim the victory over all, because Jesus Christ had been there and done that. We have hope because He’s been there before us; He experienced it. He overcame everything once and for all on the cross for us.
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
-Jesus (John 16:33)