40 by God’s Grace

15 12 2012

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I never realize that I will reach the age of 40, simply because I have the same kind of health problem as my biological father have. He died at the age 0f 35, that is why when I was still young I prayed hard that I may pass the age of 35. I feared I may not last  longer as my father, added to this fear I could remember that there were two instances that I almost lost my dear life. The first one when I was still a young people, It was raining so hard that Sunday afternoon that after disembarking from the jeepney I dashed to cross the road. I didn’t realize that another vehicle is approaching,  it nearly hit me by an inch. I stood in the rain for a few minutes, frozen and stunned then went to the church to attend the Young people‘s meeting. I thought it was just a coincidence and never connected to any kind of intervention from God.

Not until my second encounter of near death experience in Mandaue Cebu. My twin brother and I were Bible students back then, I thought God was calling me to be  a Pastor so I surrendered my life to Him and studied in a Baptist Seminary. The incident took place during the summer when the school administrator decided that we will have a beach picnic, it literally took us two hours to reach the Beach. When I saw the kind of Beach that we were at, I was undecided whether to dip into the water. (I used the term Dip In since I don’t know how to swim).

Anyway, since I could see that everyone was enjoying I couldn’t help myself but dip into and wad through the water. I was actually swimming like a frog not realizing that I was heading through a deeper part of the water. When I tried to stand on my feet, I couldn’t reach the ground under me,fear filled me at the same time I was already panicking. I was trying to get back into the shore but I just sunk into the sea. I was about to give up hope when suddenly out of nowhere, I stepped unto something soft. That gave me a boost and made me float back into the top of the water, I tried swimming back into the shore and didn’t stop until I was sure that I was already stepping on the sand. Later on, I overheard one of my fellow Bible students telling them that someone stepped on him when he under the water. It was then that I realized that God used him to save me from drowning, I didn’t admit that it was me who stepped on him. I kept that secret with me up until today. Looking back at what happened to me during my younger years, I could see how God spared and looked after me. If it weren’t for His grace, I can honestly tell you that I may not be here writing and sharing to you about God’s goodness and guidance.

Isn’t it by grace then that I was able to reach the age of 40? The world may believe the saying that “life begins at 40”, but for me my life started the moment I truly accepted and surrendered my life to Christ. Today, in my 4oth birthday, I thank God for each and every one of you who took their time in greeting me on Facebook. To my close and not so close friends and for those whom I just met online, I say Thank you with all of my heart. To my NCF family for always being there for my family as well as for giving me inspiration and spiritual strength every time when I am down. To my Pastor, Ptr. Tonieth and Jeje Tan who have put his entire trust not just to me but to my entire family, thank you for being an inspiration and a blessing to us. To all of of those  we came to know in the Fellowship, each one of you meant so much to us and has been a blessing to us. To my children, who, even if I may not be as friendly or a smiling father to them. Thank you for showing me how it is to be a father and giving me joy each day through the many talents that God is slowly unfolding right in front of me. I thank God that I could see potentials in each and every one of you and I know that if you give and totally surrender your life to Christ, He will never abandon you and will look after you for the rest of your lives. To my wife Maries or Sally to our friends here in Thailand, thank you for all the patience as well as the love that you have for me. Thank you for putting your faith in the One true God and for the years to come that God will allow us to spend together.

My prayer today, on my birthday is that God will continue to use me and let me serve Him until my very last breath. That I may spend the rest of my life serving Him as well as my family and use my children as well for His glory, that is my only desire and my prayer today.

Once again, Maraming maraming Salamat to those who took their time in greeting me on this special day. God bless everyone.

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