Reckless Love: Leaving the 99 for the lost one

Have you ever felt being so disconnected with yourself? It’s as if you are alive, but a huge part of you is dead inside.

Have you ever experienced aridity in your soul? It seems like you are in a dry parched land, with no sight of an oasis where you can drink water from.

Have you ever felt so far away from God who was once so close to you? It’s as if you can’t hear his voice and feel his presence.

Spiritual dryness. The winter of the soul. Soul travelling in a desert.

That’s what I felt two weeks ago.

It went on for a week, but it seemed like it was a year! It was the longest week of my life.

I remember myself trying to get out of it, but I felt so feeble. The more I try, the more I get tired and weary. I was like a baby who can’t get up on my own strength.

SUNDAY

Sunday of that week, I did not want to go to church for some reason that I can’t even explain.

But a part of me ushered me to go.

And so I went to church, feeling half-hearted and excited at the same time. I thought I was crazy.

Right there and then, I knew that I was being oppressed.

I arrived at PICC with just a shirt on (which is unusual haha!). I didn’t even apply wax on my hair so I looked a bit groggy or like I just woke up from a deep slumber.

I took the seat at the second floor (that way, I won’t see any of my friends in the ministry).

I hated people that week. I didn’t even want to talk to them.

During the mass, I could sense how the Holy Spirit was moving to take me out the enemy’s grip. But I did not pay much attention to it.

Seated next to me is a man, probably in his thirties. As he took his way out after the mass, he told me “God bless you, brother”.

I do not know why he told me that.

I did not even talk to him during the mass. The only interaction that we had was when I shared my “peace be with you”.

How ridiculous?! How can I say “peace be with you” when my spirit is on the rocks and disturbed?

Moving on…

During Bro. Bo’s talk, he said, “Your struggles are building your wings”.

That message brought me to a sweet realization that I am currently in a struggle that I can’t win by just using my own strength.

And so I kept it in my heart believing that one day, I will be free from all my struggles. I will be okay again.

But my spiritual dryness did not end there. I still felt heavy and oppressed after attending the Feast. The devil thought, “yeah, that was just a break!”.

That same Sunday, I met with my friends as planned. However, it seemed like I was not with them. How can I be with them if I am not even with myself?

I remember my best friend asking me that day, “what are your greatest blessings this year?”.

I grumpily responded, “ewan ko!!!!”. The crazy thing is that’s not how I usually respond to that kind of question.

It was later on when I realized that the evil was using my emotions to make me blind and be unable to recall how God has been faithful to me since day 1 of 2017.

MONDAY

The next day, I still felt so tired, sleepy, groggy, and heavy. I was in my room almost the whole day, trying to figure out what’s happening in my life.

That afternoon, I heard God speak to me. And it was very clear.

He told me to grab my journal and write on it. And so I did.

I have no idea what to write about. I just needed to write.

Out of my struggle, God revealed His words to me, just as how He revealed beautiful things to Abraham.

Out of the words that He told me write, the message of the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15) resonated within me.

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

I felt a sense of peace and relief when I heard that message.

In that very moment, I felt God’s embrace. Amazing grace! I was once lost but now I am found.

No matter how many times I choose to be lost, God never gets tired of looking out for me, and laying his hands to my wounded self.

I do not know, or maybe I am just exaggerating the experience, but I am so grateful that I get to be in this kind of situation. Without it, I would not discover and appreciate myself even more. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to see God’s glory which is always ready to be revealed in His time. It made my faith in Him become stronger.

Evening of that same day, I listened to some worship songs before I send myself to sleep. I pulled up my Youtube app, and on top of the playlist is Bethel Music’s Reckless Love. Without second thinking, I pressed play and got lost in the presence of the Lord.

His message was so consistent. The lyrics say:

[Chorus]
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it
I don’t deserve it
Still You give yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God

[Bridge]
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
No lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me

You may listen to the song here:

Thank you, Lord, for always reaching out to me.

Someday, I’ll look back to this and I will be reminded that you’re always by my side, whatever season I am in.

Thank you, Jesus.

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