The Truth Behind My Smile

I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.” Psalm 22:22

Thank you for stopping by. God has put something on my heart that I hope and pray will encourage you. Even if everything else I write here is forgotten, I hope this post forever remains a testimony of my gratitude to God Above ALL.

Bene

It is doubtful whether God can use a man greatly, until first He wounds him deeply.”
– A.W. Tozer

The reason that I am deeply rooted in God does not revolve around all the great opportunities and choices the first world countries have to offer. It is not measured by the credibility of schools I have had the privilege to attend, a job I always dreamed of, the greatest company I work for, the wonderful church I am honored to be part of or things that I achieved in my life. And it’s definitely not because I have nothing better to do.

My life song is about the God who picked me up right after I lost parents at a very young age, hopeless and homeless. It is about the Most High, the Father of the Fatherless who never left me alone. He was there as I juggled and learned what it was like to figure out life all alone when no one else cared. He is the strength behind my growing up in Rwanda. Through struggles of all kinds, He alone kept me going. He is the Comforter who walked with me through the days I spent in the college campus clinic. Attached to an IV, I could not attend most of my classes because of stomach problems resulting from the Genocide aftermath. Yet I graduated with best grades.

Most of the time, materialistically I had nothing, but Jesus shined through every little thing I possessed to make me look like I was just a regular happy college girl. When I didn’t have food for a couple of days, my physical appearance didn’t change a bit to reflect the starvation. It is God who provided for my siblings when I was a student and didn’t have any income. He was right on time and didn’t let them drop out of school or starve. He was our shelter when we’d have been homeless. It is God who patted my back, and with a soothing voice told me that I was not alone as I prepared for the state exam at the end of high school to qualify for college, when the only door to my promising future seemed to be closing.

He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.” 1 Samuel 2: 8

I have done nothing to deserve to make it to this day. My parents and many other nice people didn’t make it to see what I see today: It is GOD’S GRACE, LOVE & MERCY. He is my only REFUGE. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

My faith in Christ my Savior, is beyond the shadow of doubt. It has been perfected by the pain, suffering, loss, poverty, disappointment, shame. If there is one thing I am so certain about, it is the hands of the TRUE GOD on me. I am very grateful that I don’t have a “to-do list” to be accepted by the Lord. Jesus endured it all, on the cross, on my behalf. And GOD accepts me just the way I am. He Has won my full attention and captured my heart, for all my days.  To this day, what He has done in me is far ENOUGH to ensure me that every promise He made will be fulfilled, in His timing. Because God is not a human being that He should lie. However long it takes, I will wait. Yes, because the one who started the good work in me is capable of bringing it to completion. Until that day comes, I will still pray, love, hope, trust, seek and rely on Him.

This is what keeps me going, even on the worst of my days, when fear cripples me. I don’t have it all figured, but I have GOD.

What is the reason behind your courage, testimony, brevity? If everything else fades, where is your safe refuge? If it’s the true God, cling to Him, you will be truly SAFE in His arms when trials and tribulations come.

God bless you.

God is not “Fair”. He is JUST!

By definition, being fair means: “free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice. A fair decision; a fair judge; legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules.” When we get what we truly deserve, in a good way, it’s called fairness. The jurisdiction system should be fair.

On the other hand, God is not “fair“. This is simply a definition we give to “justice”, in our eyes, not God’s. A simple example is Psalm 103:10 (NKJV): “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.” If you read the definition I shared above, this is not fairness at all. If you continue and read a few more verses up to 14, in lieu of fairness, we see mercy.

So, digging deep into the meaning, if God was fair, there shouldn’t be tragedies. Of course God does not cause them but He is mighty to stop them from happening, right? But we, as human beings, have ways of justifying what we “think” is right, or fair. But this does not necessarily mean that God sees it the same way, although we tend to believe so.

Let’s look at these few examples:

  • The city of Moore, Oklahoma pummeled by the tornado is beyond comprehension. Emotions of lucky parents reuniting with their survived children from the two elementary schools debris were simply contagious and very moving. The news of some other parents who waited on what may be their loved ones’ fate was simply heartbreaking.
  • Watching the news as the death toll climbed every minute, of people whose lives depended on the little money they made for hours in a country half way across the world, at a Bangladesh garment factory, didn’t make sense at all.
  • Words cannot depict the earthquake that reduced the Haitian capital city to rubble, where more than two hundred thousand people died in January 2010 and the country incurred heavy irreparable damages. My heart was overwhelmed with fear as I waited for the news of a good friend we met in grad school: Katarina, her husband and their baby boy, who was less than 6 months old at the time. By God’s grace, although they lost everything they owned in Port-au-Prince, they were safe and later returned to the United States. My friend’s survival story is unthinkable.
  • Last but certainly not least, the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda remains the worst atrocities of the 20th century; about a million Tutsi (and some Hutu who opposed the genocide) were killed in a period of 100 days. Roméo Dallaire, a Canadian UN Force Commander (UNAMIR 1993-1994), with an objective to assist the implementation of “Arusha Accords” between the Government of Rwanda and the opposition, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), wrote about his experience. I highly recommend his book: Shake Hands with the Devil.

Romeo Dallaire

You can add a lot more stories, and sadly more are happening as I type. Of course the cause of these tragedies always has little to do with people who encounter them. Also, the conclusion is not about who suffered the most or who deserves the most attention. I personally believe that it’s about what we learn from the experience and finding God’s Power & Plan amid the situation.

In my human mind, of course it’s not fair for children to die, or innocent people to suffer, or bad things to happen to good people. It is very hard to understand that some people may be in abundance while in some places others die from hunger. When all this happen, we start blaming God and wonder where He is as everything happens. Many expressions in Rwanda later quoted that the “God of Rwanda” was absent starting the evening of April 6, 1994.

In some scenarios, we even take it further, by suggesting the Mighty God what would have happened, had He been there! We’re not the only ones though. When Jesus arrived 3 days after his friend Lazarus died, his sister Martha started to blame him. She instructed Jesus that if he had been there sooner, that her brother wouldn’t have died (John 11:21). Of course Jesus was there to not only raise Lazarus from the dead, but to also glorify His Father’s Name. If Jesus healed him instead, I am pretty sure that the miracle may have not been as powerful to them as bringing him back to life.

The truth is, no matter how one may seem to have it all together, we each have struggles on our own levels. We face different challenges in life, but the good news is that God cannot give us more than we can handle. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it“. 1 Corinthians 10:13

To sum up everything, I know without doubt that God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. It’s absolutely not because certain places or people are cursed that they should deserve what happens to them. “For God makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust“.(Matt 5:45). God is Just, Almighty, a Healer, a Counselor, a Father to the Fatherless, filled with unwavering mercy and everlasting grace. Along with that, His calendar, schedule, curriculum, budget, judgement are NOT reasonable to our terms.

God does not cause earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes, but He is right there when and as it happens. After all, we hear survivors’ amazing stories. After all, it’s not by their own power that those are spared. God is forever on the highest throne; His ways are not ours, nor His thoughts are like ours. You cannot advise Him nor question what He’s doing. He does according to His will on earth as it is in heaven. He rules the world with Truth, Grace and Justice. If you trust Him, when everything falls apart, you will be safe in His arms.

Weep with those who mourn and rejoice with those who celebrate. Treasure each day you have, tomorrow is not granted. Be eager to lend help, you never know when you may need it, too. Be considerate, mindful and sympathetic. Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them.

May God comfort those who mourn today and ease pain for those who are suffering, in the name of Jesus. May today all those who are in distress hear His soothing voice and may their hope be lifted high.

May His Holy Name be praised, now and always!