I recall the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. I had barely worked 4 months at the bookstore when I was swarmed by dozens of requests for a book by Nostradamus. His book had been off the shelves for years but there was a renewed interest when the media propagated that another of his predictions had come true. People wanted to know what would happen next. Eventually though, the clamouring for the forgotten book died down. Perhaps, his writings were too difficult to be deciphered by the average reader.
On recent Fridays, my cell members would ask me, “When do you think the Russian invasion on Ukraine will end?” I answered them, “I don’t know. I have stopped following the news closely.” It has only been 2 months. Meanwhile, the Syrian civil war has been ongoing for more than a decade, and the Taliban is still wielding power in Afghanistan since August last year. And then, there’s the global scale battle with the Covid-19 virus. Tragedy after tragedy. There will be no end to it till the end of time.
Should I not be concerned anyway?
The past week, the memory of a dream that I had when I was 12 came to mind. There was a tall and large-sized man, though I did not see His face. He wore a white robe and he stood in front of a wooden stand. He was turning the pages of a huge leather-bound book which shone in brightness. There were names written on it. When I woke up from my slumber, I realised that I had dreamt of the Book of Life.
Why did God show me that dream at that age, and why remind me of it now?
Perhaps as it was so vivid, I would think of its existence as and when I come across the passage about it in the book of Revelation or when I hear the mere mention of its name in a sermon. Perhaps the dream was a warning to me not to end up with my name blotted out of the Book. So no matter how far I have strayed from God and back-slided on my faith, I would never dare to deny my belief in Him.
As I reflected on this memory, the fresh insight that I received from God is that the pages are still turning but it is already more than half-way through. There is a sense of urgency to have names recorded into the Book before He turns to its final page. The tragedies in the Last Days do matter. People’s lives matter.
Certainly though, life is not all roses. They may look beautiful to behold, but their thorns could prick. Words can heal and words can wound. I have found myself in recent weeks, tearing from hurts hurled at me. There is only so much that I can bear and tolerate. I rather break friendships off than be a likeable hypocrite. The pressure to appear fine and well stifled my walk with God, and that added to the ruins of a tormented mind and heart. Good Friday came, and Easter went. I also had to endure studying for an examination with notes as thick as a rim of A4-sized papers.
Yet, God is ever Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11). The same God that saw me through a week of Omicron infection, revealed what was troubling me and why I was reacting in a non-Christlike manner. It boiled down to trusting Him wholeheartedly. Rather than being shaken and in doubt, I ought to remain steadfast on God’s Word and Promises. I should be fervently faithful towards Him. The fruit of following after Him is His shalom; a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6)
Oh, Father! I have been careless. Forgive me for focusing on things that do not matter as much as the world that needs my prayer and Your love. While You have been patient with me, the clock continues to tick away. The pages in the Book of Life are being filled and I wish I could do my part in contributing some names towards it. I admit that I am afraid of the lions you are nudging me to chase. I am torn between being passionate for you and leaving my comfort zone, but I desire to live and leave my life with a legacy that would glorify your Name. So, where do I go from here, and what would you have me do?
Wherever, or whatever is it, may Your presence go with me, and grant me help and discernment to make the right decisions in my life. Thank you for your unfailing love towards me. This I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.