This World Is Not Our Home

On my way home from work last Friday night, I recorded a song in the car, out of the overflow of my heart. Just a few seconds after I said thanks to God for allowing me to finish it, I heard a loud, consistent beat at the right side of my car. A motorcyclist who drove by me then, signaled me to stop and look at my wheel. During the next three minutes, my world slowed down as I went out of the car to inspect the damage.

My jaw dropped as I saw my exploded tire at the side of the passenger’s seat. My mouth blurted out, “Shocks, Lord. Is this really happening? Please help me.” Within a  minute, even before I could call my dad, another motorcyclist stopped by to ask if I needed help. My initial reaction was “I hope this guy isn’t sketchy.” But in my desperation, I said, “Yes, please!” He spent the next 10 minutes, going through my car tools at the back, setting up my emergency signals, and trying to release the spare tire that was hidden under my car.

I remember telling him countless times how much I appreciated his help and how it really was impossible for me to change my tire by myself. After a few minutes, another motorcyclist stopped by to offer assistance. They ended up helping each other as they raised my car, changed my tire, protect me from being scammed by tow people, and even assist me as I drove to the nearest vulcanizing shop. All this happened in 25 minutes which may have caused a 30-minute delay along C5 north bound.

I safely drove home, by God’s grace, and updated my dad, mom, and eldest sister who were inside our house. I couldn’t contain what I was feeling, so I shared to them how the Lord had been so personal and intentional in teaching my heart a lesson AGAIN. With a few sobs, I shared that the Lord revealed one of my blind spots to me this week which crushed my heart and that it led me to composing a song that afternoon.

The song is entitled “This Isn’t My Home” and it talks about how our mistakes and regrets do not define us; how we have already been forgiven and free because of Jesus; how we are never alone; and how this world (with all our problems and pains) isn’t our home. It was such a humbling moment for me to realize that God knew my doubtful heart needed that push, that extra reminder through an exploded tire, for me to understand and absorb my security in Jesus and His unending and unconditional love for me. “This Isn’t My Home” was a timely encouragement too since I was literally on my way home when this happened.

“…live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things that you were redeemed from the empty way of life… but with the precious blood of Christ…” -1 Peter 1:17-19 

My heart broke this week because I sulked at the thought of how my blind spots, mistakes, shortcomings, and regrets affected my relationships with others and God. I wanted to turn back time and re-do some of my choices. I wanted to cringe and hide because of the shame and pain. But, this has always been a constant reminder for me:

GOD’S MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY MORNING. What a comforting reassurance from the Lord — this broken world is not our home! Because of Jesus, we can spend eternity with Him in Heaven, where there’ll be no more crying or pain; where angels will be praising His name.

The day after the incident, my dad accompanied me to buy new tires even if he needed to prepare for a message at church that afternoon. By God’s grace, God provided the two kind strangers (Anthony & June) at the right time who helped me on the road and my dad who guided and lent money to me for my new set of wheels.

There are still moments when I feel the ache in my heart especially when I remember my “What If’s” and other regrets. Sometimes, I still feel that I could make things better if only I had done certain things or made better decisions. But, as the Lord helped me see my frailty without Him, I am reminded to let go of the wheel, slow down, and trust that His ways, thoughts, and wisdom are better and higher than mine. Who am I to tell my Heavenly Father that Plan A is better than Plan B? Who am I to keep worrying about my past and my tomorrow when our God is sovereign and good?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” -Isaiah 55:8-9

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25

Today is a new day and the Lord has graciously put a new song in my heart. Thank You, Jesus, for Your sovereignty in the midst of my mistakes and regrets.

“One fall, one sin,

One mistake, one regret

Now, my world’s crumbling.

More lies, more heartbreaks.

More discouraging thoughts,

Will they ever go away?

In these times when my faith is shaken,

In these times when I begin to lose hope,

You remind me that You are still with me, Jesus.

You tell me that I’m never alone

And that this isn’t my home.”

-“This Isn’t My Home”

Simple Sunday Snack: Sweet Orange Potatoes

A few years ago, our family discovered the sweet orange potatoes in the market and fell in love with them instantly! We used to buy the purple and white sweet potatoes before, but because the orange-colored ones had a sweeter and creamier taste, we opted for the latter instead. We have included the sweet orange potatoes in our groceries ever since that time.

Recently, my sisters and I bought a kilo of the sweet orange potatoes and decided to boil them after work. One of my sisters heated the water in the pot and placed the potatoes in when the water was boiling. Since she knew that it would take some time to boil, she went to our room and rested for a while.

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At that time, I was also in our room playing with our dogs while surfing the net. About 30-45 minutes later, my two sisters eventually fell asleep on their beds and I was enjoying my time taking photos of our Pomeranian. After taking a couple of photos, I realized that I needed to sleep already, so I prepared my bed and I told our dogs that they needed to go back to their own beds. But before I uttered another word, I smelled a familiar scent and I didn’t feel good about it. Immediately, it registered in my mind that we forgot about the sweet potatoes boiling in the kitchen!

I woke my sisters up, shouted “KAMOTE! KAMOTE!” (tagalong word for Sweet Potato) to them, and ran to the kitchen like a crazy woman! True enough, there was smoke in the kitchen, the pot didn’t have water in it anymore, and the sweet potatoes looked like half-charcoal, half-potato.

I wasn't able to take a photo of the actual burnt potatoes. But, it looked something like this -- only our potatoes weren't sliced. (Photo from www.seriouseats.com)
I wasn’t able to take a photo of the actual burnt potatoes. But, it looked something like this — only our potatoes weren’t sliced. (Photo from www.seriouseats.com)

After turning off the stove and gas, my sisters went to the kitchen too and helped clean the place up. We opened the windows and used our air freshener to help remove the smoky scent. We then brought the dogs back to their beds and my sisters and I went back to our room. Man, were we wide awake! We almost burned the place down! (Side story: A couple of months ago, I was home alone and I fell asleep too while I was boiling eggs. After an hour, God woke me up and it was just in time since there were still a few drops of water in the pot. Oh, boy!).

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But, by God’s grace, he saved us from the fire once again.

Experiencing God’s grace again this time was a humbling moment for me. It reminded me of God’s sovereignty. It showed me how important it is to spend time with God, know and listen to His voice, and acknowledge His presence in my life. Also, I am learning that when God flashes red flags in front of me, I shouldn’t brush these off because He can use these to protect me from harm and pain. In the case of the burnt sweet potatoes, God allowed me to smell smoke (red flag!) and by His grace, I listened to His voice and ran to the kitchen.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” –Proverbs 3:5-6

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That night, God didn’t allow our place to burn down. But, what if he did? What if we got hurt… or even died because of the fire? Certainly, it would have been a difficult event. However, more than a decade ago, I learned about God’s love and grace and it changed my life. Because of God’s love, He sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross and He rose again so we could spend eternity with Him in Heaven (John 3:16). I humbled myself before God, acknowledged my sins, repented, believed in what He did for us, and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior.

Because of Jesus, I have the assurance of eternal life with Him and my fears/worries about death have been removed (Romans 10:9). As a result, I am more motivated to live a life that is best for Him and pleasing to Him because of who He is.

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Tonight, I was reminded of this because I boiled a new batch of sweet orange potatoes. This time, I stayed in the kitchen until they were cooked and they were delicious! Thank You, Lord, for burnt sweet potatoes and humbling moments with you. Your grace will always amaze me. :)

 

P.S. To my sisters/roomies, ‘til our next kitchen adventure!

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.