‘A formula – to be joyful in the Lord’

This article is also about how my wonderful and loving Father granted me grace in my academics. He not only helped me to get through each difficult phase, He surprised me with beautiful laurels.

Okey, let me use this formula this time. Please do not get scared …. Not this formula     x2 – y2 = ( x – y ) ( x + y )    😉 It’s something different..!! Before that let me boldly state that God does speak !! Who said that He doesn’t?

I hear Him almost every time…yes almost 😉  ( because *conditions apply ). Recently I heard Him pressing this truth almost vehemently into me.

Know that the Lord is God! It is He (I) Who has (have) made us (you), not we (you) ourselves (yourself).  Psalms 100:3

The very next day another verse,

I am the Lord, and no one else.. Isaiah 45:6

And again,

Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6

He was trying to press this point hard into my head that He is God and that He would do what was needed for me …… as He is Lord..!!

Phew !!!

Oh, yes, I was speaking about a formula………………..

Yes, this is the formula – ‘ a Divine One’, that when you are tempest tossed and pressed down by all kind of difficulties. This would help you rise up – COUNT YOUR MANY BLESSINGS

There are four stanzas to this beautiful hymn written by Johnson Oatman .

The wonderful encouragement to “Count your blessings” is often misused. It does not mean to deny that you’re having problems. It does not mean to ignore your troubling emotions. It does not mean, “Cheer up and act like everything is fine.” That doesn’t work! It certainly doesn’t lead to lasting joy and peace. The hymn is actually encouraging us to acknowledge openly that we are “tempest-tossed” or “burdened with a load of care” and bring our concerns to God in prayer. To count our blessings is to appreciate, one-by-one, that we have “every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). And genuine thanks and praise to God goes with openly unburdening ourselves before the listening ears of the “Father of compassion” and “God of all comfort,” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). (quotes from an article)

 

So amid the conflict, whether great or small,

Do not be discouraged God is over all,

Count your many blessings, angles will attend,

Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Amen !!!

 

God has been good to me, even in those early years of my life when ‘He was nothing to me’.  ‘I am sorry Father’!!!

Let me quote some 3-4 such incidents mostly in the academic terms.

I had a turbulent year during my 10th standard. It is sad while in South India, parents are extra cautious as their children enter into the 10th or 12th standard as they would be soon appearing for the public examination. Mine was extremely turbulent, so was for Mercy as She was in her 12th.

I simply cannot explain it how, yet God helped us all go through it. There were times, when I wasn’t sure that I would be able to make it to my pre-board examinations. There was ‘zero motivation & zero encouragement’. Yet – My God never forsook His own.

As I entered into the 10th standard, I had made a small prayer….   “Lord just give me 90 % ..that would do”.

We had two sections ‘A’ and ‘B’ and I was in the ‘A’ section. There were a few students in my section who were at par with me academically. Yet in the ‘B’ section there were quite a few who had scored much more than me during the pre-board examination. I cannot recall if I feared that others would get away with the school first award yet I think that this did not bother me then. All I wanted was 90 %, in CBSE board 90%, people that’s a good deal!! So I appeared for the exams and after nearly two months the results were about to be announced. I was in Chennai then, and we went to the browsing center that early morning as we did not have internet facility at home or probably we did not get to use it. So there I entered my registration number in the blank ‘ –‘ and … yes and ……and……..

… to my amazement I had secured distinction in all the papers. Praise God…!! yet that wasn’t much important to me then…I needed something else. So I took out my pen and a paper and added all the marks and divided it by 6. And there was it –  540/600…!! Now calculate it for yourself…!!;)

90 % EXACTLY 90 % WOWOWOWW!!!!

 

He is my faithful Redeemer !! You want to know the bonus that I received !! yes, God helped Mercy and me, get the school first, thus our names still remain in the entrance of the school in the topper’s list. Thank You God..!

 

XI and XII was again turbulent and then I entered into the college life.

(Recently while I was cleaning up my shelf, I came across a yellow ribbon, randomly folded, lying safely inside a plastic bag. It did not take me another minute to figure out where it had come from? )

So, the first day of my college (Women’s Christian College), when I brought the college dairy back home, I began looking through the details about each department. There were pages allocated for the awards to be given to students under each department. I remember showing that page to Uncle and out of the many awards; there was this ‘ALICE BARNABAS award’. Uncle told me that day, ‘I wish you receive this award as it is named after my own aunt Mrs. Alice Barnabas’. ‘Oh..i smiled’ and left that matter completely. Three years had passed and I never even remembered anything about it.

I must have forgotten everything about it, yet my loving Father did not. After turmoil of incidents in the year 2010, I had completed my degree in Physics major. One particular day, could be in the middle of the year, I received an envelope from the college office. As I opened and read the sheet, I was not only filled with joy, I was amazed at how You – God remembered it!!  There was a report sheet sent from the college stating that I had received three awards from my department and among them was ‘the ALICE BARNABAS award’. 🙂 It was actually a casual talk that I had with Uncle the other day, yet my Heavenly Father not only remembered it, He made it possible for me to get that award with bonus two more awards. It’s not the award that’s important here, the thing that amazes me is – Almighty God, Creator of the universe, cares for such an insignificant thing as this !!! His love overwhelms my soul..!!

This yellow ribbon was the ribbon that was used to pack all my three awards to be given to me on the convocation day.

Wait a minute…. there are yet a few more to come ..!!

MOP College, a totally different college, and it was from this college that I completed my post-graduation degree. I had opted for this college mainly due to my interest in photography and this college was very well known for its media studies. Something that I did not consider at the time of admission was that along with the media related subjects I would compulsorily have to study other subjects that would be really difficult for me.

There were a few hilarious incidents though – I had a paper called ‘advertising and its strategy’. One particular day, we were given a surprise assignment test. My lecturer had 20-25 logos of different brands put up on the screen and we were asked to write down the names of the brand against each option.

Oh…my..poor jesse !! I feel like laughing even now. I could hardly name 5 brands with confidence. There was this particular brand with an ‘X’ like symbol. I was sure I had seen it somewhere yet I couldn’t recall the name during the 40 minute class time. It was the brand ‘Reebok’. (Don’t laugh as there is some more to go). Since I did not know the answer, I had left it blank. Now, had I just bowed down my head and looked at my feet, I could have gained another one mark. I was actually wearing a Reebok brand floaters. Cool !! Now, please don’t enquire how much did I get for that test. It’s a disclosed matter. 😉

I had another paper called ‘ Film Studies’ ..wow !! Indian Cinema, Tamil Cinema, Kannada and Telugu Cinema then the Hollywood and European Cinema. A 100 mark paper. How did I get through it?? That’s another story to tell…..!!

 

Now at the end of the two year course, I had gone to the department to collect my mark sheet. I was the first student to enter the staff room and so my H.O.D had handed me the mark sheets of every girl in the class. Initially I was tempted to check out who was getting the highest aggregate in the class. Yet a Voice within me said – ‘WAIT’. !! And so did I!!

One year had passed and God as always displayed His goodness..!!

I received a call from my close friend that H.O.D had asked me to make it to the convocation without fail as I as receiving Rank One in my department.

 

It’s true – that His goodness surpasses our understanding. God Almighty-our Father is good……always good. Our pathway might be tough in the beginning, and narrow at the same time, yet the destination is always beautifully and wonderfully designed by Him. He is an expert in transforming our ‘tests into testimony’. I wasn’t a super intelligent girl’, no, not so. It was His goodness and grace. ‘No hard work, no practice, no tuition can prove fruitful to a child of God, until He/ She knows how to rest/rely upon His goodness and grace.’ Whose quote is this ??? 😉 jesse’s !!!

So, God is a wonderful Writer, He begins a story, He writes it all and then beautifully completes it. He places commas and semicolons wherever required and beautifies the journey. I hope He continues to give us His grace to trust in His goodness for today, tomorrow and forever!! God is so good !!

 

And as He was setting out on His journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, Teacher, [You are essentially and perfectly morally] good, what must I do to inherit eternal life [that is, to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?

 And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me [essentially and perfectly morally] good? There is no one [essentially and perfectly morally] good–except God alone. Mark 10:17,18

 

Father – thank You for being so good !!I know for sure in the coming years, I will come to know of many things that You have allowed or prevented from my life today. I might have wept over it, or questioned You ‘why’ yet deep within I know it for sure ‘Father’, that since You were always good to me, You are Trustworthy…!! You will work out everything for my best!!

You do all things for my eternal GOOD!!

Trust Him…

He alone is Trustworthy!!

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