(A melodic or harmonic configuration that creates a sense of repose or resolution.)

"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever." - Psalms 52:8

Monday, March 17, 2008

honesty and humility

the following post is not so much for your reading pleasure, but serves more as part of my memory archive. of course i'd love to share God's goodness to me with all of you, but more often than not, my walk is filled with discouraging potholes. i keep falling and failing, and recover... only to fail again.

i'm not perfect. and it sucks that i've only just realized that.


Hillsong United, The Stand

You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
And what could I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You


So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours


i cried when i sang this yesterday. this song was so apt, because it described my failure in my children's cell.

the past two weeks were both a blessing and a curse. my parasites were growing so well, it was nothing short of a miracle. the samples we destroyed had taken 2 months of work. i remember mentioning to someone, '*laughs* maybe God will bless and we'll finish in two weeks!'

i half-believed myself, coz it just didn't seem possible to me at all. two months was already quite fast, you know?

and not surprisingly (heh, because God is the miracle maker) alvin and i completed everything in two weeks. and not only that, the amount of RNA we harvested is definitely unmatched to the amounts that we'd gotten previously. it's very clear that God's hand is with us.


side note: the day when alvin and i were preparing to harvest our cells, i remember i was so worried, and i kept praying that everything will work out fine, that the experiment wouldn't be set up for failure, that the harvest would yield good results.

and the psalm of the day was this -

Psalm 67

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine upon us,

2 that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.

3 May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.

4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples justly
and guide the nations of the earth.

5 May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you.

6 Then the land will yield its harvest,
and God, our God, will bless us.

7 God will bless us,
and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

will you just look at verse 1 and 5-6!! i grinned to myself when i read it, and knew that everything was going to be fine. =)


i made my blessing a burden though, when i started to skip church to go to work instead. at first, my reasons were fine... the dates of my experiment are unchangeable, once my cells are ready, we have to get going. very simple. i have to go to lab, there's no way around it.

but then i started feeling guilty, and then drained of energy, and then lazy to go to church. then it extended to kids cell.

i don't know when it started, but i guess the drive to lead has never come naturally to me. more often than not, i have no idea how to implement lessons and i wonder, 'what should i teach them next?'

i'm extremely uncreative, so it's a real problem for me to do word and capture the children's attention. seriously, i think only God truly understands how inadequate i feel, and this inadequacy really cripples me.

yeah, so in summary, i feel like crap about myself and how i'm not inspired at all about kids cell. the only thing that keeps me going was the children. i love them, but not enough to step out of this i-want-and-don't-wanna-go-for-cell thing.

i didn't go last week... i really had work to do, but i didn't like the relief that i had when i thought to myself, 'phew, no cell today.' i started wondering what was wrong with me.

then this week, it came again. i had work, and i hadn't planned anything for cell.

i went to the autoclave room and stood there thinking. then i was prompted, 'if you love the children, and if you miss them, just go. I will provide with the plan.'

alrighty then. i made up my mind.

immediately, i started feeling different. i was happier, i finished my planning in 30 minutes, lenny offered me a ride to bedok, and eventually sent me to melville park because her boyfriend used to stay there. and i was EARLY for cell. how amazing is that??i was so blown away by the free ride that just landed on my lap... i was floored, man!


then this sunday, again, dread started creeping in when i was preparing to leave for church. it's like i woke up, showered and dressed up out of habit more than anything, and when i was thinking of leaving my house, i started to think, 'maybe i should stay home... do work... pack my room... *sigh*'

eventually i went, not because i wanted to please God (sorry), but because i didn't want people to look at me with pitying glances and go, 'oh no, look, i think she's backsliding.'


so when worship came around, i was super into it. i was determined to get back in touch with God. and apparently He wanted me back into it even more, haha.

so yeah, there was the weeping when we sang 'The Stand'. at that point i really, really wanted to change everything about myself that i didn't like, but tolerated. CHANGE!! and commit to my CHANGE!!!

at the end of worship, i felt a quiet peace and thought, 'yep, well. i guess my issue is settled now.'

nah, God was not done with me yet.

pastor melvyn gave the sermon yesterday, and it was based on psalm 73, a psalm of asaph. when i realized it, i was stunned. it was the same psalm that caught my heart that week.

when i read it, i thought, 'oh, ok i shouldn't look at what the God-less have, and envy them. hmm, okay.'

but when pastor melvyn explained it, it spoke to me on so many levels, it was scary. it's a description much deeper and more profound than what i had, of course. haha.

he spoke about how asaph was a leader and yet he almost lost his faith and it was just amazing that he could be so honest about it.

and then he continued on to the things that brought asaph down, namely envy, and then about how asaph struggled to re-enter God's sanctuary (by right, he already could since he was THE worship leader, a Levite) and how when he got there, he experienced a sudden change of heart.

at that point i was shocked by how applicable it was to me. everything in psalm 73, through pastor melvyn's explanation was applicable.

i haven't written so much during service for too long. this sermon took up two full pages. even candice, who wanted to see what she missed after she came back from the toilet, gave up after she realized that i hadn't stopped scribbling for the last 5 minutes. (sorry babe! haha!)


when the end of the sermon came around, altar call was next. even as i stood up from my seat, i started to think.

viv1: i should go for altar call. it's been too long.

viv2: aiyah. just stay here like you always have la. go to the front and show the whole world for what? i'm sure God can touch you here at the back too.

viv1: but i think i should.

viv2: no need la. it's so embarrassing to go in front.

viv1: precisely! i'm always so ashamed to go to the front, and then i start giving excuses, like 'oh, i need to be here with the kids; oh i don't want to show people i'm weak la; or oh i'm sure God is here at the back with me too.' HEY, NO MORE. i know God wants me to do this.

then viv2 was silenced. good.

and not only that, God had other ways to tell me, 'i want you here. this time, altar call is for you, my dear.'

pastor melvyn was calling out to those who
- feel criticized
- feel disappointed in God
- need to get back into the sweet presence of God (yup, it was sweet alright)
- harbour envy
- find it difficult to listen to authority
- are tired from leadership - God understands it's tough. you don't have to be ashamed of it
- feel inadequate


the list went on. other than his call to the students who just finished their As and to those who have heart problems (healing), everything was what i needed.

even before i stepped out from my seat (i was right next to the aisle), my tears were brimming already.

i just really, really wanted to have a good cry in front of God, with no pretense that i am strong and all's fine with me... i'm so not! i have so many character flaws that i'd allowed to fester in me, i was selfish and i didn't love God which was apparent in the way i treated the people around me.

my vision was so blurred i walked straight into some guy, and i might have left 2 wet patches on his back. oops.

this lady prayed for me... it was a very strong prayer as she interceded for me, and the part i remember the most was when she said, 'God, we let you be the senior leader, and my sister is the junior leader.' yep, i really just need to let God guide me while i follow... it's so simple sometimes. sigh, even the lady prayed until she cried.

i haven't felt so desperate and wretched in a long time. i'm not fine, but i guess it's good that i've finally heard God in a long, long time. very small voice, but He's still there... and it comforts me to know that.


Psalm 73

21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,

22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.