Thursday, March 6, 2008

From the rising of the sun

Thank God for the joy of waking up each morning! Whenever I am severely depressed, I dreaded waking up in the morning. That was always the hardest part of the day. I dreaded the thought of having to face another day of hopeless, useless and pain.

But now it is so different! Thank God for restoring me from my recent relapse of severe depression in July 2007. The wonderful thing about bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness is that whenever I am better or well, I am usually kind of hypomanic. And at such time, I wake up each morning with joy and thankfulness. I look forward to the many challenges each day. I have a lot of ideas, become more creative, have more energy and there seemed to be so many things I want to do or accomplish each day.

Thank God for every opportunity to know Him and serve Him with each new given day. I pray that I may always know His love and faithfulness, no matter what He sovereignly allows me to go through in this pilgrim journey. I am thankful to God for enabling me to know His love and mercies experientially especially through my severe depression episodes. Those severe depression episodes are painful beyond words, but they also have a very sanctifying influence in my life. They are mercifully used by God to purge me of my dross.

Sometimes when I am well, I can be very complacent. Sometimes I get carried away by many things and thoughts that I have daily. I can be quite a workaholic and neglect God, my family, friends and people around me. I can become very task-orientated and just want to accomplish as much as possible daily. I derived satisfaction from doing a good job at whatever I do, as I am some kind of a perfectionist. Sometimes I forget to spend more time with God, forget to pray, forget to follow His Words and seek His guidance or direction.

Severe depression episodes are mercifully used by God to humble me, to bring me down more to earth and realize afresh what really matters in this life. Nothing in this life will last for eternity. Not my possessions, my reputations, my family, my career, my friends, my church, my hobbies, etc etc. None of these things will last. One day they shall all perish. But my relationship with our Heavenly Father and our beloved Saviour Lord Jesus Christ, shall last for all eternity! One day when all things are gone, and even my own life ends, our Lord Jesus Christ shall take me home to be with Himself in to enjoy His love and glory for all eternity. What a blessed hope!

Thank God for the encouraging reminders at the Westminster Shorter Catechism class at my church last evening. It was the first time I attended the Class together with my sister-in-Christ, Grace Lim. Pastor JJ was lecturing on Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 20:

Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 20: Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?

Answer: God having, out of his mere good pleasure, - from all eternity, - elected some to everlasting life, - did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeember.

Pastor JJ reminded us that God has established a covenant of grace with His people. He is a covenant keeping God and He will not break His covenant/promise/contract with us. Despites our sins and failures, God remains unchanging! Nothing can separate us from the love of God.

How I pray for grace to know God in very real and personal ways, to remember His love and faithfulness through all the changing scenes of life. And to be able to praise Him from the rising of the sun until the going down of the same.

This beautiful picture is taken by my friend, HH Sau, at Tai Po, Hong Kong.

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised. Psalm 113:3

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