Light In My Darkness

These incidents might sound silly to write a post about, but it means so much to me.

April – May are the months where students at a university would be making amends with all that they should have been studying throughout the year. These two months are crucial because that’s when a year’s worth of information is cramped into the system. Well, this is true in my case at least.
I had to submit my final year’s dissertation on the 27th of April and had an exam the following day. The week after that held three other exams for me, on consecutive days.

As I was returning home from my university’s building at 11 pm on the 24th of April (Friday) after an intense revision session, I felt my legs get tighter with every step. I got home and saw that my legs had developed some bright red lumps and it took me a while to take my jeans off.
I called my friend and told her about what was happening, (this was around 1 am now) and she suggested I called the doctor out-of-hours. The doctor told me to come down to the hospital within the hour. I was a bit hesitant knowing the amount of revision I had to do the next day and that I needed a good night’s rest to achieve what I had planned. I returned home at 5 am and then watched the sun rise while filling in a deferral form for my exams and dissertation as my condition got worse.

Each day, week after week, I grew fainter, my joints ached and I was forced to stay in bed, unable to do anything on my own. I felt useless. I could have been done with my finals, but there I was, in bed, in pain, in tears. I could feel my heart beat in my feet (if that’s even possible). I could feel nothing but pain and a strong realisation that I’ve let everyone down.

Three weeks later, I was picking up the pieces and fixing myself up only to learn that my Grandma had passed away. I still remember my deep-seated father who pretended like nothing had happened, just so that I wouldn’t fall back into the whorl of gloom. When I told him that I received messages from friends back in Bahrain consoling me, he still maintained his calm. That’s when I knew that my old man needed me, now more than ever. So, I decided to take the next flight from Birmingham to India (because that’s where my Grandma was).

On the 5th of June, knowing that I had developed an auto-immune disease called erythema nodosum, I was now returning back to Coventry with something heavier than my luggage. The disease explained the red lumps, joint pain, fever, headaches, and everything terrible.
Messy May had gone by and the month of June was taunting me. I had to start revising for my exams (again) and to complete my dissertation that I worked so hard on. I had to submit my year’s worth of research for my undergrad degree (a.k.a. ‘disso’ as commonly known by students), with a heavy heart and the fact that I could not complete it according to the standards I had set for myself.

It took me some time to recuperate from life’s unpleasant reality check. The next thing I remember was frantically multitasking revision for two exams that were on consecutive days (so convenient) with the touch-ups for my dissertation. I know, I know, I had loads of time on my hands, but the right frame of mind? Don’t think so.

At this point, I gave up, I cried, I lost hope, I looked up to the sky and surrendered my all, and this is when everything fell into its place. You see, this wonderful God I believe in, gave me a chance to fight own my battle with every cell in my body, but when my strength failed me, and when I asked for a tiny portion of His strength, He clothed me with garments of salvation (Isaiah 61.10) and met my needs according to His riches (Philippians 4.19).

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 🙂

From Birmingham to Delhi

Happy Resurrection Day!

Hope you were all as eggcited as I was, and that you’ve had an eggcellent Easter!
(Points for trying?)
I did purchase Creme eggs and Haribos for myself! #LonerStudentLife

Coming back to the point of this post, I want us to reflect on what we’ve just celebrated and should celebrate every single day – The Resurrection of Christ!

My church’s Senior Pastor delivered this message on the 6th of April 2012, I have it written down on the back of my Teen Bible. (I’m still in denial over turning 21.)
I wanted it to remind me of the ultimate sacrifice made on my behalf; for a sinner.

Good Friday

Jesus spoke seven words on the cross. (seven statements)

  1. Luke 23:24 – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
    –  As Christians, we believe that Jesus is the son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins. Most people these days would find that ridiculous! How can some person die for people he didn’t even know, and why, and what, and who again? I’ve asked these questions myself. (That’s a post for another day.)
    – So, Jesus died the death of an ordinary man. If He can forgive those who crucified Him, then who are we to judge now?
  2. Luke 23:43 – Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
    – Here ‘you’ is the criminal who was nailed to a cross, as his punishment. Verse 41 says, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong”. 
    – We’ve done things that we regret, we as Christians note them down as ‘sins’. Why do we do what we do? That question confused me as well but really, why do we do … what we do? I often used to think that “ohh everything’s God’s will so my actions are basically determined by His plan”, which made it easier for me to blame God for a consequence of my own doings. We are given the ability to make our own choices or else this world would be a huge puppet show.
  3. John 19: 26-27 – When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple,“Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
    – What do we understand by this? In my opinion: Becoming one in Christ – New relationships are formed – Broken lives are made new. Simple as that!
  4. Mark 15: 34 – And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
    – When I read this verse, I was certain that I had heard it before. Read Psalms 22:1 🙂
    – On the cross, He could bear mockery, pierced hands and legs that nailed Him to that very cross, His clothes were divided (I’ve read this in the Old Testament as well: King David wrote in Psalms 22:18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.) – Read point 1 in this post: They did cast lots of his garments. My point here being, He didn’t mind all this but once He felt the separation from God, He could not bear it.
  5. John 19:28 – Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”
    – Through this we know that Jesus obeyed God till His death.
    – He accomplished His purpose on Earth: to clear the debt the world owed to God, He wiped away the debt of sin.
    – And that He thirsts; here, Physical thirst. Also, He thirsts for you and me.
  6. John 19:29-30 – A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
    – This fulfills Psalms 69:21 “…and gave me vinegar for my thirst.”
    – Christ came to this Earth to finish what God started – The forgiveness of sin.
    – The purpose as to why Jesus was sent to us was to bring about a change to mankind. He did it. It is finished. All is said and done. You just have to believe and experience the change brought by your faith in Him.
  7. Luke 23:46 – Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
    – Take a look at Psalms 31:5, it’s amazing how these words were in one of King David’s prayers: Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.”

Easter

We are not here to mourn the death of Christ but to rejoice because He rose again. ‘Death’ is temporary!  The tomb couldn’t contain Him. He is risen indeed!

What can be more powerful than knowing we worship a living God?

The nails didn’t hold Him to the cross, it was His love for you and me.

John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;  and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

I’ll admit I found it difficult to write this post. I had to pause many a times and I held back from writing it well. I even saved it as a draft for about an hour and did nothing about it. By why should I shy away from the faith I have in Christ? What about his unfailing love for me? I’m saved by His amazing grace and I’m proud to call Him my saviour. I’ve been redeemed! I’ve been set free!