God never takes a vacation

God never takes a vacation.

Jan 14, 2022

Sometimes, you must hurt, so you can heal.
Fall, so you can rise again,
Lose, so you can gain,
End, so you can start again.
Some of life's greatest lessons
come from the worst pain.
~ Ravenwolf

I asked the Lord, how long must I hurt so I can be healed, fall and never fall again or lose just to gain a little. That’s all I have asked of Him. A little happiness. A little peace of mind. Many may have shared their moments of experience with our Lord, but my sharing is about God taking a vacation… or so I thought.

I began my teenage life being a rebel. Could never be like my other siblings. I wanted to fly, go places I have never been before, experience things my siblings could only dream of. Well, I did. I left for teacher’s training with much protest from my family. What’s wrong in being a teacher?

I started teaching catechism when I completed high school, and that got me into this profession. Rabbi, Teacher, well that’s what I wanted to be and I pursued my dream. I prayed that God would show me a way to follow His will. When I finally got it, I was ready to fly. Reluctantly, my dearest mentor, my idol, my father, had to let me go. Now you know why I call myself a rebel. Keep reading, more to come.

The struggles and pain had only just begun. Falling in love was beautiful but why didn’t God see me through it? I thought of Him and said “no” to a two-year-old relationship. I could have said “yes” and followed my will, but it was He I had to listen to. I was taken ill with something even the doctors did not know.

I was taken to many mediums by friends of the family, but remedy was not to be found. Then I returned one afternoon to my church and there He sat, as if He was waiting for me. Had I met Him before, who was He? He smiled. I just nodded. I walked to my patron saint and prayed. After a short while, I turned to leave and He was still there, smiling. He gestured to me to come closer. I walked towards Him. “Go, untie what you have around your waist, throw it away and never turn back to that again,” he said. Like in a trance, I drove my car to the nearest river and threw away the talisman which I was given for protection. I drove back to the church with many questions in my mind. I walked into an empty church but His presence I could still feel.

Getting married was difficult for me. I had my conditions. But God sent me this man who fit the criteria I had. But dad, being dad, was not happy. “How can another teacher take care of my daughter? You will live in poverty”, he said. The rebel in me surfaced again. It is him or no one else, I made my stand. Our families knew each other well, but it was once again the profession that stood against us. We got married and were blessed with two children.

Life was not easy, taking care of the two kids and completing my degree at the same time, but we managed until, one fine day, I got a call from my husband, who had got himself admitted to a private hospital. His cardiologist was there to brief me of the procedure he had to undergo. The late Datuk Dr Nik Zainal advised me to pray hard for him. The procedure could be a little risky, he said. I was alone, reciting my rosary diligently. A couple of hours later the surgeon came to meet me and he admitted that although the procedure was a little difficult, he believed it was divine intervention that helped him through. I may not have seen God, but He was there.

Then two years later, He was there again. In spite of the severity of the accident, my husband survived another near-death experience. His car was a total wreck, underneath a lorry laden with timber. He had to undergo a major surgery to insert implants on his face.

I have always had this habit of burning incense every morning, using the fire from the table-top burner in the kitchen. That morning I did the same, not realising some of the burning particles had fallen down into the cabinet below and had started a fire. At about 7:30 am, I got a call from my daughter. “Ma, our kitchen cabinet is on fire. Everything inside the cabinet is burnt or melted. Your new Noxxa is history.”

My kids managed to douse the fire with the little knowledge they had picked up from the movies. I came home. The smell of burnt wood and plastic was still lingering in the house. I opened the half-burnt cabinet door and I cried, not because my Noxxa was burnt or that all my Tupperware containers had melted, but I was so thankful that God had protected my family, my house and my neighbourhood.

My hurts will eventually heal. I have fallen numerous times, but since experience is the best teacher, I will rise to gain what I have lost. Well, that’s up to Him. He is my all in all. I dedicated my life to Him. Each day my love and faith in Him has grown. Yes, I have been pushed to the edge many times. There were times my human nature had shut Him off and I refused to listen to His soft promptings. Today, I stand, still weak, still struggling, but I know God never takes a vacation. God never takes a vacation

Mercy Almeida Stellus is a teacher and an avid reader of HERALD.

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