“Let me hold your hand.” Patrick hear God speak.

Hearing God speak  is desperately needed in the church today, many Christians  doesn’t know how to hear Him, some heard occasionally but only few hear intentionally. When I say ‘intentional’ I meant not only asking God what to do when you needed Him but giving your ears to Him while you are on your evPatrick with Edwardery day life with Him. It is not a prayer anymore but a communion with Papa.

“Let’s go swim Papa.” As his son grabs his hand and headed towards the water. The photo you see is him with his son, I have no idea that God was talking to him while taking this shot. God uses my eye view, my love to see how a father and son relationships glow in my eyes while shooting them at their back. What I loved here as well in this shot is their reflection in the waters below. As they starts walking he recognizes the rocky ground beneath them while his son is excited running to the waters unaware of the dangers of bruising him. The tide is low enough for you to see some sea urchin which is surely harmful if you step on it. His child’s fear started to creep inside him and instead of taking him into his arms he just switch to holding his boys hand instead of his son’s hand holding to his. Actually he holds him by his wrist. Immediately God spoke to him.

This father, Patrick, my close friend as well have been in the journey of his family life. Married to his wife Cathy for 6 years and bear a son named Edward. Cathy was saved in the church who I pastored before and Patrick came to visit and they found each other. Such a wonderful couple to be with. They have been transferring from house to house to live, either offered by some to stay for free or they go hunt for a house to rent. Quite a struggle at the early stage of marriage. I remember my marriage life as well of how struggling yet challenging to start raising your own family.

As Patrick and his son interacting with the scenery, he and his God as well have a nice talk.

“It is possible for you to lead Me to the road which you want to go by your hand holding on to mine.” Wow, so true. Patrick deeply gave thought while catching these words. “Is it possible then?” I asked him. Indeed, even if the road is God’s will for you it is possible still to forcefully grab Jesus hands and let him cooperate with you! Patrick pictured himself in his son’s presumption of trying to let God work for his situation. How clumsy eh?

Grabbing his son’s wrist without asking his permission is what he did knowing his child’s fear of stepping into something that might hurt him yet as a father he knows that it is not that much to fear co’z he’s having a bird’s eyeview looking down and seeing what’s beneath from the top. He then hear God speak to his situation. “Let me hold your hand this time son, I know what’s ahead in this road and knows how to take you there.”

It’s a word that encourages him a lot that we talked throughout the night til 4 o’clock in the morning! “I realize in my situation that it is me who hold God’s hand!” He said, “and I thought it is safe.”

“So,” I interrupt. “What about the encouragement we get from pastor’s or someone saying to us, “Hold on to God tightly?” Half truth maybe. But the perspective of Him holding on to your hands is much more secure eh?

The long hours we talked was focused more on a family, a family that is according to his plan and purpose. A church, a family on earth as it is in heaven. We discussed the importance of being family in the church meetings rather than just having meetings. As I hear someone would say, a meeting is not the church but the church does meets. Then from this heaven side of seeing what Jesus family is, we turn the subject to our own family. We shared deep things that only a friend can keep.

Just a word, Satan our enemy will never destroy God’s people by church but my families. We are even amazed of how the rich man in agony with Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom, remembered his five brothers in hell! How come he didn’t asked Lazarus descension from heaven and take over his possessions? Or his businesses? Or bank accounts? How come he is thinking about his… five brothers? I can guess why, not only he forbids himself to hear God’s message at that time but also by doing that to himself he is also forbidding, building a wall of separation, try to set himself apart from his own family. I am pretty sure of this, that our last resort on this earth, aside from God, is our own love ones, our family. A father can wait for his son’s return before letting go of his last breath. I once saw on TV program how the parents leaves home  and roams around during the day without food just to find their missing child who is missing for months! How a father longs for his son’s return in Jesus story of the Prodigal Son. Can you imagine that?

God is in the business of restoring families, not churches [Psalm 22:27, Mal. 4:6, Lk. 1:17, Lk. 10] If we have a revived churches with unrevived homes then it is merely mere hypocrisy. Revival should begin where sin begins, at home.

“I am tired of playing games.” As Cathy, Patrick’s wife realized. You can hardly lead dead people to worship God. Lots of faking, hypocrisy, artificiality, familiarity, are the words that describes their local church in Cebu. They’re done and have enough and would probably will never go back.

Church is a family and if it’s a family then it should do things as family does. The problem of our modern Christianity is all about doing programs and meetings, is this what a family does when they meet? Problems also of most Christians is they don’t know how to behave as family, they somehow forget it by constantly doing meetings.  And most of the time, the meetings is more important than their relationships with one another.