My coming to AOY was well planned. I had prayed for it since the day I decided to go. It was my desire to have Dunamis and to be closer to God. I have expected myself to learn more and yes I did, but I wanted to share the four lessons that only in #aoy2017penang I’ve experienced and learned.
Aside from attending the seminar, I have desired to capture Malaysia’s view, too; so I brought with me my DSLR camera. I was very careful carrying it with me because it was my first time to go overseas and it was my first time to bring such camera. I was very excited!
From Davao International Airport to Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, I had seen how God had prepared the way. I had been thanking Him for the travelling mercy He gave to me and to my friend, Gezziel. We arrived in KL safely and our basic needs were provided. I praise God over and over again.
One of the blessings I have counted in Malaysia is Kuya Ronald. He fetched us at KLIA2 and sent us back to KLIA2 only after he brought us to Petronas Twin Towers at 3:00 AM.
The first lesson was on the day of our travel from Kuala Lumpur to Penang Island. On the bus, I sincerely prayed to God to take away from me everything that would hinder me from learning more of Him. I was thinking He will take away my pride, excitement, indifference and shyness. I was thinking He will prepare my heart for the seminar. Yes, He did, but He did something more.
The bus stopped at a certain place where we passengers could have our lunch. I went out together with Gezziel. I went out also with my camera thinking I might see something beautiful to capture. I was very careful carrying it but suddenly out of my consciousness, it accidentally fell. I quickly took it from the ground and went to find food. Then, I was not able to see something to capture so I just ignored using my camera.
Along the way on the bus, I saw beautiful scenarios. So that’s when I took my camera from its bag. Lo, and behold I found it broken. But one thing that amazed me was the thought that popped up directly in my mind telling me that “God giveth and He taketh away..and sometimes, He taketh it very soon”. It gave me peace. I put it back in its bag and I never told my friend about it. I didn’t want her to worry.
Then, I remembered my prayer. The first lesson is sometimes God’s answer to our prayer is somewhat disappointing but it depends on us to see it as a blessing or a curse. But I saw it as a blessing. I might not be able to focus in the seminars by capturing views and moments…coz it’s broken. Others said I was just too careless but I knew I am very careful with my things. It just that sometimes God breaks what would hinder us to know Him more…and sometimes that breaking cost much.
But as what I have said, God gave me that camera so it’s okay for me if He took it from me. I’m satisfied with that. It made me smile still. Anyways, it just broken, not destroyed.
The second lesson is from the song rendered by Randy Balinton “Broken.” That was my first time to hear the song and it surely broke my heart. I could not hold my tears, praising God while hearing the song.
How wonderful and great God is to turn broken things into a blessing. How can He turn my broken dreams into wondrous reality and my broken character into His likeness? How can a God as perfect as He is, love broken things, even the broken me? The song gives hope to a broken soul like mine and I know it does the same to others too.
The third lesson was just randomly said by Khevin, our friend from Cebu, during our lunch discussion. He said like “God allowed us to be broken in order for Him to clean us thoroughly. Because it’s God’s way to clean every corner of our heart.” It was just a mere discussion but that lesson left a big impact on me.
Yes, our brokenness is just God’s way to clean every difficult-to-reach corner of our heart. Just like my camera, it has to be broken for me to see what parts to be cleaned and to be replaced in order for it to function well and to be used more perfectly. God breaks us to see the dirtiest motives, the hardest pride and even the most beautiful desires we kept in our heart. Yet he breaks us to make us whole and clean again, and even to replace something that is not best for us. Isn’t He great?
And last but not the least, the lesson I’ve learnt during the seminar in True Education. It’s the best lesson among the four. It’s found in Hosea 10:12. Please open your Bible and read it and see what else can be broken in order for us to receive God’s righteousness. And make your own reflection.
I am truly blessed beyond measure in #aoy2017penang. God breaks to mend. He breaks to build. He breaks to let me grow more of Him and less of me. He even breaks His heart to save me.
Sandra Gonzales Magadan is currently teaching English subjects at North Davao Colleges Panabo City. She is active in the youth ministries and serves as a Master Guide program head coordinator, Sabbath School Program Coordinator (NDC SDA Church), and MAS-AMiCUS co-adviser in their school. She first encountered Philippine Youth for Christ in 2016, dubbed as “The Waiting”.
Note: All photos are provided by the guest blogger otherwise stated.