November 11, 2022
Pai, Northern Thailand
I had thought that when God said that this year is a Year of the Supernatural we would see a powerful display of His power – of the miraculous and of great signs and wonders.
But instead, this year seemed to be a year filled with unparalleled supernatural demonic activity!
On the local news, people are acting crazy, doing incredibly bizarre and stupid, which is really not normal in our country. On the global front, the Russians are still bombing Ukraine, causing widespread damage and hardship in this cold winter, while the resultant trade sanctions and the extended China zero-covid lockdown caused such a huge disruption to the global supply chain. Which then leads to hyper-inflation and so on.
Elsewhere, domestic problems sparked massive riots. I watched the news in dismay at the brutality and violence, especially the sexual violence against women, in Iran, Haiti and so on… everywhere there is despair, death, unrest and desperation.
Oh Lord, it is so dark.
On a personal level, I anguish over the folly of some people whom I love, sad but resigned, wondering why people who love God and have tasted His goodness would cause harm to themselves and to others with their inexplicable choices and actions.
My soul weary from the weight of so many burdens within and without, I knelt down to worship God, crying out to Him…
Yes, I remember the teaching of how the spiral is drawn, like a labyrinth.
Over the years, the Lord has led me on this journey of bending and breaking at each turn, and the spiral would get wider and wider. He would show me new and bigger things. But now, in this quiet solitude, He led me into reverse, inwards, to a smaller and smaller spiral, to where it all starts – with the cross.
That was how the labyrinth is drawn. It starts with a cross.
Gently, the Holy Spirit ministered to me and acknowledged how far and how wide I have travelled and journeyed, with the Lord and for the Lord, over the past year alone – to Europe, Canada, Australia and parts of Asia and so on. And how I have heeded every time He called, galvanising the members to help certain people or places, contributing to causes and in acts of good works.
Together, we have been His hands and His heart – a source of blessing of hope, of joy, of strength, to the people He leads us to. It’s been a long road and I am exhausted.
He reminded me – in all this travel, in wintry snow and windy cold, sleeping in so many different hotel beds, confined in planes, trains, boats and vehicles, eating in crowded places, yet none of us caught Covid or fell ill!
“This itself is a miracle, isn’t it?” he softly whispered.
Getting up from my knees, I started to pour over my journal for the year and stopped at an entry of the word “Ebenezer” I saw during our worship meeting on 5 September. I knew it was a name from the bible then but did not know what it meant until I googled it. Right after that, a song, which I have never heard before, about Ebenezer came on the TV screen!
After the worship, we were thrilled as Florence showed us that she too, had also jotted down the same name a few days before and explained further what she had learnt.
“Ebenezer”: “The Stone of Help”.
Reflecting upon it in the tent, I suddenly realised how much help God has actually sent me this year.
While the evil Babylon spirit made its presence heard and felt throughout the globe, I am so thankful that we have all safely navigated through this terrible storm.
Like the pilot analogy in the previous post, God has provided our Ebenezer - the familiar, time-tested knowledge and guidance of the Holy Spirit, our Ever-Present help – through this dark and dangerous year!
Interestingly, on a side note, after they returned from their day trip while I had stayed behind, Florence showed me a picture of what the Holy Spirit led her to build at the hot springs.
V showed me that God has sent me many other help too – PC, who retired from her Financial Controller position had kindly offered her help with all the techie, banking and administrative stuff, while refusing any compensation. What a great help she has been for all of us!
But the best gift of all is when she shared on our last day in Pai, how she was touched by the Lord during the first worship session. She has experienced the power of His great love for her and she accepted the Lord! This is a tremendous joy and blessing for me. After more than thirty years, when she first worked as my Accounts Assistant.
Then He showed me more and more people – the handyman Sam who fixed so many things broken by the last helper, even the broken lock to our front door after we had exhausted all avenues. Sam also replaced more than 30 lights in my home – just imagine that! How I could have lived in that dimness for so long!
V spoke about Florence, who joined us in worship only two years ago. She is like a spiritual mirror image of myself. It is almost hilarious that nearly every time I share what I heard or saw after our worship meeting, she would whip out her phone to show that she has recorded the same thing too, be it a verse, a picture or a word.
On one occasion when I spoke about the sign God has given us, the “1111”, she again whipped out her phone and in it, the list of numbered, time-dated encounters with “1111” over many, many years. She is even more conscientious than me in keeping records!
Is it any coincidence that, like me, she is the 11th child in her family of 13 siblings. I thought she even looked a little like me, albeit a younger version. Hahaha I wonder what God is up to. But I am hopeful ☺
I reflected on the favour of God throughout the year as I continued to read on.
Throughout all my travels - with transportation, accommodation, weather, people and so on. And in my home, the protection of my loved ones, especially my daughter who gave birth to two children during this dangerous pandemic.
He has also protected and blessed us financially in spite of all the challenges and difficulties in the economy. And I am thankful for the times He divinely led me to unknowingly pull back a few from the brink of suicide and death.
Hallelujah! My soul started to sing with joy and gratitude!
2022 has been a fantastic year!
A supernatural year, indeed.
It has flown so fast.
Things could have gone horribly wrong, but they have all worked out for good.
Yes, as you have said last year, the iron tree has bloomed (You can read more about the iron tree HERE). The dumb may not be heard but they speak alright.
Quietly. To the Lord. Which is certainly more powerful and louder than the noisy clamour of the evil one in the world.
Fully energised now, I decided to skip lunch and continue with the flow, eager to hear what the Lord has to say about the coming year.
This I will try to recap in the next few posts as I continue to process them after the retreat.
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