¿Pescado o Serpiente?

jeremy-yap-199223-unsplashFotografía por Jeremy Yap en Unsplash

¿Quién de ustedes, si su hijo le pide pan, le da una piedra? ¿O si le pide un pescado, le da una serpiente? Pues si ustedes, aun siendo malos, saben dar cosas buenas a sus hijos, ¡cuánto más su Padre que está en el cielo dará cosas buenas a los que le pidan! Mateo 7:9-11, NVI

Por muchos años no entendía por qué Jesús dio estos ejemplos. ¿Qué tiene que ver una piedra o una serpiente con comida? En realidad, Jesús quería explicar algo acerca de las cosas que pedimos en oración. ¿Le has pedido algo específico que, de acuerdo a tu lógica, es bueno? Yo lo he hecho. Sin saberlo, a veces le pedimos a Dios que nos dé una “serpiente,” aunque creemos que estamos pidiendo “pescado.” Una serpiente nos puede morder, hacernos daño. Y Dios desea lo mejor para ti y para mí. Recuerda, Él ve el cuadro completo; nosotros no. Él escucha nuestras oraciones, pero no responde a todas ellas con un “sí.”

La próxima vez que te encuentres preguntándole a Dios por qué no te ha contestado, medita en estos versos. Podría ser que te está protegiendo de una situación peligrosa, o podría ser que aún no es el momento. Confía en Aquel que ve el cuadro completo y tiene en mente lo mejor para ti.

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Fish or Snake?

jeremy-yap-199223-unsplashPhoto by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11

For many years I did not understand why Jesus gave these examples. What a stone or a snake have to do with food? In reality, Jesus wanted to explain something about the things we ask in prayer. Have you asked Him for something specifically that, according to your logic, is good? I know I had. Without knowing, sometimes we pray asking God to give us a “snake,” although we think we are asking for a “fish.” A snake will bite us, harm us. And God wants the best for you and me. Remember, He sees the big picture; we don’t. He listens to our prayers, but not all our requests are answered with a “yes.”

Next time you find yourself asking God why He has not answered you, think about these verses. It could be He is protecting you from a dangerous situation, or it could be it’s not the time yet. Trust in the One who sees the big picture and has your best in mind.

Pennie has been found

watson-pennie-2011

Our family moved from Puerto Rico to Georgia in 2011. With our move, we also brought our golden retrievers, Watson and Pennie. Watson was seven years old, and Pennie was a 6-month old puppy.

On our second week in Georgia, they escaped during the night. In Puerto Rico, they were used to sleeping in the backyard, which had a large and open terrace, with roof and floor tiles. So when we moved, since it was still summer, they stayed in the backyard at night, as usual.

I heard Pennie barking and howling past midnight, but I did not hear Watson. I opened the backdoor and saw that she was all right, so I went back to bed. I did not hear her howling or barking anymore. When we woke up in the morning, I went outside to call the dogs, and to my surprise, they were not there! My husband was on a business trip, and my children were desperately looking for the dogs. Watson’s collar had a tag with our phone number, but he was not wearing it at the time; I found it thrown on the ground.

It was time to go to school, so I promised my son and daughter I would look for the dogs. I searched and searched in the nearby neighborhoods asking people if they had seen them, until I visited a veterinary clinic to check if someone had found our dogs. The receptionist grabbed a flyer and asked me “is this your dog?” A lady had found Watson and distributed flyers in different places! I was so relieved and then proceeded to ask for Pennie. The flyer only mentioned one dog. Then, I recalled her howling in the middle of the night. Watson had probably escaped first, and when she found herself alone, she went after him. I got nervous because she was just a puppy.

I called the number on the flyer and coordinated with her daughter to pick up Watson in the afternoon. I thanked them for rescuing him. On the other hand, we couldn’t find Pennie that day. My daughter was devasted. So my husband decided to put a pet amber alert. During the following days, I received different calls from people I met and from organizations, asking if I had found the puppy. I kept making phone calls and looking around.

We prayed every day for the dog to be found. One morning, before my children went to school, I recalled a similar event recorded in the Bible. Saul was looking for his father’s donkeys; this occurred before becoming the first king of Israel. At the third day, the Prophet Samuel invited him to have dinner and told him not to worry about the donkeys, which “had already been found.” You can read this story here, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/1SA.9.
So, I told my son and daughter, “We don’t know where Pennie is, but God knows.

At the sixth day, while I was doing some errands, I received a call from another veterinary clinic (I had gone to several). The lady on the phone said with an exciting voice, “your dog has been found.” Tears of excitement filled my eyes; I asked for the address and went to pick her up. Then, I immediately called my husband  to give him the good news. A mom with her three kids found Pennie on the street. They took her home and cared for her that night. At my arrival, the employees came to the front to watch the encounter. They even volunteered to take pictures, which I sent later to my husband and children.

Hope and trust in the Lord is all we need in times like these.

 

I’m still standing

My husband was struck by lightning. This is his story.

IMG_6034This is a different kind of post, it’s more like a journal entry. As it happens to all of us, our life and our views are framed by the experiences we have. This past Saturday, July 16, 2016, was one of those for me. Here is as short as I can describe what happened; an event I am still processing.

I took my son to work early and after dropping him off, I drove south for more than an hour. I have a car project at home and was getting some parts from another one to finish mine (I’m not a mechanic, I’m a financial advisor, but I enjoy fixing things). I arrived close to 8:00 am to my destination and started to work on the vehicle. It took me 4 hours to finish. As I was grabbing my tools and putting them in the trunk, rain started to fall. I…

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God’s Answer

Is 65.24

I remember praying one morning, still in bed, asking God to provide us with plenty of food. We were struggling financially, and our pantry was empty. His provision was almost daily. I had no idea what I was going to cook; I couldn’t make a plan, not even for a week. And that morning (feeling exhausted of the whole situation), I called to the Lord, and His answer had already arrived among the unopened mail – there was a check! Crying, I praised and thanked the Lord for his provision.

Is Sifting Necessary?

bakery baking blur close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was preparing a type of bread, and one of the steps was to sift the flour. I did not know what the purpose was, but I followed the instructions on the recipe. There were two types of flour; one was lighter than the other. While I was doing this important step, I noticed that one of them had many small particles that didn’t pass through the mesh strainer.

I recalled the words of Jesus to Simon Peter, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

The sifting process in our lives has a similar purpose as in baking, and that is to draw out or get rid of any lumps or particles that, if left, would make the process harder and may cause the final product not to meet the original expectation.

So, is sifting necessary? Yes! Do I enjoy it? Only when I’m baking because I know I will enjoy the texture and flavor of the combined ingredients. On the other hand, after we have passed the test, we can strength others and be ready for what God has equipped us to do.

Hablas mi Idioma

Nuestra familia hizo un viaje a Europa en diciembre de 2012. Primero fuimos a Londres y luego cruzamos en tren a París a través del Chunnel (túnel bajo el mar más largo del mundo). En Londres no tuvimos inconvenientes con el idioma, pues aunque nuestra lengua materna es español, todos hablamos inglés, solo con un acento distinto.

Al llegar a Francia, tuvimos que tomar otro tren o el metro para llegar al hotel. Con el equipaje bajando escaleras, un poco desorientados hacia dónde dirigirnos dentro de la estación y sin poder comunicarnos en francés, el proceso se hacía un poco complicado. Nuestros hijos y la joven que invitamos al viaje conocían un poco el idioma, pero no podían sostener una conversación. Un empleado del metro al vernos, se acercó hablándonos español. Todos suspiramos de alegría. No puedo explicar lo bien que me sentí al escuchar que nos ofrecían ayuda en nuestra propia lengua. No solo nos orientó, sino que también nos ayudó con nuestro equipaje.

Puedo imaginar cómo se sintieron aquellas personas que visitaban Jerusalén para celebrar la Fiesta de Pentecostés de acuerdo al relato de Hechos 2. Judíos y personas de las naciones alrededor de Jerusalén se habían dado cita allí. Una ráfaga de viento llenó el lugar donde se encontraban, y los galileos que estaban allí comenzaron a hablar las maravillas del Señor en distintos idiomas. Cada nación allí representada tuvo la oportunidad de escuchar el mensaje de salvación en su lengua materna, y alrededor de 3,000 personas fueron salvas y bautizadas.

Lo que Dios desea que tú y yo hagamos, nos los comunica en el lenguaje que mejor podemos entender (a través de las Escrituras, una canción, el consejo de un amigo, la misma naturaleza, etc.). Dios no solo quiere comunicarnos algo, sino también brindarnos la ayuda que necesitamos.

Hechos 2:5-7