God is good… all the time.
Ruel was enjoying playing with his friends when he heard the voice of his beloved lola calling his name.
“You need to pack your things.”
“Why lola? Where are we going?”
“Somewhere safe,” said the grandmother.
“Is our place not safe lola?” Ruel asked in bewilderment.
“Not this time apo, not this time.”
“On December 3, some 2,000 families living in Hinatuan, on the island of Surigao del Sur, were evacuated. Since schools would be turned into evacuation centers, Candelario Viola, the mayor of Hunatuan, ordered the suspension of all classes in the town. Mar Roxas, the Interior and Local Government Secretary, said that National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s disaster monitoring systems were set up in several regions across the Philippines. “In accordance with President PNoy’s marching orders to ensure zero casualties from disasters, as much as possible, I have ordered our regional directors to make sure that the necessary precautions are undertaken to mitigate the effects of Tropical Storm Bopha,” he said. “We have our existing protocols, and it is just a matter of implementing them and making other necessary preparations as appropriate.” Roxas added. As preparations continued, Storm signal number 1 was declared over Siquijor, Bohol, Biliran, Camotes Island, Southern Leyte, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, Dinagat Island, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, rest of Davao Oriental, Davaol del Norte including Samal Island, Compostela Valley, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis oriental, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. Also, signal number 2 was raised over Surigao del Sur and the northern part of Davao Oriental. The national police, coast guard (PCG) and navy had placed their personnel on standby and their disaster-response units in preparation for Bopha’s impact. “We are ready to conduct rescue operations in flooded areas. Let us warn operators of small vessels, motor bancas, and fishing boats to avoid sailing in the southeastern and eastern section of the country where the sea is rough,” said PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo.”
Typhoon Bopha or “Pablo” is known to be the strongest tropical storm to hit the Philippines this year that even the name “Pablo,” as PAGASA announced, will be retired and will no longer be used for any tropical cyclone due to its high number of deaths and damages to Filipinos.
Despite the utmost care of our government, God’s sovereignty was seen over the land. When I was asked to write about this matter, I was quickly reminded of the Word of the Lord about taking sin seriously. Sin is serious and must be dealt with accordingly. I was deeply grieved over the depth of sin to which the people of God had fallen. Although I knew God to be a merciful God who forgives sin, I also knew that the forgiveness of sin would exact a terrible price.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14
November 21, 2012 – I have delivered the Word of the Lord for the Philippines, most especially the Church. Very few listened.
November 22, 2012 – I have delivered the Word of the Lord the second time for the Philippines, most especially the Church. Some responded.
November 24, 2012 – I have delivered the Word of the Lord the third time for the Philippines, most especially the Church. A number mocked me.
November 28, 2012 – I have delivered the Word of the Lord the fourth and final time for the Philippines, most especially the Church. The majority sarcastically questioned it and so God was furious.
December 1, 2012 – I have reminded the Philippines, most especially the Church, that I have delivered the Word of the Lord. I have earnestly prayed for ears to listen and hearts to be opened. Almost everyone ignored it and this is not the first time this traumatic thing has happened: Everyone did what was right in his/her own eyes.
On the fourth day of the twelfth month, year twenty and twelve, the hand of the Lord swept across our native land. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
At this point of time, people all over the world continue to pour out their generous hearts by giving voluntary gifts to the victims of the typhoon and I admire and thank you for that. The depth of what Philippines actually needs, however, could only come from a Savior; Jesus alone can give us the hope and total freedom from the bondages of sin, followed by the overflow of blessings and abundant lives.
We must always remember the high cost of the forgiveness of sin and reconciliation (being restored to a right relationship) with God, which was paid for us by the blood of Jesus at Calvary. Sin is so serious that, in order for forgiveness to be extended, God’s only Son had to go to the Cross. Keeping this in mind, we must also remember that God’s conditions for forgiveness include our genuine repentance; that is, we must confess our sins, turning from them and toward God; because God allows (unfortunate events as consequences of sin) for us to bow.
To be sure that we never take sin lightly or presume upon God’s forgiveness, we must be careful to avoid becoming calloused to sin. Just like Ezra, we need to mourn over our sin, being humbled before God when we recognize it (see Ezra 9:3,4). We must always take sin seriously and deal with it thoroughly, following through with genuine repentance: Take steps to right the wrongs sin has brought about, and do not pervert forgiveness by continuing in sin.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” -John 10:10-11, 26-27
Oh beloved Philippines, can you truthfully obey the One you call your Savior and Lord?
YOUR CHOICE MATTERS. CHOOSE WISELY.
GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES! GOD BLESS US ALL!
* lola – grandmother
* apo – grandchild