Thursday, December 28, 2006

When Life Hits Hard, Hit Back Harder!

" Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!"

Last night, I was truly inspired by probably one of the best films I've seen this year. Surprisingly, it came in the form of Rocky VI. The quote above came when Rocky was speaking with his son, one on one, outside on the corner of a dark street, sharing with him what it means to really means to be a man, a overcomer, what it means to be a coward and what it means to have self-respect.

In these last months, I've met for some reason, people who simply don't want to live on anymore. To be honest, I've had those moments, where I wished God would take me up to heaven, so I wouldn't have to deal with the pain on earth, even Apostle Paul had those moments, "it is better for me to go, but for your sakes it is better that I stay." It would be so easy to call it quits, to give up not only on life, but dreams, hopes, aspirations, the will to go on. Simply put, I'm realizing life is worth living, when you understand your worth, when you understand what life is worth, pain and all, the beautiful and the ugly, the hurt and the shine, everything is beautiful if you are able to appreciate the privilege of life. It's something that angels don't have, the choice to choose life, to choose to love when things are not lovely, to embrace the darkness with compassion, to live. What is life without a fight? What is life without a challenge? What is life without suffering, pain and trials? There would be no life, there is no victory without a battle, no compassion without suffering, so many times we want things to be easy, we want comfort, the easy way out, the quickest route to the destination we so desire, but if life was that easy, life would not be worth living at all. The sure sign of pain is the sure sign of life, babies are birthed in pain, gold Olympic medals are birthed in pain, true love is always painful, full of sacrifice and perseverance, life without the struggle is not life at all. I'm beginning to welcome the challenges, the pain, the trials, not because I want them, but because I know its a part of life. It's not going to go away, it is inevitable, a death of a loved one, a disease, a broken heart, a failed friendship, a lost dream, a dysfunctional family, a lost of income, a violation, a ignorant act of selfishness, sh** happens, life happens, its not pretty, but its real. What I'm learning is this, "When life hits hard, how will I respond?" Will I respond with complaint, self-pity, will I live in the past, will I live in the hurt or will I keep hitting back, will I keep pressing on, will I keep fighting the fight of faith and believe that there is a better today, a future hope tomorrow, a moment right now that in the midst of lost, in the midst of failure and pain, I can embrace the Cross and cling to my Savior? A Savior who suffered it all, pain and all, abandonment, scorn, rejection, hurt, betrayal, temptation, disease and death, one who knows every inch of darkness this world has to offer, yet He chose to keep on, to love on, to pay the price of love for my sins and my freedom. What am I trying to say? Ha, I don't really know, all I know is that life is worth living, when you know your worth. I'm worth God's Son, I'm worth a nailing upon a cross, I'm worth the very life of God, for this is what He died to give me, this is what He died to give everyone of us.

Life is hard, things don't go the way we expected, but when does it? Yet, we have this moment, we have right now, we have this very moment to embrace the pain, smile and keep on. I can't explain what I'm feeling in my heart right now, but there is just this resilience, this strength, this faith inside my spirit, this will to live, this acceptance of pain, recognizing that pain makes me a better man, it makes me a better human being, it makes me a better son of God, it gives me the opportunity to "live" to choose good, to fight to win, to have faith, to have hope. Pain, hurt, challenges, persecution, trials, the absence of God's presence, gives me the chance, the very opportunity to "live" to "love." When you choose to love, when there is no reason to, love becomes real. When you choose to live, when there is no point to live on, life becomes more alive that it ever was. There is a victory, a greatness, a wonder about it, that can't be explained.

I can't blame anyone, anybody, anything for who I am, where I am, or where I am going in this life. It's too easy to blame others for our mishaps, our failures, our happiness, Jesus never did, He never blamed anyone, of all people He could have blamed everyone of us with good reason, but He went as a lamb to the slaughter, not saying a word, not raising a voice or exercising a right, He took pain to the core of His being, suffered, died and rose in victory. He knows our pain. He knows our hell. He knows our loneliness and this is why He is love, this is why He knows us, this is why He is the very definition of Life, He knew the deepest of pain, yet He chose to keep on living. Death can't win against Life. Death can't win against Christ. Death can't win, if we choose to live.

Life is what it is, we have the choice to make it something miserable or something great. Set backs, failures, broken promises, disease, poverty, whatever life hits us hard with is not the matter, what matters is our response, our attitude, our will and our choice to worship God in the midst of suffering, in the moment of losing it all, in that place where if I had nothing would I still choose to worship Him? Would I still choose to believe? Would I still choose to keep on keeping on, embracing the pain at that very second, because at that moment that I choose to embrace whatever life has to give me, that is the moment I have just begun to live. That is the moment I have won. I don't think winning is in the final outcome, I think winning is the shear passion to give it your all, to never surrender, to never give up, to keep on going even when all hell is against you, even when not everything is figured out, when you don't have all the answers, when you are living in a cloud of confusion, when you are struggling with sin, to have the shear will power to keep going, irregardless of the outcome or the results, the passion and desire to please God, to make Him known, to be thankful for what life has handed me, even if it sucks, even if it doesn't make sense, to say God, "I still want You, I still want to breath, I still want to try, I'm not perfect, but I want to live."

I'm just saying this to say, I'm going to keep on, I have no other choice, where else would I go? Life is a beautiful struggle. When life hits hard, hit back harder. What is within the human spirit is utterly unknown, the beauty that lies within stays dormant until it is tested by the baptism of fire.

I may never be perfect, but I will never be a failure. A person who fails is a person who has never attempted to try. I may never be the greatest son, greatest husband, greatest father, greatest friend, greatest disciple, but I will give it all I have to be the best that I can be, I will not back down, accept defeat, blame shift, point to my past or point to my future, but I have right now to be everything, to choose righteousness, to walk in humility, to obey God, to love myself as God loves me and to love every person He puts in my path.

I don't think God ask for perfection, I think He asks for faithfulness, the faithfulness to not give up on His grace in a world that has none of it. A worldly system, whether it is in the church or outside of it, that says your "worth" is in what you do, what you have, who you know or what others said. No, that is not my value, that is not my reality, my reality is that I am His beloved, He is well pleased with me, I am His son in whom He loves! I must know this, to keep going on, so that I can be all that He created me to be and do. The system says perform, God simply says, choose to live, believe in My grace, love to live and live to love Jaeson. This is what I want, I want the simple things, at the same time I want to fight, I want to let the Spirit within me fight the evil, the darkness in this world to show that His love is more powerful than death. Does that make sense? I have no idea, I'm on the road again, it's okay, it can be tiring at times, but thats what's beautiful about it, it gives someone else the chance to pray for me, when someone is down, it gives me the chance to pray for them, to show them compassion, if I choose to do so, I can choose to live. I don't think I'm making sense anymore, I'll stop here, all I'm trying to say is...

Don't give up. You are worth it. Life is worth living. Life is good, even if it is bad, it is really good. I don't understand it all, but with Christ, love is here, and death has lost its power. Life will hit you hard, trust me, it's hit me hard time and time again and it seems to never stop, but you know what? I can choose to embrace the hits and keep moving forward, in the end, I win, Christ in me the hope of glory. All men die, but few men truly live eh? I want to live life without regrets, complaints or why didn't I? No one can take away my self-respect except for myself. Here's another good movie quote to end on :)

Christopher Gardner: [to his son] You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can't do it. You want something? Go get it. Period. (Pursuit of Happyness)

That is get what? Get life. Live life. Understand your worth, you are worth it, you, yes you are worth dying for! Don't let anyone tell you that you don't deserve to live, God died for you, Jesus suffered it all for you, because you are worth it all, you have a destiny yet to be discovered, choose to live or your life will be wasted. Even if life hits hard, choose to hit back harder, for you can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you. He died so I can live. Life is worth living. Period.

I don't know what I just wrote, I just wrote it, Lord, give me grace to live and to live good :)

dats right Rocky, point to the One!


At 12/29/2006 03:06:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're perfect Jaes,
absolutely perfect to Him

At 12/29/2006 09:16:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pastor Jaeson,

Thank you so much!

This article is so special for me. It encourages me to keep moving forward. Actually, my friend suicided two weeks ago.

I love you, Pastor Jaeson! You must keep going ahead. Keep you in my prayer!

God bless you!!! Happy New Year 2007!

At 12/31/2006 07:38:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Work like you don't need the money, dance like no-one is watching, love like
you've never been hurt, and live everyday as if it were your last...

God is good all the time. Happy New Year!

At 1/08/2007 01:57:00 AM , Blogger Jayne said...

haha i soo get you. and i share all praise with you.

this IS, the ONE life =)

have a great 2007 jaeson.
hope to see you around.

come and visit sd for a nice dip in the sun.

jayne kim (grx)

At 1/08/2007 02:08:00 AM , Blogger David Hwang said...

you pretty much put down on paper what i cannot, and then some. thx for the post, it's good stuff and i'm glad that someone spent the time and energy to put all those thoughts and emotions into words.

keep on keeping on.

At 1/08/2007 02:12:00 AM , Blogger Jayne said...

ignore the last comment? i noticed you were in sd speaking. haha. my bad. =P but yeah. God bless you again brother.

At 1/12/2007 02:24:00 AM , Blogger Jaeson Ma said...

great to hear from ya jayne! take SD for His glory!

At 1/24/2007 04:17:00 PM , Blogger Nicole Thomas said...

so i just read this three times in a row.....and now i really just want to pray that 1) God continues to bless you in all that you are doing and 2) that perhaps God can open my mind and give me a way with words that can perhaps come close to yours. it's so amazing how you can touch people, you can feel the energy from your notes, His love just flows freely from you. I thank God that he has given you this gift and i hope someday (soon) he can use me in a way that he has used you.


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