Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory

Another resolution that I made today along with waking up at five to have a quiet time in writing and communing with God is that I will write down a Bible verse of the day and put it in my jewelry box. It’s like New Year’s Day in July here.

This jewelry box was given to me by my M who had taken a week-long trip to Puerto Rico with his best friend. It has a wonderful aroma of pure sandalwood and every time I open the box I am reminded of the meaning of this sacred wood: Bringing one closer to the Divine. Now I have a home for my travelling rosary as well. I will place it in this box with my daily Bible verses.

Today’s Bible verse I have chosen -or was chosen for me- reads: “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” (Psalm 115:1). I jot this verse down believing that it was privately selected for me from heaven above when I ran into this verse from two wonderful articles I read just this morning. One was from Richard Rohr’s daily medication and the other by Marshal Segal on Desiring God

This verse is especially fitting for my current state. It is easy to confuse why God would supply a job for me as I find my way back into an employment phase. I daily prayed for God to lead me to my vocation, but the selfish motives to invoke God’s help on this matter are not lost to me. I know deep down why I have been secretly desiring the revelation of His call for me. My prayers were directed entirely for me and for my purpose alone. I prayed because I wanted the anxiety about my future to perish. I prayed because I wanted to have a sense of fulfillment that comes from partaking in God’s grand plan. I prayed because I needed money to help myself and my family. And although all these may seem quite reasonable, they are entirely missing the point. As today’s verse was revealing to me, the point is not about listing out my needs and desires, but to focus on how the answers to my prayers will give glory to God for what He has done. Until I realize this point, God will not answer any of my supplications that I present and glory to God for not answering my prayers until my lesson is learned! Every event in life, no matter how big or small, are moments of evangelism because they manifest God’s glory for His steadfast love and unfailing faithfulness. If then, life lived with such focus on God’s glory praising His works daily is not wasted. It is fulfilling. If everyday is lived in such a fashion, I have found my true vocation whatever employment I may or may not find.

As I close my jewelry box that now contained my hand-written Bible verse, I could once again smell the wonderful scent of Sandalwood. I felt much closer to God, the Divine source of it all, the originator of this magical box that smells simply divine. A list of many health benefits goes to Sandalwood. When used for aromatherapy, it can easily enhance moods while at the same time provide grounding effects. I burned my sandalwood incense every single morning for over a decade while I was suffering from clinical depression and bipolar disorder without even knowing about these healthful facts. I believe that sandalwood aromatherapy was an important part of my recovery. In the midst of all these positive experiences I have received from sandalwood, it is easy to confuse where the real credit is due. Especially because sandalwood was introduced to me first because of my yoga practice. Although now I have a clear idea of who my real Healer was -my Jesus- I was once at the cusp of worshiping yoga, many gods, goddesses, sandalwood, and even more dangerously, myself. So you see, this sandalwood box is a representation of a profound lesson that I’ve learned through my past ordeals. It was a grand idea to place a Bible verse in this box every day, after all. It obviously was not my original idea but something that God must have placed in my heart this morning. Thank God for His steadfast love and faithfulness, and glory to His name alone!


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