Spiritual Reflections

The Battered Charge

 

“Hey, do you have an iPhone charger?” one of my bosses asked. Without a word, I sheepishly showed her my Nokia phone.

Months ago, I had a similar problem: my sister was about to lend me her DSLR camera, but she couldn’t find the battery charger. It was an old model, but I thought hey, it’s Canon— I’m sure it’s compatible with most chargers. If not, finding a new charger would be simple enough.

Bottomline: I was so wrong. Good thing she found her old battery charger.

Why can’t all batteries have the same chargers? I mean, they all need the same thing: electricity. Why did they have to make everything so complicated, when they could have just designed all batteries to fit one universal charger?

Why can’t everyone recharge the same?

 

As a youth, this Bible verse had been my favorite. It’s practically our ministry verse, our go-to quote for pep-talks and pep-prayers and pep-whatevers.

The Lord gives strength to those who are weary. Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall. But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired. // Isaiah 40:29-31 CEV

 

 

 

And nowadays, all I can do is ask myself: am I not trusting God enough?

Because frankly, I feel so weak. And I’ve tried finding Him through the usual ways: in songs, both new (whose lyrics sometimes make my eyebrows raise more than my hands) and old (whose forgotten lines often end up making me hum the rest of the song); in fellowship (which ironically only adds to my loneliness); in trying to make myself useful (only to feel more unwanted). I wanted a church, a family, but it only made me feel more alienated, farther from the God that I longed to be with.

And I can only feel despair. What have I been doing? Was it all pointless after all? What do I need to do to truly trust in You? But night after night, I find no answer. Only the silence, the emptiness of my room echoing on my prayers, Bible verses staring back at me in spiritual dyslexia. It all felt meaningless. I felt meaningless.

God doesn’t need me anymore.

Nobody needs me anymore.

Those thoughts gave me distorted sense of comfort, a self-imposed sourgraping meant to help me survive— or at least, salvage what remains of my sanity. God doesn’t need me anymore, so that means I’m free to do what I want. Nobody needs me anymore, so that means I don’t have to live trying to please everyone. It was liberating. And sad.

I didn’t what to do. I didn’t know where to go. And much to my embarrassment, I was faced with a reality I tried to deny for so long: I didn’t have any plans for my life. I just chalked it up to God’s plan. As Filipinos would say, “Bahala ka na, Lord.”

What have I been doing with my life? What am I doing with my life?

 

Even rechargeable batteries don’t last forever.

Last year, I almost freaked out when my laptop had a serious problem. I was in the middle of writing a manuscript for a novel. For the first time in my life (again), I knew what I wanted to do. But I procrastinated a lot, had so many writer’s block and just plain not-in-the-mood-to-write days. And faced with the prospect of losing my laptop without the means to buy a new one immediately, I realized I’m wasting my time and resources. I cleaned out my laptop from distractions. I limited my personal movie marathons. I did everything I can so I can make sure I can finish what I started to do, even seriously praying that if God was able, He’d extend the laptop’s life until after I finished my draft (and revisions).

It took me longer than I planned, but I did it— at least the draft part. But what amazed me was how God used this entire writing experience to recharge me: how I agonized on understanding God’s love more while He reignited His fire in my own heart, how He taught me again and again that stolid faith whenever I feel like giving up or giving in to my own darkness, and how He patiently re-molded a resilient hope in me that anchored my trust in Him even as the stability of my future seemed to be shaken.

I remember the story well: how Elijah went to the mountain to seek God, but he didn’t find Him in the fire nor the wind, but in that gentle whisper. And I am still on my mountain— still eagerly listening for His own voice again, fully trusting that even in His silence He is there. That even as I grew weary, He is making me stronger. That even as I fail, God is pushing me one step at a time towards His plan: personal goals I’ve set for myself to give Him glory, personal dreams I intend to keep chasing in order to become what He wanted me to be.

My batteries are running low. But I will believe that there is more than enough power in me to do what I want to do: not for Him, but because of Him.

God, I put my trust in You— up to my last spark.

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