Good afternoon po sa inyong lahat. Gusto ko po sanang ibahagi sa inyo ang aking patotoo about God’s faithfulness in my life in the area of giving and tithing.
In the beginning of my Christian walk with God, giving and tithing has never been an easy subject for me. Sa Pinas po kasi mas madalas inconsistent ang tithing ko, maybe because I tend to magnify more on our small income rather than to focus on the greatness of God.
Considering na may 2 anak, housing loan, school fees, daily expenses etc.. overwhelming na gastusin po talaga. At habang tumatagal para bang humihina lalo ang mathematical side ng brain ko kung paanong pagkakasyahin ang monthly income against monthly expenses.
Until one day I open up my heart to the Lord, crying and complaining like a child, sabi ko “Lord nahihirapan na ko sa ganitong sitwasyon … anak mo ko di ba? at church leader pa, paano na Panginoon ang patotoo ko kung financially lagi akong kapos. Kaya Lord, pupunta ako ng Bahrain if it is your will, please bless me.”
The Lord heard my prayer, nakarating ng Bahrain with the kids and helped me find a job in a matter of 2 weeks (Jack my husband is working in Saudi at that time). I also became an active member of this church. And while recovering from our financial backlogs, nagkaroon ako ng opportunity na maka-pag-aral sa mga offered courses ng BCF. Out of eagerness to learn deeper about the God I worship and serve, kinareer ko po talaga ito. Like, SEE or Seminary Education by Extension, walks me thru the Old Testament. Here I saw a better picture of a disciplinarian Father and yet a loving, forgiving, merciful God. While TEE class, walks me thru the New Testament and gives me a deeper sense of connection with my Saviour and Lord.
In short, I finally realized that even my life is not enough compared to the kind of love He has for me. Kung ang buhay ko kulang pa, eh ano ba naman yung giving and tithing. Eventually, naging isang maliit na bagay na lamang ito sa aking paningin at naging madali ang aking pagsunod sa Kanya. I believe that He is able to do miracles out of a fish and a bread. Na kahit nagsimula po ako sa maliit na sweldo unti-unti pong naging consistent ang aking tithing. And in the process of living my Christian faith, the Lord keeps on teaching me the mathematical equation of budgeting at natuto din naman. The joy of tithing and giving increases as my salary increases as well. It means my tithes will also increase pag tumataas ang sweldo and will have more opportunity to extend help to those who are in need.
Later on naging mas malaki po ang challenge para sa akin that it becomes my heart’s desire to give Him back not only my tithes but the total 10% of the family income. Since I am now handling our combined income, I shared with Jack the same challenge that the Lord imparted to me. Kaya isang araw, pinakain ko po muna sya ng hapunan then sinabi ko kanya na sa Panginoon naman nanggaling ang trabaho namin and He meets our needs always on time. Kaya kung ok lang na kunin ko yung 10% sa overall income namin. At first, he didn’t say anything and he remain silent about my proposal. Nevertheless, I never stopped praying for him and so I made my second attempt after few months. In a soft tone I told him, “Jack & Liezel yung nasa tithe envelop pero ako lang ang nagbibigay ng tithes, sad naman ako…” and to my surprise I almost jump when he said “ Ikaw naman ang may hawak ng sweldo ko” … understood na ok na sa kanya na ibalik namin sa Panginoon ang 10% ng total income naming dalawa.
I didn’t expect that he would agree kasi mas malaki actually ang expenses namin pagpasok ng 2016. Dalawang bata na ang nasa Manila, two of them in Mapua and God’s willing Jaezel will enroll in La Salle for college next year. In addition na bago pa lang namin binabayaran ang condo payable in 5 years kaya medyo malaki din ang monthly payment nito. I took the challenge sa panahong hindi ko alam ang stability ng finances at trabaho namin. All I ever wanted is to follow and obey him. In my heart, I know the Lord will provide.
Upon my husband’s approval na ibalik sa Dios ang dapat ibalik. Blessings begin to flow… Since last year our company is in the process of merging with another company. Normally in a merging scenario, termination of employees is anticipated. Everybody’s keep talking about it… every day I can feel everyone’s fear of losing a job. Speculation rises and no one knows what will happen next. Who will be out and who will be hired is a big question mark for all the employees. At first, I also got affected, distracted with the pressures surrounding me, so I prayed to the Lord na patawarin ako sa kakulangan ng aking pananampalataya. “For I know that without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:12) This gives me more confidence and comfort. Kasi parang nakalimutan ko na agad ang Dios ng Israel. Kaya tanong ko, sagot ko din. May magagawa ba ang Dios sa lahat ng mga takot ko? Meron! Kung paano? Hindi ko alam. Kung kalian sya tutugon? Lalong hindi ko po alam. In my heart I have decided to stop worrying and rest my case with Him. “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)
So I went on with my planned vacation last April, enjoying the time with the family for one month. Pagbalik ko galing bakasyon, I found out that a new General Manager coming from our major stockholder will join our company. My first meeting with him is full of surprises. He told me that his Executive Secretary resigned a month ago (this is the time that I’m out of Bahrain taking my annual leave), and she migrated in Canada for good. The GM did not consider hiring a new one as he received good reports about my performance. The management then gave their recommendation for me to fill in the vacant post. What a relief! Marami din pong politics sa aming company, pero wala pong pwedeng humarang sa kamay ng aking Dios na gumagawa sa mga anak nyang patuloy na naglalagak ng pagtitiwala sa Kanya.
I thank God for this blessing and I acknowledge the fact that this is also an outcome of the many exercises He is teaching me in the area of giving, as Deuteronomy 15:10 says–“Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”
Hindi lang po doon natapos ang generosity ng Panginoon, nakakatuwa kasi minsan isa lang ang breakthrough pero sunod-sunod na blessings. Matagal na din po kasi na di nakaka-receive si Jack ng salary increase but after two weeks na mag-‘yes’ sya sa tithing naka-receive po sya ng Letter of Increament.
Yung blessings nakaka-relieve and nakaka-happy but above all these, what makes me more blessed is the fact that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the same God that I am worshipping right now and the same God whose promises never fails. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
Sis Liezel Casalla po … Papuri sa Panginoon!