31 January, Sunday — Free from Anxieties

4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deu 18:15-20
1 Cor 7:32-35
Mk 1:21-28 

I want you to be free from anxieties.” 

As I read the first reading and gospel today, I was wondering what God wanted me to reflect on?.About a new prophet or unclean spirits? Then the first line of the second reading hit the nail on the head. It speaks exactly of the current state I’m in – I have been having anxieties about my work, in particular. I am worried about my new work role as a lecturer at a polytechnic and having to return to work after an unexpected health scare. Today also happened to be the first anniversary of my dad’s passing. Looking back, 2020 was a year where the world, for me, was riddled with anxieties. In short (while in consideration for a year-long of tribulations), along with losing my father, we also lost the house that we grew up in as the siblings decided that selling it was the best option; concurrently, I took a major leap of faith in switching careers. I had also befriended someone who turned out to be a fraud, and finally, I was later diagnosed with an illness that required me to undergo surgery.

A few months ago, my world went topsy turvy when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With no family history, and health that has always been good, the mammogram and ultrasound scan really threw me off when I was told to do a biopsy. In one and a half months, I saw breast surgeons and had a mastectomy. If it had gone far South, I would have to take a work sabbatical. But what was most amazing was that throughout the entire ordeal, I did not feel an ounce of fear, worry, doubt nor anxiety. It was as promised, “I want you to be free from anxieties”. I simply surrendered my life to the Lord, allowing him to take the lead in every major decision that I had to make and because I trusted him completely, he truly led me out of ‘Egypt’. This event brought to mind the parting of the Red Sea as I walked through it in faith, knowing that Jesus was with me every step of the way. I was calm and collected thanks to the “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (John 14:27)

To be honest, I had been more anxious about my job than my state of health. But thankfully, I have a lot of support and assurance from my supervisors and colleagues. God knew and, one may think it radical, but I took this unexpected ‘break’ to heal and recover as his special gift to me – a blessing that came in a time of rest, to let me know how much he cares and loves me, at the same time allowing me to continue basking in his goodness.

It is possible to be free of anxieties if we trust in Him completely. But first, we have to make the choice, and choose to trust.     

(Today’s OXYGEN by Cynthia Chew)

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, you love and care for us so much, yet sometimes it’s hard to understand or see your hand in everything that we do. Please help us to surrender our worries so that we can find true freedom.

Thanksgiving: Thank you dear Lord, for wanting so much to be a part of our lives.  

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