When God Says Stop

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Have you ever experienced something like this: You are about to do or say something then you feel this strong urge to just stop?  You don’t know what it is or who is it that’s preventing you from taking the next step.  Some say it’s your conscience, a “higher power” or for the believers, it’s God’s Spirit in you.

I’ve had experiences in the past where I knew in my heart, God or the Holy Spirit (they are one) was speaking to me or convicting me of something but then I ignored the prompting or should I say, the warning then I ended up in tears or having a terrible day.

Last week, I’ve had one of those divine encounters again.  Like any other school day, I would give instructions to the kids on what subjects to prioritize.  Both of the them were supposed to do Math first.  Coby did his usual thing. He got his Math book and asked what he was to do.  My instruction was to the chapter first before answering the 20-item chapter test. So he headed to his favorite spot, our dinning area and did his work alone.

I then helped Jianne work on her Math subject too.  We were about to proceed with English when Coby entered my “office” and told me that he had finished the Math test.  Surprised at how quickly he completed the test, I checked to see his work.  He then left the room to proceed with his other subjects.  I don’t usually check their work right after they complete it. I do the checking after school.  But that day, I had the urge to open and check his Math work.

I didn’t see any scratch papers inserted in the book, nor did I see any computations on the side or erasures on the pages.  He had answers but I doubted if he really solved the problems given.  I compared his answers to the teacher’s guide and lo and behold, not a single answer was correct.  After letting out a long sigh, I felt the heavy pounding in my chest.  My anger is slowly buidling up, then I called Coby.

“How come there are no correct answers here? Did you review the chapter before answering the test like I told you?” I demanded.

“Yes?” was his quiet response.

“Yes?! Then how come all the answers are wrong?” I questioned him more. He didn’t say anything.  He kept quiet because he knew I was about to explode.  My voice was already two pitches higher as I expressed my disappointment.  I continued with my litany for about 2 minutes when I realized that Jianne was still in the room with us.  I paused for a while but still angry at Coby.  I checked Jianne’s work and told her to go out of the room because I needed to talk to her Kuya.

 

I shut the door behind Jianne and pulled Coby’s chair near me. I wanted to continue nagging him that morning but something or someone came over me and I just stopped.  It’s as if my heart was seeing a huge STOP sign telling me to step on the brakes of my mouth. I imagined a huge duct tape covering my mouth at that moment. I shut up. The strong desire to lash out was overpowered by a sense of peace that I couldn’t resist.  It was my signal to stop.  With hands covering my face, I bowed down and prayed silently.

“Lord, waaaaahhhh! I’m going to have a panic attack! Did you see his test? Zero? How can I NOT react? What am I to do in this situation? What will I do? What will I do? Help me please!”

I looked up for a moment and saw Coby’s dejected face. Then I prayed again, ” Lord, help me understand him. I don’t know what to do right now. What will I say? Can you please also talk to him so that we can understand each other? Help me. Help him, please?”

The room was silent for about 10 minutes.  My hands were still on my face and my head was still bowed.  Then as if I saw the green light blinking signaling me to speak but with caution.  When I opened my mouth, I knew it was no longer the irritable, impatient me who was talking.  When I yielded to the Spirit, He was the one talking for me. I was calm, not at all irritated and my tone was back to normal.

Before I even asked him anything, I told him that I want an honest answer. I needed to know what was going on inside his heart. And he did.

He shared his insecurities in Math.  He confessed to hating the subject and found it confusing.  I really felt bad for him.  I asked if I was the cause of all this.  Did I make him dislike Math? He said no (whew).  “I just find it really confusing”, he said.  We did not talk about the specific things that gave him that feeling but we did talk about changing his mind-set on Math being a confusing subject.  I reminded him to take it as a challenge.  Not to let Math get the best of him.  I reassured him that I didn’t want him to become a Math whiz but all he needed to do was do what he was supposed to do. I reminded him of the subjects that he was good at like Science, History and Computer.

Then, our conversation shifted.  I asked him to imagine himself as a 30-year-old man, and asked where he thinks he will be working at that time.  I suggested places like a restaurant, school, church or the military camp.  “Hospital” he blurted out.  “What? Hospital?” I was surprised by his response.  ” I want to be a doctor Mama. I want to help out when there is an epidemic or pandemic.  I want to help cure those people with viruses and diseases.”  My mouth was open upon hearing this.  He never told us he wanted to be a doctor. He always said he wanted to be a policeman.  But when i heard him speak that morning, I could sense his desire to help people.

Coby's "Earthquake Scene" for Science. Notice the police car and the ambulance :)

Coby’s “Earthquake Scene” for Science. Notice the police car and the ambulance 🙂

The he added, “I want to work as a paramedic or an MT.  A fireman or a policeman.  I want to be there in emergency situations. I want to help.”  I was a bit teary-eyed hearing him speak like these.  The passion to help others burns inside this 11-year-old’s heart.  I do hope this desire continues even when he is older.  I acknowledged this bold yet noble desire of his. In that moment, I knew the Lord wanted me to hear this.  I was stopped just before anger totally consumed me and allowed me to get to know our son more that morning and I am so thankful.

Taking the cue, I slowly moved back to our present day dilemma.  I asked, “What if you’re a doctor now and there’s this virus that couldn’t be cured? What will you do?  Will you say, ‘I’m so confused. I can’t find the solution to this. I give up.’?”

“No! I cannot do that! I still have to help find cure, Mama” he replied with conviction.

“That’s the best solution right there, do not give up. But when it comes to Math, how come you easily give up?”

Then he looked at me and said, “Oh, yes. You’re right.” and smiled at me.

We don’t just give up.  We always give our 100 percent in everything we do. Whether we’re studying, working or talking to a friend, we give 100 percent, we focus.  After that conversation, the term “100%” became our new reminder daily. He agreed to focus and give 100 percent in everything he does…

Though there was a delay in our schooling that Monday morning, we ended in a high note.  Not only was I able to yield to the Spirit’s prompting but I was able to see our son’s heart. I appreciated him more and looked back at the times when I would witness him helping Jianne when she’s hurt or crying. He would pacify her and comfort her.  I would also catch him fixing his friend’s bicycle when it breaks down. He will help his Papa in cleaning the car or helping me in the kitchen.

We took this selfie just before lunch that Monday morning. He was 100 percent goofy on the photo on the left hah

We took this selfie just before lunch that Monday morning. He was 100 percent goofy on the photo on the left hah

You may be wondering why I know God or the Holy Spirit is speaking to me. Why I even have the audacity to say these things. The Bible clearly says that to those who believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, whose work on the cross was for our salvation, and believe that we need to confess our sins before Him and live a repentant life, His Spirit will dwell in us.

  11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-14

The miracle of a transformed life is because of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer.  We cannot boast of the size of our faith nor can we boast of the things we do for God, but we should boast all the more about the power of a life-transforming God who works in and through the life of every person who completely puts his trust in the awesome God!

Have you seen a spiritual stop sign in your life recently? How did you see God’s hand in that situation? What was the result when you stepped on the brakes? I’m so blessed to hear from you all.


 

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