Watch: Bernard’s testimony
Bernard grew up with a demanding and strict father. This caused a lot of insecurity. God showed Bernard in a vision that he was unable to move forward because he was still held back by an “opened parachute” that had already landed him on the ground. God invited him to let go and walk forward with Him instead. Praise God!
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Where’s your fear? What is my fear? Why am I being entangled by my past? Pulled backed when I want to move forward. What can I do to set myself free?
My name is Bernard. My faith journey began in 2008. My wife invited me to Israel. And that trip was to me is like connecting the past and the present. The Bible and Jesus’ life became more personal and spiritual. A couple of days before the trip,
I twisted my ankle and the bonesetter said, “You rather not walk during the trip. Otherwise, your ankle is going to be swollen, it’s going to be a huge problem.” I did not listen to him. We still went on to the trip.
A couple of days into Israel, we arrived at the Sea of Galilee.
It is a huge body of water and we set sail on the boat in the middle of the ocean. The day was grey. The sky .. the mountain .. the ocean .. everything is grey. I was by myself sitting, looking up and down, discovering the doves: 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 of them started to surround the boat.
Noel came up to me and said, “Hey, are you okay?” And then I pointed out to her, to the birds and said, “Look, look at the birds. God is in nature. If you are against God, you are against nature.”
And Noel said, “Wow, this is quite amazing, what you just said. As an architect, at best, you would say God is in the detail.”
The boat began to return to the shore. I was the last one to get on the ground and I discovered my ankle .. the hurt disappeared.
I don’t feel anything anymore. The day after, we went to Petra, we walked five and six hours, and I was completely healed. Then we continued to Jerusalem. We stayed there for two nights. The night when I turned in, I took a shower. The morning after, I took a shower. And imagine in the shower room, the mist built up. The condensation on the mirror was really dense.
When I open up the shower curtain, I saw handwriting on the mirror. It said, “You must believe.”
And Noel also came in and saw it. And this is something that we felt quite puzzled; could be a practical joke, it could be something else.
I started to be very interested in the faith, in the relationship with Jesus Christ as a Saviour. Through the decades, I start to see the truth through His words. I went through men’s group, discipleship course, fellowship, care group, even leading a care group going through Bible studies.
But all that said, the challenge continues — I always struggle between self versus God-centred, self-sufficient versus God as Provider.
As an architect, we are quite strong-minded professionals and we really believe that we cannot lose control to the point that we play our own mini-god.
I’m always afraid of being judged, constantly seeking for others’ affirmation and which caused a lot of insecurity within me.
Over the last couple of years, this COVID fatigue really challenged me in every aspect of life and work. This pandemic is like a disaster recorded in the Books of Genesis and Exodus, the historical events that really shook up mankind. It is a wake up call, in particular to myself.
But then, knowing God is in control is sobering and also comforting.
Only through our prayers and through Jesus, we can discern God’s will. We oftentimes pray with our mentors, our friends.
God really gave us a vision. The vision is that I’m on the plateau, landed already with an open parachute. Imagine you’re landed. Why are you still stationary, not moving forward?
Why am I being entangled by my past and pulled back constantly? How can I move forward?
The Holy Spirit led us to start digging down deeper through my childhood and in particular, my relationship with my very disciplined, quite demanding father.
(He) started to reveal how depressed I was as an eight-year-old, to the point that I was about to jump off the balcony, just to express my boredom, my unworthiness to him, so that I am able to get his attention. The grief begin to pour out over the prayer. I was crying, non-stop, shaking for hours, longing for his word of affirmation. How strict my dad was really impacted me to the point that it created a huge sense of fear, insecurity, up to this point of my life.
This is not something that I want to hold on to for the rest of my life. That led me to the repentance of making my dad, my earthly father, my idol, my god.
Meeting his expectation and seeking his approval or others’ approval, affirmation, validation had become the root of my fear.
“Hey, cut your parachute, you are on solid ground. On His rock, that I stand.” Such a comforting and liberating thought. I will be safe again. In fact, I have already been saved. No need to jump off the balcony this time, but to run towards His embrace.
Although healing comes slowly, it start to begin to change my perspective. Days, months and years .. it is not a switch over, but only through our daily prayer, our petition, His Word becomes more and more lively.
A few things. God’s grace — He will redeem. God’s mercy — He will forgive. God’s salvation — He gives us hope. Let the peace run through you. Be joyful as much as you could to go through the circumstances and the situation. Have a sense of perseverance.
Something that recently, God gave me is the notion of a new navigation system.
The world is constantly telling you what to do, but God gave me “GPS”; Gospel, people, and sanctification.
I encourage you, for those who are listening, to seek Him and ask the Holy Spirit for the truth that comes into your heart, God will show you and help you to forgive, to repent and give you peace.
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