As I started to read the book of Tito Frank Padilla entitled “Inscrutable Wisdom of God”, I was already excited because I want to discover the meaning of the word inscrutable since it’s new to my ears. And as I started to read the book, I learned paradoxes that have profound messages. It’s easy to understand, but definitely, it takes time to master every virtue of the paradox mentioned in the book. All paradoxes written in the book have a very beautiful lesson about how God thinks, how to be a servant to all, how to have the right posture of heart when serving God and His people, and also how we deal with different difficulties in life. It is rich with values and I am really amazed at how our servant general wrote this book.
Let me share with you how God spoke to my heart through this book and how He allowed me to understand His wisdom behind every personal experience of mine as a lay missionary. As I read the book, there were particular chapters that reminded me of past life experiences.
Strong but accepting weakness
“We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak.” Rom 1:1a
I joined the youth ministry when I was 13 years old, since then I grew up attending all the activities of the community. I can still remember how I tried to escape and made excuses every time I was given tasks to lead worship or to be a music minister to our covenant recollection, and oftentimes to give a talk during our camp. I have this stage fright issue growing up, but my household servant kept on encouraging me to go beyond my limit. Fast forward, someone vouched for me to be a mission volunteer in YFL. It was at the time that I knew I was veering away from the community, and I was at the lowest point of my life even if I am the current district servant of our province. Amidst my situation, I honestly admitted my doubts to my service head when I said yes to become a mission volunteer. My Kuya in the community made me feel important and loved because they never gave up on me. I kept that learning within my heart. So now that I am a lay missionary of MFC Youth, like how my ate’s and kuya in the community believed in me, it is the same thing that I’ll be doing to those young people that God has entrusted me. I will never focus on their weaknesses, rather I would give importance to what they can do and give in the service of the Lord—just like what Jesus also did to all His disciples.
He called them even if they have different backgrounds, attitudes, and labels in society. Jesus did not focus on their weaknesses, He pursued them in the best way possible in order for the disciples to realize that Jesus is genuinely rooting for them. Despite Peter denying Him three times, Judas’ betrayal, and the other disciples left Him during His passion and death on the Cross, Jesus remained faithful to them and accepted all of them wholeheartedly including their weaknesses.
Little Faith moving Big Mountain
If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move.’, and it will move. Mt 17:20
The year 2019 was really a tough time of my life because I have experienced one of the difficult times and problems of our family. My brother Paul was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease and experienced a stroke. There was a blood clot in his brain. It happened a month after he got married to his wife. It was very tough because we need to bring him into a big hospital with complete equipment and hospital apparatuses for him to be in a stable condition. Honestly, the first thing that I worry about is the money; we don’t have the financial capacity to pay for his hospitalization, but his life is more important than money. I prayed to God that may He journey with me, my brother, and our whole family.
We stayed in the hospital for almost 2 weeks and our hospital bill was triple the number of my brother’s second hospital bill. I prayed to God each and every day that may He provide for all our needs. I asked for help from our relatives, friends in the community, and I also went to PCSO just to get hospitalization assistance for my brother.
Every moment that I am in the hospital, we notice every small blessing that we receive such as those people who visited my brother, every amount deposited, or improvement of my brother’s condition. I always pray the rosary and thank Him for all the blessings.
There was even a point during my prayer time that I cried so hard and asked God to please help us pay for our hospital bill and may He help my brother to recover and restore his strength as quickly as possible. The following day the doctor gave my brother advice to be discharged from the hospital, and early in the morning we count all the money that we have, and we thank God for it is enough to pay the total amount of my brother’s hospitalization bill. Indeed, God is Faithful and True to His promises.
At my lowest point, Jesus taught me how to nurture my faith. He continues to test me not until I fully understand this kind of trials He has given to our family. The question is not how big our faith is, rather what kind of faith do we have. Because even if it is like a mustard seed, what matters to God is the amount of genuineness of our belief and faith in Him.
Winning by surrender
The Lord will fight for you; you have only to keep still. Ex 14:14
As lay missionaries, we are used to setting up events for the community and I will never forget our Live Pure Conference 2019 in Circuit Makati. Days before the event we heard that the chance of rain during the LP Conference is 90%. We prayed hard that it won’t happen and proceed with our setup. Here comes the start of the Live Pure Conference when everybody is participating in the booths and jamming with the guest band, then when we are about to start the celebration of the Holy Mass, the heavy rain fell down from the sky and we are all devastated because of the fact that we were just starting with the program. All the people were drenched in rain and we are in the canopy of the venue praying as one family that God will make a way to stop the rain so that we can continue our conference. What happened next is the Bishop told us that we will proceed with the mass even if it’s not in the event stage. We put an improvised altar and amplifier for us to have a sound system so that people will hear him speak. All of us experience the assurance that despite the chaos, God is still in our midst. The rain stopped, we saw the skies were clear and after the mass, our team decided to push through with our conference. We all witnessed how the beautiful sunset shone upon us.
These experiences help me to truly understand a total surrender to God. Jesus Himself totally surrendered His life to God’s will by dying on the cross. When we experience hardships, when we are hopelessly caught in the middle of trials and chas, let us learn how to surrender to Jesus.
I cited three different paradoxes from the book and related them with my personal life experiences. I realized that my whole life was a product of God’s inscrutable wisdom. All paradoxes, virtues, and teaching are all about how Jesus lived His life here on earth. The word inscrutable means “not interpreted” and the synonym is “mysterious”—to make it simple, God’s wisdom is mysterious. In conclusion, the best way to understand the inscrutable wisdom of God is to live how Jesus lived here on earth. We have witnessed His life here on earth and the mystery of the cross is glory. The mystery of following Him is already revealed to us—it is a gift of eternal life.
Lord, I thank You for speaking to me personally through this book of our servant general, help me to live like You, and to love like You. My only prayer is to give meaning to people’s lives through You. Amen!
Jay Tropicales is a FTW of Missionary Families of Christ – Youth. He is currently the Area Servant of NCR East and the coordinator of the MFC Youth Care advocacy.