“Therefore, I will praise You, O Lord, among the nations. I will sing praises to Your Name.”

– Samuel 22:50

Every now and then, the Lord gives us profound faith-building moments that are worth sharing to others as wonderful testimony of His greatness and kindness.

Recently, I was asked to assist a community member in my role as a pastoral worker, counsellor and friend that led to being called as a character witness before a court tribunal. Losing the case could mean the deportation of this family of six – husband, wife and four children. The circumstance is a sensitive one so I am not able to share it fully. 

It was a David and Goliath case, one that can only be won by the highest authority – God. On the day of the hearing, I went into the judge’s chambers with no sleep at all, but because I was powered by prayerful family, friends and community, although I had major concerns, I remained calm, collected and truthful. 

The verdict did not come until three weeks later, which was excruciatingly painful for all of us waiting. But for those who participated in supporting and praying for the family, we fully surrendered the results to the Lord, begging for His mercy and kindness.

Every day I claimed Psalm 40:1-5 for the husband who was in immigration detention during the case. 

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.

It was the feast of the Annunciation when the verdict would be handed down. In the Gospel reading of the day, there was a verse that proclaimed, “to God nothing is impossible”.  Again, it was a promise I claimed. We serve a Sovereign Lord. 

A few days before that, and this is to me the strangest mystical confirmation, I was walking out from my house to the bus stop. Along the path were petals of roses strewn along the track, as if they were a divine sign just for me. As I was walking in the midst of them, I picked up a couple of the petals that reminded me so strongly of St Therese of Lisieux, my special patroness, who promised to shower us with roses in response to our prayers. What a beautiful sight, a touching show of love! The saints are watching!

On 25 March, the date of the verdict, I got a text that we won the case! Praise the Lord indeed! 

Dr Charles Stanley in his book,“A Touch of His Power talks about us facing obstacles that cannot be overcome apart from the Lord’s supernatural assistance. There were many men and women in the Bible who confronted problems that could not be overcome by strength, tenacity or wisdom and have learned the marvellous truth that every Christian can know:

God, Himself fights our battles for us. The difficulties we face may seem insurmountable, but God can do the impossible. God fights our battles, because what assails us also assails Him. He is faithful to come to our aid when we cry out to Him. He can easily prove that He still remains the Sovereign Lord of all. Always count on God’s help. You may be tired, but God never grows weary. You may have failed repeatedly in your efforts but God will never fail you. Trust that the formidable enemy you face is no match for the awesome God we serve!

As one author wrote: “When the outlook is not good, try the up-look!”

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Dina Mananquil-Delfino
Dina was a former editor-in-chief of The Philippine Times and has been its columnist for over 20 years. She has written two books, "Colours of Life" and "Under His Wings".Dina has been in the helping field for 40 years in the various roles she had fulfilled- teacher, employee in different organisations, volunteer, pastoral care worker. She is a member of Australian Counsellors of Australia (ACA) and Counsellors Victoria (CV). She brings into her practice her unique style of helping and understanding, having been exposed to various roles involving different cultures. She can relate to the challenges change brings. In her published book Colours of Life, she shares the angst and joy of being a migrant. As a Pastoral Care worker, she has helped many individuals and families empower themselves and encourage them to achieve order in their otherwise chaotic life. She also facilitates/conducts regular workshops/teachings in personal development.Dina’s strength is in pastoral care, assisting people journey through the difficult moments of serious illness, loss and bereavement, helping newly-arrived migrants, and emotionally embracing the elderly and senior members of the community, moving them to work towards a new vision of settlement, hope and comfort.DINA IS A QUALIFIED COUNSELOR AND PASTORAL CARE WORKER. She can be contacted on 0430 214 917. Email evamarie09@bigpond.com for comments or feedback on this story).

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