Some people say that “God gives the hardest battles to his toughest soldiers.” It is a test of faith, of devotion and what this “soldier” went through is not just simple battles.
Job (not his real name), who started serving God since he was in high school as a sacristan, was recently tested by his own ruler. According to him, the first problem came when Jesus appeared in his dream.
For someone who had worked in the church for almost 20 years, Job said that he really did not believe when people say these things about battles and challenges. For him, people who see God in their dreams were delusional. However, when that instance happened to him first hand, he started to become a believer.
“Nakita ko si Jesus sa panaginip ko, kinakausap yung asawa ko sa salas namin. Tapos paglingon niya sakin, sabi Niya sakin ‘Job,’ parang kaibigan ko siya eh, parang barkada. Parang hindi ko Diyos,” Job said in an interview with INQUIRER.net.
“Sabi niya sakin, ‘Job, magpakatatag ka.’ Ilang beses niya sinabi yun, tatlong beses,” Job said.
Merely four days after that encounter, he said that his wife for 29 years suddenly left their home located along the stretch of España for no apparent reason. Being the head of the household, he searched for his wife all night. He searched for his wife a day before Christmas, hoping to find God’s greatest gift to him.
Luckily, he found her. However, another encounter he did not expect was about to unfold.
According to Job, his wife was staying with her family in Tondo. He pleaded her to come back, but his wife’s family was shouting invectives at him for unknown reason. Silently, he went away before tears completely fell from his eyes.
“Alam mo ba Pasko, umiiyak kami ng anak ko. Bumili lang ako ng spaghetti sa Jollibee. Dalawa lang kami, magkayakap, umiiyak,” he said.
“Hanggang sa sumapit yung bagong taon, nagpuputukan, lahat masaya; kami umiiyak,” he added.
It was only then he remembered the words of Jesus in his dream. “Kaya pala sabi sakin ni Jesus, magpakatatag ka.”
While still in the middle of the problem concerning his family, another problem arose. Job said that a case was filed against him in coonection with his work that he begged not to elaborate further given that the case is still pending in court.
That was the time when the problems started to really ruin his life. Job said that his body deteriorated, given the number of sleepless nights, one pack of cigarettes consumed in a night, and countless number of bottles of beer consumed.
Every night, before going to sleep, he always asked God to just take his life since he could no longer handle the problems. The thought of committing suicide also entered his mind but he managed not to inflict self-harm having been raised with the values embodied to him by religion since he was a child.
“Alam ko din kasi na yung suicide, masama yun eh. Pero may mga time talaga na nagpapakuha ako sa sa Kanya, sinasabi ko sa kanya: ‘Jesus, pagtulog ko, kunin mo ako,'” he said.
He also reached the point of questioning His existence despite serving the church of God for years. He said that he went to Batangas to release the pain and ask God why such things happen to him.
“Pumunta ako sa doon sa dagat, hindi ko alam kung saan ako nakapunta noon, binabato ko yung Diyos,” he said
“Nagalit ako sa Diyos, nagalit ako kay Jesus. Galit na galit ako sa kanya,”
“Sabi ko sa Kanya: Simula pagkabata, pinagsilbihan Kita. Sobra-sobra pagsisilbi ko. Ni hindi ako gumawa ng kasalanan, kahit anong kasalanan — hindi ako nangbabae, hindi ako nagsusugal, hindi ako naninigarilyo, hindi ako umiinom ng alak,”
“Hindi ko alam kung saan ako nagkulang,” he added.
It was also that midnight when he sat in the middle of a highway as he waited for a truck to hit him. Job said that it took him one hour already to wait but not a single truck passed by. He said he was not with his daughter when he went by the sea and was only with some bottles of alcohol and a number of cigarettes.
Due to the need to urinate, Job said he stood up and tried to search for a toilet. It was only that moment when a speeding truck passed by. Irritated by what happened, he further tried to chase death.
He also said that he experienced deafening silence during hard times.
“Yung tahimik na nakakabingi? Doon sa kwarto ko, narinig ko na yun eh. Napakahirap non,” he said.
“Yung dilim na pinasok ko, napaka dilim. Hindi ko alam kung may liwanag pa sa dulo,” he added.
Job added that he also thought to hire someone to kill his wife. However, minute before the killing happened, he touched the crucifix beside his bed and immediately called the hitman to abandon the plan.
“Tama na. Ayoko na. Umalis kayo diyan,” he said during a phone call.
According to Job, the turning point in his life was when his daughter talked to him and realized that he still have someone in his life.
Apart from his daughter, praying to God was among the main reasons how he managed to get back to life.
“Dasal talaga ang pinanghahawakan ko kasi parang nakalimutan ko na before yung anak. Late ko nalang din naisip,” he said.
“Inisip ko lang ang sarili ko na nadedepress ako, pero hindi ko pala nakita na may anak ako. Naisip ko na mayroon pa pala akong bubuhayin na iba. Andito pa pala yung anak ko,” he added.
Despite the problems that happened in Job’s life in the past year, he said that he is proud to say that his daughter was able to graduate in college, was able to buy a house and lot, and still manages to eat three times a day.
“May mga bagay talaga na hindi lang tao yung tutulong, Diyos talaga yung tutulong sayo,” he said.
“Pagka Siya ang tumulong sa’yo, panalo na. Pagka Siya yung kumampi sa’yo, kahit sinong magaling na doktor, hindi niya pa rin kayang gamutin yung isang sakit. Pero kapag si Jesus, sinabi niyang na magagamot ka, gagaling ka,” Job added.
He then advised the youth who are undergoing certain problems in their lives to believe in the power of prayers. Further, it is not the number of times of fall that matters, it’s how many times you get back on your feet.
“Hindi importante yung pagkakadapa, ang importante yung pagbangon mo. Importante makabangon ka. Bangon,” he said.
“Gabi-gabi kausapin mo siya. Dasal — yung dasal na nakikipag-usap,” he added. /jpv
(Editor’s note: Due to sensitivity of several circumstances in the story, the real name of the subject has been changed, but the facts of his narration remain.)