The Lord has interesting ways of bring His children together. Last night at the blessed wedding of Leslie and Alicia, there were two empty seats at the table for Aunty’s friends whose names she couldn’t recall. The seats were empty until the Bird’s Nest dish came up. They had been caught in a jam. The man’s eyes can’t see too well at night, and so they’d missed a couple of turns that would have sped up their journey. All these the woman told me, and then she suddenly asked if we were disciples. (We conversed mainly in Mandarin.) Such an affinity, such a queer experience to have a spiritual conversation emerge over a wedding dinner with the entire family!
I answered her, that only my sister and I are. She verified that our parents aren’t yet, and then she started sharing how her entire family came to know the Lord and are now all serving at City Harvest Church. Her story is amazing—no, not her story, but God’s story featuring her.
She was close to conversion in the faith when she knew her husband. But he was a believer of other gods and was not yet close to salvation. She wanted to wait for her husband, to be baptised together. So she waited. For years… She brought her children to church and they grew up there in the faith for twenty odd years, and then the man decided to believe and received Christ in his own personal life just about three years ago. Since then, the entire family, even the helper and the grannies, is in the faith. The woman had waited for years. And her waiting was not in vain, for she waited on the Lord. Hallelujah!
Did God know I needed encouragement to persevere in prayer for my parents’ salvation? Had God wanted both Zhimin and I to hear the story together, with even some good eavesdropping at the table to sow seeds of faith? I would never know for certainty until I meet with Jesus face-to-face. But I do know that the night was one that made a difference because of this encounter.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that this episode of encouragement came after a tough sermon, through which I learnt that I need to work on the tiny details in my life, to live a life of accountability and consistency so that I may make an impact in the house, where there is no one to impress, where people know me so well that they label, and condemn me to the pits of rebellion and no-return. It’s easier to rebel and turn away from growth but make excuses for myself like ‘I was made like this’, ‘this is me’, or slip into the mindset of rebellion, ‘the more you say it, the more i won’t do it’… … …
The sermon was great, was timely, was what I needed to hear from God. But it was even depressing, or perhaps the more appropriate word here would be sobering. There are so many things to apply, to change, to mature in. The weight is heavy, the responsibilities great. Yet, this is what Jesus says:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
It is never about me. It is about the One who walks alongside me. He is yoked with me as I am yoked with Him, and we trudge on together, through the good and the bad, through mountains high and valleys low. He will never leave me, nor forsake me. He is gentle and patient with me, even when patience for myself runs dry. His spring overflows with living waters, and oh, what a joy to walk through all of this life with Him.
Yes, what a joy! Therefore, though my heart knows fears, I will choose none. I will choose to trust in Jesus and His glorious love and faithfulness rather than trusting in my fallible self. I will humble myself, to make space for You on the highest throne. I will exalt you.