My elderly neighbour Mr Wong lost his elder son Victor at age 52 to massive cerebral haemorrhage some years ago. His son had lived a quiet life of a believer without his parents’ knowledge. Only a Bible he owned and read at work was evidence of his faith and affirmed by his secretary of many years. His filial life was exemplary and his life spoke louder than his words. The senior Mr Wong grieved over the loss of his son but decided to learn more about his son’s faith and followed his daughter to church. Over time, he too became a Christian and faithfully worships today at a Methodist church; but not Mr Wong’s wife who could not accept her son’s sudden death.
Recently about a year or so ago, when Mr Wong underwent a health crisis, his wife, Mrs Wong began to attend church with him. This time, the crisis played a part to bring her to God. And just this National Day, 9 August 2015, she got baptized! We could see the joy in both their faces when Mrs Wong said she now knows and waits for the day when they will meet their son Victor face to face. Hallelujah!
I too am reminded of my own anguish over the destiny of my loved ones when my late father was stricken with last stage colon cancer many years ago. When my elder brother lost hope in life after losing everything in business; and when my elder brother-in-law nearly died from a severe asthma attack (now alive but in a semi-vegetative state), the fact is no one is spared from troubles and trials in this sin-broken world. Everyone will eventually face death. I thank God that He has placed His children in my family for this purpose… to share the hope we have in Christ and to be bridges of His grace and mercy. Today many members in my family have received salvation because God’s love has touched them.
It is often on hindsight that we see trials are blessings in disguise. Though a painful part of life, trials are often used by God to remove idols and substitutes we cling to and to open our eyes to the Giver Himself. They are the bridges that lead us to the Giver of hope and life.
Do we believe that? Have we been placed in different families, circumstances and countries by chance? Can we face trials with courage and hope and persist in prayer for God’s purpose to come to pass? Even in dire circumstances, can we believe that God is always quietly and strongly at work to direct people to Himself? Remember, it is not in His desire that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9). Therefore, wherever we are, our part is to be faithful to the privilege and mission of building bridges of grace and mercy.
“By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.” Eph 3:7 (NLT)
Are you not seeing results yet? Do not stop building bridges and doing good. Let’s work tirelessly and let’s encourage one another. God’s part is the miraculous part of drawing people, convicting and redeeming them to Himself. One day, God may also give us the privilege to reap what we sow.
By Har Lee John, Pastoral Staff (YCKC Bulletin 5&6 September 2015)