Romans 8:30a (ESV) wrote, “And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, ….“ Looking back, here is my story of God’s blessing of this verse on me.
Nobody knows how God has predestined things but I hold that He has chosen me by His grace before the foundation of the earth. My earliest memory of when Jesus Christ first came into my life, was from my mother. She said that I was very sick at one year old. We went to stay with my grandfather, who was a Chinese physician, but he was not able to heal me. My mother then decided to bring me to a hospital near my grandfather’s home, fearing the worst. Along the way, there was a church. My staunch Taoist mother, in her desperation, brought me into this church to pray. Since then, my mother told the family that Jesus Christ had saved me when I was a baby, and that she would not object if Jesus Christ were to claim me for Himself.
God kept calling
God has been calling me since my schooldays. Occasionally, some Christian friends would bring me to Christian meetings. I attended Billy Graham’s crusade in 1978. When I started working, I even responded to an altar call, but I did not make any effort to connect with a church. I told my Christian friends I would find out more about God when I had time.
In 1992, I went for a medical checkup for a niggling pain in my wrist. I was shocked when the X-ray results showed that I had a growing bone tumor in my left hand. The orthopedic surgeon was non-committal when asked about my prognosis. Instead he suggested, “If you are religious, pray hard to whoever you believe. You will need it”. It was Jesus Christ I prayed to before the major operation, although I did not know how to pray properly then. God is good. He placed a Christian nurse to look after me and encouraged me when I was in hospital for more than a month. I told God I had to live as my wife was pregnant with my first child then. By God’s grace, I recovered fully, but busyness at work claimed me.
Justification by faith in Christ alone
The next part of my life was pivotal to my conversion. My second son had many unexplained episodes of long crying spells as a baby. We subsequently sold our apartment thinking that the crying spells were due to bad geomancy. As our new home was not ready, we rented a place, which happened to be opposite a church.
One night my second son was crying incessantly again. At my wit’s end, I carried him out and found myself at the premises of the church. I prayed to the Lord to stop my son’s crying and promised Him that I would come back to the church to know more about Him. Just like what happened when I was a baby, it seemed more than a coincidence that it was my turn to bring my baby son to church in desperation. My son stopped crying.
On settling down at our new home, my wife and I sent our two sons to the church’s Sunday School. Six months later, we walked into the church to attend a service. We went into studying the Bible, and got to know Jesus Christ better. We were baptized in 2001 and it is now 21 years since we walked into Yio Chu Kang Chapel.
Now in this sanctification journey to learn to love as Jesus Christ has loved, I want to claim His promise – “… and those whom He justified He also glorified” (Romans 8:30b). John Newton’s Amazing Grace sings in my heart:
“Through many dangers, toils and snares, We have already come.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far. And grace will lead us home.”
By Lum Weng Kiong (YCKC Bulletin 12 May 2019)