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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Conversations with Mrs. L - Loneliness (Part 1)

lone boat
I've been waiting to write this post on my series "Conversations with Mrs. L." For the longest time, I didn't think I could write down such a personal conversation. I also didn't want to publish a teaching of how things should be. I simply would like to share a story of an interaction between a young single sister in the Lord with a sister more than thrice her age, who had passed through being single, being married, and then being single again.

That day I decided to ask Mrs. L a question that had lingered in my heart for quite some time, "Mrs. L, have you ever felt lonely?"

Her response was simple, "Yes, I have." She paused for a few seconds and continued, "But we have the church life! For you however, you are lonely because you need a husband." Yes, Mrs. L always had this particular burden about the sisters getting married, having family, and teaching the younger sisters to love the Lord in the church.

So this question of mine ended up having a two-fold answer. First, concerning marriage, it was very puzzling to me because I understood that I needed to marry but I did not dare to initiate anything since I did not trust my own choice in this matter. I was waiting and praying for about six years, fumbling and crying out to the Lord. The Lord was merciful in leading me to end the struggle of trying to grasp the concept of finding a spouse. It was very limiting: on one hand, I felt stopped whenever I initiated and on the other hand, I was compelled to remain open and not be bitter. I prayed to the Lord that it was absolutely His need that I would find a counterpart because I was just a reflection of Him longing for a bride. And I prayed, "Lord - with whomever I will be - we don't need to be a cool couple, we just need to be a life-giving couple in the church."

I am now married. I never thought I would be attracted to my husband, but I was clear that he was God's gift, a person whom God had entrusted to me. We both love the Lord, love His presence, and love His church. We also happen to love one another dearly. So at this stage of my human life, I truly reaped the fruit of Mrs. L's living prayer (even though she's no longer with us). I had kept her word in my heart, but my struggle to let the Lord grow in my heart concerning marriage took several years. I had nothing else to say except to thank the Lord and to worship Him. His choice, way, and timing are always higher than mine.

I will continue with the second part in my next post.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Watch and Pray

watching praying the kingdom

After many travels, I finally got to sleep a little bit more today because my most recent flight got delayed; and so I missed my connection to fly across the Pacific ocean. While I was waiting in line to speak to the customer service representative at the gate, I told the Lord that I couldn't figure why this happened but I would like to find Him in the midst of all. They reissued my ticket to depart tomorrow instead. It was strange; for the first time in a long time, I felt free. I had only planned to sit on the plane for the next 20 hours or so. Now I had nothing.

I got home and remember that I had cleaned and packed everything already. No more list of things to do. I rummaged the fridge for leftovers, ate some snacks, then went back to bed.

Two hours later I woke up rested and threw myself into the couch considering what to do next. In the back of my head, I still asked why this random thing happened with my travel and what I was supposed to accomplish today. I glanced over my tall bookcases and my eyes caught a book, bookmarked almost halfway through, that I had not touched for months. It's entitled "The Kingdom" by Witness Lee.

I continued my old reading and started at the section called "Watching and Praying By Growing."
"To be watchful does not mean that you read the prophecies, study the world situation, and observe the events in Russia, Israel, and the Middle East. Watching is not a matter of reading newspapers and collecting prophecies. If this is your way of watching, I am afraid that the Lord Jesus will come one day and that you will not know it. To be watchful means to grow with the Lord Jesus."
I suppose you could argue that we all still need to be educated concerning the end times. But the bottom line is for the kingdom to come, we need to grow. My whole being is being re-calibrated by the fresh fact that the Lord's second coming is a matter of life. Life grows, life develops, life transforms, and life consummates.
"...But now I realize that to watch and to pray means to grow continually with the Lord, to live together with Him. Then you are in the kingdom. You are not only in the kingdom, but you are the kingdom. As you grow together with the Lord, you watch and pray. The Lord Jesus is with us and His being with us is His gradual coming."
It's very mysterious yet divine that the Lord Jesus is coming again from within us. To the unbelievers, He is coming again outwardly but to the believers, because the Lord Jesus, who was preached as The Kingdom Himself, had been sown into our humanity as the seed of the divine life, He is coming from within us. We are the kingdom because we are the realm in which He can rule and reign. We are the kingdom because we are the growth, development, and eventually consummation of the inward, indwelling, subjective Christ mingled with redeemed, regenerated humanity.

My utterance is by no means thorough and extensive. I simply appreciate that I should not merely study the kingdom, I should experience the kingdom by growing in the divine life, feeding on His word, breathing in His name, and enjoying Himself as my real life provision in the church.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Just to Close 2015

2015 closing
On the last day of 2015, I am spending the night at a dear Christian home nearby Seoul, South Korea. In this home I came across a little booklet, an excerpt from Andrew Murray's The Spirit of Christ, chapter 5. I am on a 3-week trip to see my old friends who are all Christians with a heart to know and love the Lord. So tonight after meeting, catching up, and having small fellowship times here and there with them, the prayer that I read from the booklet truly becomes my prayer in the closing of this year.

Now I hope to share this portion with you all. May this little prayer supplies you with a fresh dose of the Lord Himself.

"Blessed Lord Jesus! I do believe, help Thou mine unbelief. Do Thou, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, perfect the work of faith in me too. Teach me, I prayed Thee, with a faith that enters the unseen, to realize what Thy glory is, and what my share in it is even now, according to Thy word: 'The glory which Thou gavest me, I have given them.'  Teach me that the Holy Ghost and His power is the glory which Thou givest us, and that Thou wouldst have us show forth Thy glory in rejoicing in His holy presence on earth and His indwelling in us. Teach me above all, my blessed Lord, not only to take and hold these blessed truths in the mind, but with my spirit that is in my inmost parts, to wait on Thee to be filled with Thy Spirit.

O my glorified Lord! I do even now bow before Thy glory in humble faith. Let all the life of self and the flesh be abased and perish, as I worship and wait before Thee. Let the Spirit of Glory become my life. Let His presence break down all trust in self, and make room for Thee. And let my whole life be one of faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Amen."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Learning a Lesson

learning a life lesson

Naturally I prefer a tranquil situation, an isolated position where I only have to make myself comfortable in the Lord. No frills and no complications. But this is not the journey God has ordained for me to live on. God's mercy indeed for me to not remain the same and idle. I recently traveled back home and was met with many dramatic happenings.

A relative of mine is going through a very difficult and sensitive circumstance, thus I can't elaborate. But such personal affair becomes quite center stage in some aspects of the church life where he and his family live. It's a profound episode in his life. Maybe humanly only he himself knows the dimensions of the catastrophe. All of our relatives empathize but no one can truly sympathize.

We were brought up as Christians who would uphold the preciousness of the church, the Lord's Body. My relatives are not perfect people (they can get angry too) but they go through the matter in much fellowship and prayers for the sake of the church and to help the inflicted parties to somehow get on the right path, healing or repentance.

Within me, however, I have two clear sensations. First, may the Lord have mercy on us that we may never become the main feature of any kind of taking sides, or divisions, in the church and that we will not be prompted to further polarize God's people. I told myself and some of my closest relatives, "Let us fear God and guard ourselves against dishonoring the Head in any way."

Second, may the Lord strengthen us to receive His shepherding in forgiving those who have offended us and in repenting because we have been offended. A good Christian person copes with hurt feelings and doesn't avenge for he knows revenge belongs to God, but it's not good enough to be just good. The Lord permits sufferings so that we can gain God in the process.

I told my relative whom I considered as my own brother, "I know it takes time and it's difficult but we must pass this test by forgiveness." He said, "I have let it pass but to forgive is painful." "Don't skip forgiveness. We have to be desperate before the Lord until we get released. This is true healing," I insisted.

When I persisted on speaking such hard word to a wounded soul, a thought flashed by: Katherine, why are you so harsh? Why don't you go easy on him? But I'm reminded again that throughout the years God has so loved us, He so loves my family and relatives who have been in the church for generations. Once He measures a portion of learning and gaining to us, He will get that done regardless of how many times we fail to return the served ball. It's a lesson that will only get more advanced, the only way we can pass is to be desperate to come forward to the throne of grace, to come forward to God. In this way, we can get more of Himself as He speaks to us, as He shines on us, as He supplies us, as He loves us.

I hope one day my companions will not hold back speaking these words to me when I'm in my lowest state. Someone told me, "It's easier said than done because you're not the one who got hurt." That is absolutely correct. I'm not better than anyone else. When something painful comes my way, I will probably react exactly the same. But when that suffering moment comes, I hope someone, with a genuine and prayerful heart, will remind me of what the Lord mainly desires of me. In all things, His unique work is to wrought Himself into us, a little bit more.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Chat with a 14 Year Old

I sat across from a fourteen year old, my youngest brother. We had dinner together at a nearby restaurant, just the two of us, before he had to catch a plane to go to school abroad. My youngest brother loves to eat and play computer games; he also loves spending time with me. I can't believe he's about a foot taller than I, and still growing.

He's chatty but usually the topics revolve around food, going to the malls, his friends, or the best, newest fancy gadget he's been eyeing for a while. That evening, however, he nonchalantly told me more serious matters concerning his surrounding. At first he sounded like a tattletale, but when I put myself in his shoes, I immediately felt a great empathy toward him. The situation he mentioned was heavy to bear, but he spoke as if it was an ordinary part of life. The Lord reminded me right then: It is human to need God. That's a plain fact, even for a teenage boy.

My brother received the Lord a few years ago, at night, on a bench, in Disneyland. My sister led him to pray while we were waiting for the famous Disneyland fireworks. So I asked him if he had prayed more and read his Bible. He answered that his school required him to read several Bible verses every morning and that he would pray before meals whenever he remembered. "But have you ever talked to the Lord? Like a normal conversation?" I asked again. He said no.

Before I continued to speak further, I paused. Within my heart, I realized I did not have adequate time to explain and I feared he would not have the grasp for what I was about to say. I needed to simplify and get to the crux of this exchange, but it was challenging.

"Josh, you have to talk to the Lord personally. It's not a religion. In this life, without the Lord, our surrounding will always get us super high and super low," I told him, "We need the Lord and His Word to be our anchor." I asked him if he knew what an anchor was and he nodded.

"People say we were born to die. Our body and our mind worsen as we age, so we need a new hope. The Lord Jesus is our hope. If we don't have Him, we have nothing," maybe I had said too much but he was following. Then our food arrived, we prayed a simple prayer, and resumed our chat. I listened more and encouraged him here and there.

For the rest of the time, he was an open person and to my surprise, he became peculiarly caring and kind. When we got home, everyone helped him packed his luggage and off he went, abroad. I don't know how much my youngest brother had listened and to what extent he had considered our talk about the Lord. I was unprepared but desperate to lead him to know the Lord. And so I'm still praying today, "Lord, cause him to have many conversations with You. Cause him to know You and to love You."