Sunday, 27 Aug 2017
When I was a little girl, my sister taught me core values of life. That included kindness. Helping someone in need is kindness. As I grew older, I learned more about kindness. My boss told me one day, "You have to be unkind to be kind." That provoked my thinking deeper into the acts of kindness. I was lending money to my colleague without knowing that he needed the money to repay his gambling debts. After listening to my boss, I told my colleague that I would not be lending him any more money. One day, he did not bank in the cash that he was supposed to. When I found out, I questioned him and out of kindness, I allowed him to bank in the money the following day. I did not report the incident to my boss. Next day, again he did not bank in the cash. I was in a dilemma. If I report, he could lose his job. If I did not report, how long more should I cover for him. After some thoughts, I reported it to my boss. He told me that I should have reported it the day when the staff did the dishonest act. I could be fired for not reporting (on the ground of conspiracy). Subsequently in life, I have encountered situations of similar nature and was tested again and again.
As I pray about kindness, God brings to remembrance a butterfly story:
When two boys saw a butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon, they helped by slitting the cocoon so that the butterfly could come out of the cocoon without any effort. That was intended to be a act of kindness but the butterfly DIED!
It is God's design that the butterfly struggles to exit from the cocoon. The process involves squeezing out the fluid and strengthening its wings. The butterfly would then hang in the sun to dry its wings thoroughly.
In life, we learn through difficulties and struggles. Some of these are God-planned and some are not. When it is God-planned, we should turn to Him and His Word for guidance. When it is not, we should still turn to Him and His Word for correction and transformation. It is only when we submit to the will of God then we will prosper. This kind of prosperity is NOT money, property, power, fame, position or popularity. Money etc are wealth of the world. I do not know what heaven really looks like because I have not been there. I have lots of imagination about heaven through pictures and movies and even from reading the Bible but deep inside me, I don't think heaven is a place where there are bungalows, semi-detached houses, and so on. Maybe, one day God will reveal it to me.
So, today while I am still on earth, I am thankful for my HDB flat, delicious and nutritious food, beautiful clothes, etc. I am very thankful for my health - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I am super thankful that I am still growing... We must not stagnate in life. God knows us personally and intimately. He knows the deep deep desires of our individual hearts. He is able to change our hearts. He is able to satisfy our deepest needs. He is able and willing to give us peace, pleasure and the greatest treasure - HIMSELF. He will give if we ask Him and when we ask with the right motive.
I am going to attend the IDMC 2017 from 31 Aug till 2 Sep. I am super excited because the theme is: Rekindling Your Spiritual Passion. The workshops include: Keeping fresh in the ministry, Living the Intentional Life, and Overcoming the Four Obstacles.
Passion is about living the intentional life. The problem is that many of us live unintentionally. There is an emptiness of soul, a seeking for something more. Our lives are focused on the external and we live lives apart from the DEEP RICHES OF GOD. Wow! It's going to be an adventure for me - eye-opening, thought-provoking, spiritual-awakening... I go with an expectant heart to encounter God and learn and learn... so that I may be made stronger and stronger (by Him) to DO the things that He has planned for me. I just want to pray and ask Him for discernment so that I will know - at all times - whether the struggles are intended by Him or not. The Bible says that it was God's will to crush His Son and cause Him to suffer (Isaiah 53:10).
I am NOT saying that we must suffer but I am saying that we must submit to God's hand of discipline if it is discipline, surrender all of ourselves to His hand of mercy and grace. Only then are we able to fulfil His purposes for us. The Bible says: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now HIDDEN WITH CHRIST IN GOD. (Wow!) When Christ who is your life, appears, then you also will appear WITH HIM IN GLORY (Colossians 3:1-4).
Lam Yee Ling