Journal Entry 194

As time is continuing, I come to the realization that the timing of asking a father if he will allow me to be in a relationship with his daughter and if she is interested in me is very crucial. I am almost near finished with the first volume of Hudson Taylor’s biography, and I read the chapters where he discussed his love interest. It seems very providential of the Lord that I am reading this about him during this season in my life. I was not expecting this at all. The more I seek the Lord in my personal interest, the more I see that I the clearest way to know if this woman is interested in spending the rest of her life in me is if I ask the father.

I know and believe that this is the best approach in pursuing this particular woman in my church: consult with her Heavenly then ask the earthly father. I do not intent to make this into a love story. These are the realities of my life right now. I spoke with a seasoned Christian, married man, and he told me that God will give me what is best. “He will not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly.”

If the father disapproves then that is what I need. If the father approves but the woman is not interested then that is what I need. If the father approves and the woman is interested then that is what I need. If God wants me to be single then I will run faster in this Christian race. If God wants me to be married then my future wife will help me run faster in this race. There is nothing to lose on my part.

I have been burdened by this issue ever since I was first saved. I grew up desiring marriage so much because I saw how my older siblings had serious companionship, and 2/3 married at a young age. They were not Christians by any means, and my view of marriage was a corrupted view and not of the one upheld by God. Nonetheless, I strongly for marriage after I got saved, but I was only 15 years old.

God swiftly let me knew at the time that I was not ready for marriage, but I could start preparing. That is what I did. There were times of major setbacks, but there were much more time of advancement in the sanctification process and maturity. At 24 years old, I am in my 9th year of being a Christian. It is amazing how the Lord has gotten me this far. However, I do not believe God got me this far just to get this far. I believe a prudent wife comes from the Lord. I have a list of characteristics and quality that I am praying and being watchful for. And, if God wants me to wait longer then I gladly will. I will not allow rejection to discourage me and to slow me down. I have gone through much emotional pain in this life and in the Emergency Department, a place filled with tragedy. The Lord has prepared me for this moment.

Now that my church is heading into a weak of prayer and fasting, this issue will definitely be dealt with. Then I will wait for more clarity from the Lord. There will be VBS next week, and we will minister together. Perhaps, the Lord will answer more prayers by then. I do not want my burdens to be a distraction from the week of prayer and fasting and from VBS. As of right now, I believe it is best to wait afterwards. I trust the Lord will give me boldness to speak to her father about this matter.

 

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Journal Entry 193

Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. The grave could not keep Him. Therefore, His was death unique, compared to all of the deaths I witnessed in working in the emergency department for over 3 months now. I still the image of some of the patients who died while I was working. There is not much time to process the very matter in the midst of a chaotic environment. People are evidentially facing the natural consequence of sin–death.

The Lord has put me in this environment for multiple purposes. One reason may be that He is preparing to handle more tragedy and bear more burdens. This may sound pessimistic, but I prefer to be realistic. In about 7 hours, it will be 24 years since I was birthed into this world. In sin my mother conceived me, and I too will face death one day. I have a feeling that I will die young and it will not be a good death. Regardless, there can only be one destination for me–heaven/home.

I certainly do not deserve to live as long as I am living right now. I almost drowned to death when I was 5 years old, but the Lord sent a young boy to dive into the pool and to pull me out of the water. I never saw him before the incident, and I thought I was alone when my brother was busy lifting weights in another area. Then I was depressed as ever at the age of 15 years old, and I wanted to die. I would never attempt suicide due to the very fear of not knowing what happens after death at that time. However, I provoked God to take my life away when I was in a moving vehicle because I knew He could kill me. But, God saved me from the power and the punishment of sin instead! All glory be to Christ!

Journal Entry 192

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. –Ephesians 3:14-19

The Lord has my church chewing on this text each Sunday for the past couple of weeks as Brother Tim preaches a series of messages, pulling out multiple nuggets in this rich passage. We are now at the end of this section in Ephesians, and Lord willing, there will be at least one more message. I anticipate the emphasis will be on verse 18, 19 or both. I messaged Brother Tim last week with two verses that are profound about knowing the one true God. This was also an excellent example of Scripture answering Scripture. The Heavenly Father is growing me knowing Him, that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith, with the help of the Holy Spirit by the means of systematic theology–scripture interprets scripture.

Job 11:7-9 says, ““Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.”

God allowed humankind to know His invisible attributes through the creation of the world (Romans 1:20). Men today know that their creator is beyond their finite comprehension through the examination of natural creation. But, even current science and technology cannot cover the vast knowledge of God for He is infinite. Then there are the Scriptures, which has been preserved over the millenniums. However, millions posses the Word of God, but they do not possess the deep knowledge of God. The majority of religious people in this world do not truly know God.

1 Corinthians 2:10-11 says,  “10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.” 

If Paul was at the interrogation scene between Zophar and Job, that may be his response. This is one of numerous “But God”‘s in the New Testament that ought to cause believers to shout, “Glory, glory, glory to the almighty God!”. This is one of the distinguishing mark of a genuine Christian–the factual and relational knowledge of God through Jesus Christ,the Son, by the Holy Spirit. Christians have true treasures that the world is utterly blinded to. This reality is magnified in America as many people possess a bible containing glorious truths that has turned the world upside, yet it is truly invisible to them. But God, in His abundant mercy and grace, has revealed to some undeserving sinners the “deep things of God.”

May God help me to know more of Him and to remain in the inner circles of Jesus Christ  for the rest of my days.

Journey Entry 191

Psalms 121:1-4

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord,

Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to be moved;

He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel

Shall neither slumber nor sleep.”

Often times people boast about their relationship with a celebrity or a well-respected individual. Sadly, this happens too often in the Church. I confess to have fallen into this form of idolatry. It wasn’t blatant, but there was an internal excitement of personally knowing someone “famous”. Shouldn’t I have a much greater level of excitement for knowing the Creator of the heaven and earth? Can Christian “celebrities” help me the same way the Lord does? Man must have their strength rejuvenated, but the Word says He shall neither slumber nor sleep! I can look at a mountain such as Mt. Everest and say I know the one true God who fashioned that! “All things were made through Him, and nothing was made that was made.”

I do not just know about Christ; I personally know Him! Therefore, my help ultimately comes from the Lord! When a Christian goes through the valley of the shadow of death or the darkest valley (per other translations), he can look at the surrounding mountains in his life (i.e. trials and tribulations), and trust in God’s promise. As he walks through the valley and sees the mountains of challenges besides him, he can lay hold on Matthew 21:21: “So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.'”

My help comes from the God who sovereignly place these mountains in my life. He is a big enough God to cast them into the sea. Even the winds and waves obey Him! Therefore, I can rejoice in this reality: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (John 17:3)

No matter how hard this like can be, eternal life has already begun. I don’t have to wait to pass into glory to start knowing Christ. All glory be to Christ! May Christ continue dwell in my heart through faith that I may know (personally experience) the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge and be filled with all of the fullness of God. And, may God strengthen me with might through the Holy Spirit that I may not lack this kind of faith.

Journal Entry 190

I have been meditating on the subject of joy and continually rejoicing in the Lord. Among many other emotions swirling internally, it seems that the most difficult one to experience is joy and happiness. It is one of the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Someone can look at the surface of my life and say, “that appears to be a very stressful and boring lifestyle.” A great temptation for me is to agree with that. This is not always the case. I used to find great joy in knowing that fact that I am glorifying through the difficult toils and labors in academics. The contentment in knowing that God was with me thrust me through the years college. The Lord currently has it where I am constantly physically and emotionally drained so that I can muster up false fire and joy through the work of my “flesh”.

True holy joy must come from the working of the Holy Spirit. I must continue to believe that Christ is with me at every step in this life-long Christian race. There are moments of great comfort when I am at work, and I can imagine Christ holding my hands, guiding me, as I administer medications to my patients or perform another nursing intervention. Those are fresh reminders of the love of Christ that I constantly need for the rest of my life.

“Others may, you cannot”, is a recurring message from my heavenly Father. Many other Christians in my church are having joyous fellowship with one another that I am prohibited from due to my responsibilities. There are many social outings in the Church that I would like to be invited to, but it just not happen by God’s sovereignty. There are people in the church that I would love to get to know more, but it seems nearly impossible during this season in my life.

Therefore, I am left alone for the majority of my time that the one true God, who is rightly jealous for whom He saves. “Here I am Lord!” “I am all yours!”, my heart screams. “Rejoice in Me! My peace is with you. I will supply all of your need according to My riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”, the Lord responds (Philippians 3:4; 4:19).

Journal 189

Hebrews 13:20-21: “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

I am going through multiple books/epistles in the Bible, which includes the book of Numbers. I feel like I am going through the wilderness similar to what the Israelites went through. Today my pastor, Tim Conway, preached and the fear of God was emphasized: “Now when the people complained, it displeased the LORD; for the LORD heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the LORD burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.” (Numbers 11:1).

I needed to not only the fear of God to renew my mind but also the gracious promises. I do not remember if Tim referenced a passage in Hebrews 13, and I do not remember what I was thinking when I turned to that chapter. There had to be a connection with what the preacher was saying and what Hebrews 13 had to say.

My bible is marked in such a way that if I turn to a particular verse I will notice the surrounding verses with a glance. The Lord gave me such precious truths to cling to. Firstly, Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'”

Then I noticed Hebrews 13:20-21. What a glorious passage to bring to the throne of grace through prayer to the Heavenly Father! Christ was raised from the dead! I am owned by the Great Shepherd. What can my enemies do to me as I journey through the valley of shadow and death? If Philippians 4:19 is as real to me as it ought to be, there will never be complaining.

Lastly, Hebrews 12:28-29 says, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”

 

Journal Entry 188

Lord willing, I will start my training for the Emergency Department this week. However, I am more focused on my school since I have an exam in less than 48 hours that I cannot fail anymore or else I will fail out of this graduate program. I do not feel as prepared as the previous one, and I want to be consistent. By God’s grace, I scored a 96.5% on the last exam, so I feel like I need to match that or score higher. The Lord has given me such a mindset to strive for excellence. Yet, I was humbled and reminded that I cannot do anything apart from Him.

After graduating from undergraduate nursing school, I knew I needed to take a break from school for a year. I did so, and it was a good time to rest, but the time flew by so quickly. Now, I am placed back in the Refiner’s fire by the sovereignty of God. I have been thinking much on 1 Peter 1:6-7:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” 

I remember that the Lord chastens me or discipline me to mold me into the image of Christ because He loves me (Hebrews 12:6). I recently listened to a short sermon or excerpt from Charles Leiter about trials. Brother Charles emphasized His love for the redeemed manifested in the trials that He puts them through. It is comforting to know that the Lord is infinitely wise and all-knowing.

I can only think of encountering much difficulty and anguish when I think of working in the ER. Yet, the Lord commands me to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4), especially when I meet various trials (James 1:2).Others may live a more relaxed lifestyle but I cannot right now. May God help me to persevere in this anxiety and depression-prone season of my life.