On Monday, I visited a doctor’s office because for the past couple weeks I have been suffering from constant migraine. Although we are to live in faith, there are times when our faith is tested & even strained because on the mission field many variables have to fall into the right place at the right time. Therefore much time is spent in prayer. In fact, prayer is one of the main responsibilities in missions because ultimately it is HE who is sovereign.
I have to say that my visit to the doctor’s office left me quite impressed. Even though it was actually a pediatrician that I visited, the doctor left me feeling confident that he had done a thorough examination. I was very thankful for his care & that he was able to communicate in decent English because my Mandarin is nowhere enough for medical communication. We’re praying that with the prescribed medicine I will feel better soon.
My migraine prompted 2 thoughts that resonated within me.
One is that we are frail human beings. It matters not, if you have been healthy all your life, if you’re a gifted athlete, that nothing seems to hurt you & that you have a great track record so far. The truth is life is fragile. Any one thing can disrupt & destroy your life as you know it. There are literally millions of people who can testify to this harsh reality. As a pastor I’ve seen too many lives being interrupted & altered by unforeseen events beyond their control. What I am talking about is not just limited to what is physical, but emotional, relational & spiritual as well. There are probably more people whose inner selves are wounded & shattered than those who are suffering physically. Counselors & psychologists, and therapists will most likely concur.
Life, our bodies & minds are all fragile.
We often see in our neighborhood people burning papers, praying & offering sacrifices to idols, their ancestors & gods… out of fear that their lives can be disrupted & that their fortune taken away. The picture below is from behind our apartment & was taken on our way out to church on Sunday morning.
They want to appease the spirits… out of fear. What they don’t know is that the only one who is supremely in control of all things is JESUS, the Son of God who was born of a virgin approximately 2,000 years ago. He came because although we may not be able to see how our lives will unfold, we can be confident that He has planned & is presently working for our good & for His eternal glory!
We know this to be grace. Very much like a curved ball that life throws at us, grace is something we never saw coming. But unlike disruptions in life, grace touches & changes us quite differently. Rather than making us afraid of our own frailty, grace helps us to cherish all things & even lay down what’s essential to our being for something greater & eternal.
Therefore the 2nd thought that challenges me is that everything I have: my health, my family, our finance & our missions in Taiwan are all because of HIS GRACE.
Knowing these 2 truths… our frailty & the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how are we to live each day? The real question is, “Are we moved by fear or grace?” The answer to that question will be reflected in our daily decisions & actions.
Grace or fear? It is our choice.