Horizontally-speaking, life feels rather one-dimensional: hard.
Having a horizontally-challenged perspective is a big part of what makes us human. Too often, the limited perspective makes us believe this moment is all that is and the scene in front of us is all that will ever be.
Of course we know better than that, but at times that’s how it feels.
What we need is a vertical perspective when we’re waiting for something life-changing. We need assurance there’s an end in sight when we’re going through something heart-breaking. We need faith in a sovereign God when we’re called on to suffer.
God promises a future and a hope. He promises sustaining grace for every trial. He promises His presence with you—as close as your heartbeat and as near as your breath. He promises to never leave you. And never to walk away.
So today, allow God to take away your fear of the unknown and replace it with a calm, quiet confidence. He knows the path of your life from a thousand feet as well as the route that you take on your way to work today.
So, if you’re struggling today, it’s going to be OK. And if it’s not OK yet, then it’s not the end.
Job 23:10: “But [God] knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”
You may not see it, but . . . the best is yet to be.
It’s Friday evening, I just knocked off from work, ( well actually more like knocked out ). It’s one of those days that you unknowingly made a teeny weeny silly mistake and start feeling a wee bit down.
As I stepped into as busy mall, can’t help but noticed the crowd, shoppers, diners; after all It’s the weekend. Not wanting to wander around aimlessly alone, I decided to grab a quick dinner at a busy food court. As I plunked down onto my seat with my tray of food, I thought to myself “Oh well, I have breakfast alone, lunch alone ( because I’m the only employee in office, you don’t really count your boss as a lunch buddy right?), and now dinner alone. But I thank God I have food to eat! ”
Before I could take a second mouthful of food, a young lady with long hair walked up ” Is this seat taken? ” The seat opposite me was empty. “No, You may sit here.” I replied. She thanked me with a smile and sat down. Out of curiosity, I asked “You don’t sound like a local, where are you from? ” She smiled again and replied “Myanmar “.
We started chatting, about the food, what she does and how long she’s been living here. ” I’ve been staying here for 10 years, I love it here but I’m going back next month to take care of my mum.” At this juncture, I thought this may be the last time I see her, perhaps I can pray for her mother or share about God’s love and healing to her. However, to my surprise and delight, she’s already a believer.
“It’s tough when I first came, I had to adapt to the culture and work was stressful, so much so that I dreaded going to work everyday. ” “That must have been tough on you, how did you overcome that? ” I asked eagerly. Her answer was simple yet amazing ” I just focus on God throughout the day, all the time, at every hour I’d whisper a prayer to thank God for bringing me through another hour. After some time, things got better. ” She went on to recount how small David defeated gigantic Goliath, one of her favourite accounts in the Bible, she added ” Though the Goliaths in our life look formidable, we have God on our side.” I am so touched by her simple yet steadfast faith. We chatted over dinner about life, family, her love for cooking, life in her country. She had a passion for ministry and desire for sharing God’s love to our countrymen.
At the end of dinner, we’re like 2 old friends reunited. We exchanged contact numbers and I told her we should do dinner before she goes back to her home country. ‘ Yes, and if you come to my country, I’ll bring you around, and who knows, we can become ministry partners one day!’ She chuckled.
As I made my way home, the initial lonely ‘down and out’ feeling was gone, instead I feel so encouraged by the faith of my new friend and her passion for helping her fellow countrymen. I never thought I’d be engaging in such an inspiring conversation tonight. I had started out wanting to help her but instead I was the one being helped (encouraged).
You may call it a chance meeting but I can’t help but feel amazed by this divine appointment. I concur witj the famous scientist, Albert Einstein “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. ” I thank my heavenly Father that once again He has given me what I needed when I needed it most, He truly is watching over me!
This morning, I was passing through MacDonald’s (not my normal route), to get to my bus stop. I can’t help but notice an old lady sitting at a corner, drinking from her mug. Catching a quick glimpse of her, I was about to hurry through the exit, when something made me stop and turn around. I walked back to the old lady in the corner. She was scruffy, with an umbrella, a walking stick and 2 large bags of what looked like garbage (or perhaps scrap paper and cardboard for recycling?). I just felt prompted to do something for her. So I asked if she needed anything. Initially she declined, I asked again ‘Can I get you a burger?’ She replied ‘fish burger’.
As I trodded back into the front of the counter and started queuing, I had no idea why I was doing this, it was a work day morning and I was hurrying to work. So there I was standing in line and I thought, ok, I’ll just buy a burger, pass it to her and get on my journey. However, I heard a voice telling me ‘get yourself a breakfast, sit and eat with her’ I replied ‘God, I already have breakfast in my bag, I’m in a hurry’ Yet, I felt I had to go sit with the old lady, so I bought breakfast.
Returning to the old lady, I sat down, passed her the burger and a hot tea. She started speaking ‘You know girl, I can take hardships.’ I was lost for words. She continued to pour out to me, how she was working a cleaner and used to have 4 to 5 jobs a week but now she’s only left with 1 job due to weakness in her leg. To add on to her troubles, an unknown man had been taking money from her and she felt compelled to give to him, a few dollars at a time. She told me she didn’t understand why but she could not resist giving him a few dollars, not that he threatened or solicited from her, just that he would always say something nice to her.
As she talked, I asked God to help me, give me the words to say to her. When she paused, I looked her in the eye and asked ‘Do you feel lonely?’ She looked surprised and said, ‘How do you know?’ She teared as she said ‘Every night, I feel I’m getting mad from feeling so alone.’ This had me fighting hard to control my tears, I am familiar with the sting of loneliness too. At this point, I asked her did she believe in Jesus, she said yes. I told her that Jesus loves her and asked if she wanted to receive Jesus Christ into her heart, to which she was hesitant. Then, I asked if I can pray for her leg, she replied ‘Yes, and not only for my leg, can you pray that God will take my loneliness away?’ I said ‘Sure’. Holding her pair of hands which were slightly deformed by arthritis ( I wondered when was the last time someone touched this pair of hands), I prayed for her physical healing, and that she can come to experience God’s love, joy and peace. As I prayed, I felt God sees her as His precious daughter and I spoke that out to her. She revealed that she had been hoping to meet someone who can help her with the loneliness problem. Showing deep appreciation, she said she felt a load had been lifted up from her. I assured her God is always with her and He cares for her, she just has to call out to Him.
Before I left, I tried to ask her for a contact number but she said she had no phone and was reluctant to reveal much about where she stays. When I left her, I only knew she stays around the neighbourhood, I’m not sure if I’ll meet her again, but I trust God will heal her physical body and her heart.
While I continued on my way to work, I marveled at this ‘divine appointment’. It wasn’t in my plan to be there at that time, at that place this morning, but I happened to be. I’m thankful that I can be a messenger of God’s love. If a fish burger and 40 minutes of my time can make a difference in someone’s live, I’d gladly do this any day. This is what makes life worthwhile, not wealth, not getting hitched, not having kids, not career achievement or wining the lottery. The satisfaction of doing something that counts for eternity surpasses any sense of achievement this world can give.
When you start to see Jesus in every situation and area of your life..
there’s peace in the midst of tribulation,
there’s assurance in the midst of anxiety,
there’s provision in the midst of lack,
there’s healing in the midst of sickness,
there’s comfort in the midst of loneliness,
there’s joy in the midst of grief,
there’s courage in the midst of fear.
2 Samuel 22: 31 – As for God, His way is perfect;The word of the Lord is proven;He is a shield to all who trust in Him.