A few weeks ago we had visitors at our church, Pastor David and his wife. Pastor David is an amazing Christian man. His story is that he was born in Vietnam into a “very Buddhist” family. I’m not entirely sure what happened but through a miracle of God’s grace one of the members of their family’s life was saved (I think) and so the entire family became Christians.
I don’t personally know but I imagine it was a hard life being a Christian in a “very Buddhist” society. I’m pretty sure you would feel alone and at times find yourself in some tough situations.
Then, Pastor David and his family and friends were thrown in prison during the Vietnam war. I don’t even want to think what atrocities they suffered at the hands of other men. But eventually they were released and ended up in Canada a while later (praise God!).
I think we singles have a good idea of what it is like to be immersed in a society were we stick out, where we sometimes seem like we’re the only ones. We might even feel alone and find ourselves in some tough situations sometimes…
I think, though, that we can learn from Pastor David who has been through so much in his life.
The pastor of my church later told me that he had asked Pastor David to say the closing prayer for our service that morning but Pastor David said no.
I was surprised (seriously! What pastor turns down a chance to speak, let alone pray?).
So I asked my pastor why Pastor David turned him down. I was expecting to hear that he was worried about his english but instead Pastor Ralph said that he didn’t want to pray amidst our congregation yet because he always cries when he prays.
This man, who has been through well more than we can even imagine, cries every time he talks to the Living God! Our God of grace who has seen Pastor David through incredible times can still evoke in this man a intense feeling of gratitude to his Creator and sense of wonder at how such a great God can love one so undeserving.
Wow. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for our heartache and pain, for our aloneness and sorrow–that we might learn to truly appreciate what God has done for us and to give us a chance for God to teach us true gratitude.
Bless you, Pastor David!