Friday, April 24, 2009

the april post.

Its April. In about three days, I will be heading off to Hong Kong for four months. The flight to Hong Kong is going to end my second year of studies at McGill, which overall, has been a very painful one.

This year has been a very lonely year. Coming from the kind of environment at the Vine and SCP, I came to Montreal last September with a goal to seek relationships with other brothers and sisters who could walk with me and support me. Unfortunately, the chemistry just didn’t work out with most Christians I met at church. I did not really have much fun this year. I did not have people around me who I could enjoy time with. For the few friends I did have, I seemed to break the trust a couple times, for reasons that I do not know. It began to take a toll on my self-confidence and I doubted my ability to be social. That explains why I may have acted weird or awkward this past year … I was not myself.

However, while at my most lowest moments, God lifted me up and placed me in His Sanctuary. Although my roommates know how annoying my room can be, it turned out to be a blessing. My room has been my sanctuary this year. It has been my first room that I have personally designed and arranged. I love the space and natural sunlight that it gets. Many days I have spent in that brown chair, just listening to God, and being comforted by him (and for all the friends of Caleb who have his brag about his “chair” … my chair is bigger). Many times I have worshiped on that carpet, just praising and crying to Him. Many times I have studied at my desk, just taking in all that God has been teaching me about Him.

God also told me in early January to go on a retreat, away from the issues in Montreal. God also spoke to Charis and Ricki to excessively advertise the IVCF retreat to me every time I met with them. So I went. It was such a great time of fellowship. I got to spend time with people who I could feel comfortable with, who I knew I could just be myself around. It was at this retreat that I met most of the MCF execs and staff workers. It was through meeting these people that I became a MCF leader. Crazy how He works eh?

Especially near the end of the semester, the frustration and the pain increased. However, also near the end of the semester, it seems that every sermon/bible study/devotional piece I have heard or read was about how painful times are placed in our lives for His purpose. There is a purpose for the pain, and that purpose is for our own benefit. I am reminded of a few of the verses that have gotten me through this past semester.

Proverbs 3:12
My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Philippians 1:12
Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.

Romans 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

I have learned that the comfort that I cry out for while suffering does not come from the end of suffering, but rather when I realize that the suffering exists because God is moulding me and training me, because he loves me and that he is doing something good in my life for His benefit and mine as well, I am comforted.

As most of you know, I am now in Theology studies at McGill. I decided to pursue this major because I felt that I wanted to really discover what it means to be a Christian, not what I have been spoon-fed/brained-washed my entire life. It is truly amazing what God has been teaching me about Him this past year, even from atheist and non-Christian professors.

It was around Reading Week that God started to show me what he wanted to do with my life. During that week, I was able to talk to a number of people about God, without even trying. The conversations I had with people naturally turned towards that direction. I was able to care for my brothers and sisters, to pray for them, and to encourage them that God is even more comforting than I could ever be. After reading week, I was amazed at how many people I talked to about Jesus, about what he has done for me.

I applied to Theology only for the sake of knowing more about what it means to be a Christian. I just wanted to learn, I didn’t really want to become a pastor. I wrote on my application that I didn’t really want to do ministry yet. I have this fear of full-time ministry that I would be dealing with a lot of problems. I think what did get me scared about ministry is seeing my Dad, and how much pain and crap he has gone through with ordained ministry in a church. Also, I felt that there was nothing special for a pastor's son to become a pastor... wheres the creativity for Josh? But the more I study about Jesus, the more I just cant hold him in. As I posted on my status a week ago, God is filling me up like a water balloon. The water is Jesus. Eventually, it is going to burst and everyone around me is going to get wet, even if I do not want to. The greatest thing I realized about ministry is that I really do not have to gather up my own energy to serve him. I mean, yes it can be tiring, but its like I do not need to find motivation for it. Its like those toy cars. I do not need to drag and pull the toy car backwards in order for it to go farther. All I need to do is just let my heart talk about Jesus. Its something I feel I am already ready for. All I need to do is talk about how ugly I was, about all the addictions, mistakes, mean things I did, mean things I thought, and how after Jesus, I became something I could never of imagined. All I need to do is talk about the truth, that there is a person who is willing to take lethal injection for me, while I stand behind the plexi-glass. If I just focus on talking about Jesus, then there is nothing I need to be scared about.

I don’t know what God has in store for me, perhaps its full-time ministry at a Church, perhaps its missionary work, or perhaps its work-placement ministry. But what I do know is that I want to talk about Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. I like this blog... especially the "sharingwithchu" bit haha =).

    Keep searching.