Today’s post features guest contributor, Deb Hoang. She is a living proof of God’s restorative grace at work-in-progress as a wife, mother, friend, and follower of Christ. She has tremendous reverence for power of words to influence and inspire people’s thoughts and actions. As she shares her personal reflections, she prays they will echo God’s truth.
“They are treating us to dinner,” my translator informed me. Five adults, four children, and a baby climbed into a truck. After a bumpy ride down the mountain, we were all relieved to arrive in front of a small convenience store. The pastor’s wife handed each person one tapioca bread roll and a bottle of water.
Seriously? This is dinner? I tried to conceal my disappointment.
During our dinner conversation, I learned that three of the four children were orphans adopted by the pastor and his wife. The baby belonged to the remaining young girl. They rescued her from a sexually abusive father, who had impregnated her.
Staring into the smiling faces of these innocent children, I felt the power of God’s love working through this lovely couple. Clearly, they were living on very limited funds. To assume physical, emotional and spiritual responsibility of raising five children seemed absolutely amazing.
Could I do something like that? Could I be that selfless? That courageous? Or generous?
The world has witnessed selfless, courageous Christians like Corrie ten Boom, a middle-aged, Dutch clockmaker, who was sent to concentration camps for hiding Jews during the Holocaust. She chose to walk the path of righteousness rather than leave it up to someone else or close her eyes to the injustice. She knew the consequences of her actions if they were discovered! She knew the cost!
Who does that? Who risks safety of her entire extended family in hopes of preserving human rights of 6 people? Who chooses a path of personal destruction, hoping to fight against evil and injustice of genocide?
Then, I remembered Esther’s resolve and stance expressed through her famous words, “If I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16).
Of course, the question is whether we will readily respond this way when we are called? Honestly, I am not sure if I would have the courage to do so, but I think we make similar choices more often than we realize.
When we offer to pray for our non-believing colleagues or neighbors, we are saying, “If I get rejected, I get rejected.”
When we volunteer to serve at church, we are saying, “If I am tired, I am tired.”
And when we contribute financially to church or donate to a charity, we are saying, “If I have to do with less, I have to do with less.”
Moving forward, let us make choices that affirm our trust in God regardless of the outcome, confident in “His good, pleasing and perfect will” for our life (Romans 12:2). Whatever risks involved in obedience, let us work toward attaining the kind of faith in Christ’s love for us in all circumstances, expressed by Apostle Paul in Romans 8:35-39:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Note: This series of devotionals reflect on concepts and truths presented in Undaunted, a bible study by Christine Caine. The devotionals are be written by Deb Hoang, Erin Nicole Thompson, and Tracy Stella as noted.