【Tears Of My Heart】14. Tears of Shepherd
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.Psalm 29:10
In this world there are many trials and pains. Every person will experience life and death, sickness, growing old, etc. Like the Bible said in Job 34:15, “All flesh shall die, and man shall return to dust.” So as believers, we shall experience death, and so shall the pastor.
Pastor Fung shared with us in our fellowship, his experience during his wife’s ailment. At the time, his wife was already seriously ill, yet pastor Fung kept praying to God. He was hoping God would be merciful to add to his wife’s earthly days for another year, so that they can return to China to do mission work. But God didn’t answer that prayer, God took his wife home. He loved his wife very much and was reluctant to let her go… This reminds me of a Sung dynasty poem written by Wu So, who wrote to commemorates his wife’s passing, ‘years we spent together were unforgettable times, now death separates us, only the lone grave so distance mark my grief,.’ After Mrs. Fung’s departure, Pastor Fung felt deeply despondent as well as angry! He knew God was almighty and can do all things, why then the Almighty God did not listen to his prayer? Why did God have to take his wife away? I felt his pain, for Pastor Fung is also a person of flesh and blood, a person who has struggles, at the end he surrendered to God to accept it as fact and continue his life of service.
I also think of Pastor Roycos Hom, his only daughter lost her life through sickness when she was in her late teens. I felt for him. But he has not complained one bit to God, for he believes in God’ absolute sovereignty, for he knows “no man has power to retain the spirit, or power over the day of death.” (Ecclesiastes 8:8a) His obedience, faithfulness and faith is indeed outstanding.
Many years ago, Pastor Paul Siu died so suddenly. It was very shocking. I felt very sad for his family, for life is indeed so fragile. He was still young and strong; I couldn’t wrap my head around this as to why God would suddenly take him and leave his family? Why not let him live for a few more years so more people could be blessed through his ministry? I couldn’t understand it, try as I might I had no answer for it.
These are faithful servants of God and spiritual elders, the first two had been praying for God to add to days of life for their ailing loved ones, but God alone is the Lord of life. The very night Jesus was betrayed, He prayed to God the Father saying, “Father, you can do all things, I pray for you to remove this bitter, yet not my will, but you will be done.’ (Mark 14:36) In order to fulfill salvation of mankind, God had not listened to the prayer of his son. When God took Pastor Chung, in the eyes of man we grieve for this loss, yet from the spiritual angle being with the Lord is far better than anything else. This again reminds us heaven is our eternal home. We are only transiting through earth. This reminds me of the 3rd chapter in Ecclesiastics saying, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to born, and a time to die, a time to cry, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, a time to dance…He has also made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what god has done from the beginning to the end.”
I also think of the song titled, ‘I know who holds tomorrow’, its lyrics says, ‘many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hands!’
Though we don’t quite understand the work of God, but I believe He is the Lord who holds tomorrow. He also is the one who is the Lord of our lives, so we must trust Him. He has counted our every strand of hair. If God doesn’t permit, not a single strand will fall on the ground! God has his plan in every one of our lives, may we ask the Lord to ‘teach us to number our days, so we shall gain a heart of wisdom’, may God teach us not to waste life, but help us to live well for His purpose in our brief lives.
Authorized to publish by Raymond Eng. Edited by Angelyn Loh. Translated by Abraham Koo.