17. Tears of Struggle
Translate by Abraham Koo
Philippians 4:6-7. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
About ten years ago, the building I owned needed a thorough renovation, and I needed some capital to complete the renovation and cover daily maintenance needs. At the time, I was still in dire economic difficulty, I did not have extra cash on hand to handle the project, so I resorted to get a loan from the bank. At the time, the bank was willing to make the loan, but the condition was to put the building as a collateral and if I couldn’t pay back the loan on time, the bank would have the power to foreclose the building. I felt that immense pressure, I struggled greatly with a sense of resignation. Should I have become unable to pay off the debt owed, I will lose everything, I struggled greatly about that, and I was in deep despair… I needed hard cash, and I had no other choice but to make the bank loan. Beyond that, I also had to go get a personal loan elsewhere (from a loan shark), the interest of that was very high.
I felt that pain because I couldn’t find a way out, like bobbing in the ocean and swimming with all my might, yet not quite sure when I would reach ashore… All I could do was to pray, pled to God that let me one day in the future I should no longer have to live with this kind of struggle, money borrowing days. I recalled Matthew 6:34, which says, “Do not worry for tomorrow, for tomorrow will have its own worry, it is sufficient to bear one day’s burden.” ‘Though one weeps in the evening, one shall shout for joy in the morning’. I knew God will look after me, have mercy and help me! For Psalm 46:1 says, “God is my shelter, He is my strength, He is my constant help in the midst of trouble.” Thank God for His comfort, to depend on God and through faith, I took each step to continue my life’s jour
Many years later, I ran into the same person whom I borrowed money from before (the loan shark) and his name was Myron. He had just bought a new luxury car, so I casually asked how much he paid for it. He said, “I didn’t have to pay for this car, I used the interest you paid me for it, more than what I needed. This car was your gift to me, so I have to thank you.” After that he treated me to dinner and said to me, “This meal was on your expense too, because of the high interest you had to pay before, was more than enough to pay for this dinner.” Hearing those words, they pricked at my conscience and my heart felt sick. I finally awakened to the fact that I had not managed my finance well before, resulting in many wasted resources. I wholeheartedly repented to God, saying, ‘God, please forgive me! For I have been very wasteful with my finances. If this sweat blood money wasn’t used to pay off the loan shark, but to be used for your sacred ministry, how excellent would that be? So, help me, give me wisdom, and teach me to become a person who is after your own heart, a faithful and good steward.’ God accepted my prayer, and from that point on, I began my ‘spiritual journey’.