18. Tears of Singing Praises
Author: Raymond Eng
Translator: Abraham Koo
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. (Psalm 146:2)
After the building was completely renovated, the rent I received could only sustain the building maintenance expense and our normal family needs, with very little cash left. At the time I owned just one ‘Popeyes Chicken’, I wanted to expand ‘Popeyes Chicken’ market to increase revenue, but it took substantial capital to open a new business, so I had planned to take out another bank loan. Yet this time, the loan wasn’t easily approved, because at the time (2008 AD), the country was experiencing economic decline. The government was particularly strict about loans, so banks just couldn’t write up any loan agreement easily. With nowhere else to turn but the loan-shark, the interest I had to pay each week was astronomical, and it was very difficult to pay him back.
On top of that, I had to try my best to borrow money from relatives and friends, should the bank turn me down this time, I would be toast and that would be the end of my business. If that happens, the money I owed friends, relatives and loan shark I wouldn’t be able to pay back… When I thought of that… I felt despondent and pitiful… tears filled my face, and I couldn’t sleep neither day nor night. At one time, I thought I was the ‘fat boss’, not because of my physique being chubby, but my ‘wallet’. So many people wanted to get a piece of me. I must say it was those ‘I want it, I get it’ A-list days, whenever I go out I would have 3-4 bodyguards, I wear brand name suits, I drive luxury cars, and I live in luxury condos, but look at me now, down in the dumps! As I thought, I cried the tears of helplessness that swells up from my heart.
But I will insist on this one thing, regardless of how much my income is, every month I will give my regular offerings to church and organizations, so that, the family of God will have no lack. But for now, I didn’t even have money to give these offerings. So, I borrowed money from friends so I can give my offering. One brother in the church reminded me, that no one has ever given offering by borrowing money to do so. For God may not be pleased with such offering, and fear I may become a stumbling block for someone else. I knew his guidance is from the heart. After I prayed, I was at peace. I gave because the house of God has needs, God knew my heart. Psalm 139:1-3 says, “Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up, you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.” I rather work harder, I do not want to see God’s family have lack, I do this out of the love of God hoping the gospel can have a broader reach, so that more people can come to know Christ.
One day I read Psalm 91:14-15, it says, “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him, I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him.” The word of God comforted me once again, so as God has helped me, whom shall I fear? Though I was weeping, my tears were tears of singing praises; I experienced God by faith to follow his steps for the rest of my life.
Then a miracle happened! A Taiwanese bank (Mega ICBC) was willing to make me a loan, the banker was a Christian. When we met for the first time, I had given him my first book, ‘Praying Tears’. This book was my testimony of how God saved me in my failures, perhaps because of this book, God moved in his heart to grant me the loan?
Life isn’t always smooth sailing, I have already lived more than 70 years; I have had experienced numerous winds and storms of life, yet every one of these storms deepened my knowledge of God. For He is the only one I can depend on! God’s grace is sufficient for me, for ‘his power is made perfect through those who are weak,’ my faith through the years have also grown. I believe ‘when the flood comes, the Lord is still on the throne’, his faithfulness changes not! ‘the heaven and earth shall change, but God never’. Therefore, I do not fear nor dismay, for I know who holds tomorrow, so I shall forever sing my praises to Him.
Credit: Edited by Angelyn Loh.