by Karen Chung
By the grace of God, Karen will be starting her first year at UofT for plastic and reconstructive surgery. She asks for your prayers, that she may abide in God daily
I had the privilege of watching the beautiful Janessa Se Lan marry Timothy Gee on June 11 2016 at the Elk Ridge Resort in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. All names have been granted with permission.
God used this wedding to share five lessons about Christ, and I write them now. I write to remember, to understand, and to testify. I pray that this will be a blessing for you.
"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" (Mark 8: 36)
This verse was on Bible Gateway, and lead me to Mark 8, my new bread for my daily hour with God (last week He lead me to Ephesians). As the busyness of residency approached and the process of adjusting began, His Holy Spirit and His still, quiet voice continued to nudge me to write down Carrie's and Roshini's testimony of faith during Janessa's wedding on June 11/12.
Mark 8:17-21 convicted me. The disciples saw the miracle of the seven loaves of bread becoming seven basketfuls left, after feeding 4,000. Yet, one boat ride later, they were concerned when they only brought one loaf:
"Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: 'Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?' 'Twelve,' they replied. 'And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?' They answered, 'Seven.' He said to them, 'Do you still not understand?' (Mark 8:17-21)
This is written to remember, and to understand how much power our God has, and how He meets our needs faithfully, every time.
Leaving the Elk Ridge resort, I open the back car door and see two new, beautiful and friendly faces smiling back at me. Carrie and Roshini were two of Janessa's American friends who had met Janessa during a summer Christian medical elective in California. These two beautiful women shared life stories of faith, faith that moved mountains. Most importantly, their words encouraged and inspired me to look towards God, our father.
When I remember Roshini, I remember how she looked at me. She had these beautiful, warm, brown eyes which made me feel as though she truly cared about everything I had to say. When I looked at Roshini, I felt His love.
Her parents were both born in India. At many levels, their marriage was taboo. Her mother was Hindu and her father was Christian. Then, her mother became a Christian. Still, they were both from different castes, where her father was quite wealthy. By the grace of God, they were married. For eight years, they tried to have a baby.
At this point, Roshini smiles, "My parents had a lot of faith." One day, they're going for a drive. Her mom says to her dad, "I'm dizzy." Her dad says to her mom, "You're pregnant."
"No, I'm not, I'm just dizzy."
They take a pregnancy test and it's positive. They take a pregnancy test every week thereafter for a month and it's positive. It's confirmed by ultrasound by her family doctor in October. Roshini is born full term in February, and her mother experienced no pain during labour! When she is just two and half years old, she asks her mother for a baby brother. She's told to ask Jesus. Her brother is born.
Roshini laughs, "I let my brother know, it's because I prayed for you, you were born!"
Carrie begins to share. She has this beautiful voice, smooth and soft. When she speaks, words come together harmoniously, sharpening my heart and nourishing my soul. A few of the quotes she shared still resonate in my mind.
"To all those who compare themselves, why do you compare? You think you're the standard? Who made you the standard? Jesus Christ is the standard. He's the only one worth comparing to"
"His ears are this close. He is so ready to hear and listen and answer our prayers."
Carrie felt unprepared to write an important end-of-year exam. What struck me is what she said next: "So I began praying and fasting for my exam."
One night, as she was praying and fasting, she saw a bunch of numbers swirl around her head. These numbers became a ratio. She said "Oh Lord, if these numbers are my test result, what a testimony that will be!" This was Monday night. She had to write her exam on Wednesday. She wrote her exam, and committed it to God.
Her test result? The ratio God had given her before her exam.
Our God is so good.
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." (Ephesians 1: 18-20)