“Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
I felt quite unsettled towards the end of November 2019 after my dad passed on. My mom was living alone in Seremban. Even though my mom’s younger brother lives near where my mom lives at (less than 10 km away), we were hoping to find a better arrangement for her. However, she still preferred to live alone.
At that point in time, I was also preoccupied with the work commitment at the Dream Centre with Hall 1 renovation works and other list of things to complete.
Then came Covid-19 and MCO. During the first two months of the MOC, even though I enjoyed my time at home with my family especially, deep down inside I was restless and confused. I did not know how to cope internally as it felt as though I was suddenly left without work to do! I could not travel nor go anywhere. All the bad news that I was listening to also began affecting me.
Then came Pr. Chris’s daily devotionals shared online. I truly thank GOD for Pr. Chris’s daily messages during that period which helped me greatly to realign my focus, thus making the necessary adjustments to embrace the new norm.
Among the messages shared by Pr. Chris during the two months, there were at least two statements made that stood out so clearly to me:
- Don’t waste the MCO (as I was literally wasting my time during the MCO!)
- How would I live my life differently after this pandemic.
It was then that GOD specifically pointed out to me to make an impact on lives. And to do that I must love them first. The people He meant here were not the churched but the unchurched.
I knew that GOD needed to do a deeper work in my heart in order for me to live my life differently and impact the lives of the different groups of people.
It was during this period that the song “Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me” ministered to me greatly. I knew that GOD was doing something deeper in me. I must now live life differently but I was not yet sure how that can be done or what is next!
During the fourth week in the month of May, I started waking up at 4am in the morning. It must be GOD! I initially went back straight to sleep for the first and second morning. By the third morning I was fully awake at 4am so I told myself to get up, sensing that GOD must have something important to tell me.
I got up, went down stairs, opened my bible and the verse Luke 22:46 jumped right out at me. It said:
“Why are you sleeping?” He asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” I got the point!
But what drew my attention was the word “temptation” which initially I thought was the usual ones mentioned in the Bible. But later, GOD revealed to me clearly that it is in fact my WORK in church that HE was referring to. I immediately understood what HE meant.
I first came on board the DUMC staff team in mid-2006 after having spent 3 months at home seeking GOD’s direction and confirmation. GOD spoke to me 3 times saying “Trust Me” and confirmed it with peace in my heart. So I knew it was GOD’s call on my life.
It then dawned on me that I had shifted my focus from the Caller to the called. That became the main reason why I felt so unsettled. It was not my mom’s situation, even though it did affect me some; but it was my heart that had shifted in focus. I have learned that when GOD speaks, HE would make it known clearly to me, without any confusion.
Along the way, the LORD continued to reveal more of what HE has done; helping me connect the dots. One instance was how HE used 1 song, which I had selected for a Friday CG meeting, to confirm in me what HE had revealed to me in Luke 22:46
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus (Chorus) Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the Light of His Glory and Grace
The main point of my sharing is this: Over the past 14 years serving in DUMC, my heart and focus somehow have shifted from GOD to the things I do. I tend to focus on getting the work done and would aim to do it well. But I slowly missed out on the joy of doing the work together with JESUS. Although I still talk to GOD daily but it became more about work and less about enjoying the time spent with HIM.
During the MCO, GOD changed all that. In summary, GOD connected all the dots and revealed to me HE has never taken HIS eyes away from me and my love ones.
Before I end I will just share 1 story quickly about how GOD used many stories especially those close to my heart which only GOD knows specifically and connecting them to tell me that HE has never taken HIS eyes away from me and my loved ones.
I shared about my mom earlier who lives alone. It was GOD who had prepared her to live alone for 7 months since April 2019, after my dad was placed in a nursing home because he couldn’t walk and needed people to help him daily. When my dad passed on last November 2019, it came together nicely as my mom had already been used to staying alone at home without my dad being close to her everyday. My mom is 82 years old now and accepted Christ 3 years ago in year 2017. During MCO up until today she has been attending church online almost every Saturday, using her handphone. Thank GOD for brothers and sisters in Christ from the local church.
(My dad accepted Christ in 2018, baptized in January 2019 and passed on in November the same year. He was 91 years old then. This is another amazing testimony of GOD's goodness and faithfulness that I will never forget.)
During the MCO, GOD also sent food to my mom almost daily through different ones. One kind soul even baked bread for her regularly.
Once she was concerned about the fact that several houses nearby were vacant, which could possibly attract unwanted attention. During the month of May, two houses were occupied with tenants and that gave her peace of mind. GOD clearly assured me on not having to worry about my mom because HE has been taking care of her all this while even without me noticing.
The LORD proved to me that HE has never taken HIS eyes off me and my loved ones.
Would I not also turn my eyes upon JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, at ALL times?