Widow of Naim

The sermon this evening just flew past me. Is that what happens when you are working as a church staff? Too many things flying through my head. The booth on Prayer Booklet, the booth on Workers Recruitment for Children’s Camp, and I was preparing the slides for Workers Recruitment for Children’s Camp during the sermon. Imagine that! Such a bad example.

However, last night’s cell is still fresh in my mind. It was about Jesus Raises the Son of the Widow of Naim.

11 Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a c ity called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. 12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14 Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15 So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.
16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.” 17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region. (‭Luke‬ ‭7‬:‭11-17‬ NKJV)

One of the questions posted was, “What do you see when you read this passage?” In other words (to me), What do you feel or what thoughts ran through your mind as you read this passage? Read this passage slowly and picture yourself in that moment. What is it like to you?
As for me, I pictured myself as a bystander in that place. Looking at the widow weeping and mourning over her only son. My heart goes out to her, I felt pity for her, yet there’s nothing I can offer her. Then came Jesus, I might not know that He is the Son of God. At first glance I might just think that He’s just a foreigner passing by. Someone who has a compassion towards a mourning woman, consoling her, telling her not to weep anymore. But He did a miracle in the blink of an eye. There were no introduction between Jesus and the widow, the widow did not even tell Jesus what happened. The situation is as though a stranger just walk up to the widow, offering a word of condolence or maybe sympathy, and what He did next just stunned the crowd and everyone there. All eyes must’ve been upon Him as He spoke to the widow, and as He touched the coffin. Then, as He command the young man to rise, I’m sure there are people in the crowd that thinks that He is out of His mind. I think I would think that it’s ridiculous if I was there. But, what happened next would just stunned the whole crowd. The young man sat up and began speaking (I imagine everyone’s jaw must’ve dropped!). And Jesus presented (I’d like to think He gave him back to his mother) the young man back to his mother. His mother must’ve been ever so grateful to Jesus for bringing the young man back from the dead. As for me, a by stander, I have just witness a miracle! In less than 5 minutes, Jesus turned the mourning atmosphere into a celebration of life!

Jesus turned the situation 360° around for the widow. He literally turned her mourning into dancing! How amazing is our Jesus?
As I was walking towards my car, I suddenly recalled something I learned from the Buddhist Sunday School I attended when I was young. A woman approach Buddha about her son who died. He told her to bring her a seed (or something) from a household where death has not touched. Of course she found none. In every household, there will be death.
But Jesus don’t need any of that. Jesus just commanded the young man to rise and he rose from the dead! This shows His authority over even death! Even until today, miracles as such are taking place, that at the name of Jesus, the dead are revived, but these went unreported.

Each of us has our needs and wants. What is our lack now? Just like the widow, what are we mourning at? Present it to Jesus and tell Jesus what do you want I see Him do in your life. Take a few minutes to think through…
I felt that I’m contented with what I have now. I’m glad that right now both hubby and I are pretty happy with what we have (at least that’s what I thought). Comparative to the first 2 years of our marriage, I feel that these past 1-2 years has been much better especially on my side. I don’t know how he felt about it but I feel that we are more tolerant of each other, we understand each other a little better (I always think that it was because I gave in much, but I know that it is Jesus working in our marriage. It is Him working this out for us). Still, there is room for improvement. Right now my biggest challenge is that I feel that there’s an invisible wall between us. We need to communicate to each other. We need to talk to each other. I felt a lot of times I think I know how he feels but actually, I don’t know how he feels. We do talk but mostly very superficial things like food, movies, things we do, work… We don’t share our feelings with each other. The only thing I know is that, he is very much worried about is finance. Money. He’s also contributing a lot in ministry. But is he neglecting Jesus in the midst of all the work? Is he serving God yet missing Jesus? It feels that way to me.
I hope to see Jesus bringing us closer to each other, placing Him in the centre of our lives. I hope to see a change before the arrival of our little one. I felt like that there’s nothing I can do but the only thing that I can do is pray. I place this hope in Jesus’s hands for He can work a miracle. Just like what he’d did for the widow, he can also do for me. Turn the situation 360° around.

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Five loaves of bread and two small fishes

Although I am only posting this today (18-Feb-2014). I began writing this article on 8-Feb-2014. I didn’t manage to finish writing it as it was late in the night and my eyes was in a battle with my mind to stay open. I was also stuck halfway, don’t know how to “pen” the words down and even writing I don’t know what. There were too many things that I wrote about or maybe too many thoughts as I reflect back. Only today did I manage to find the right words. Writing this is also a little time spend with a God as I reflect on His goodness. So tempted to say writing all that I want to say to God, but actually fact is writing all these that it may be a reminder to myself of God’s goofiness and faithfulness .

Today’s sermon has been superb . It is the affirmation I needed to hear from God. Today’s experience is wonderful. Although I did not hear God’s audible voice but Him speaking to me through His prophet definitely is jaw dropping. I think I just smiled and nodded my head the whole time. The words are so relevant to me. I just manage to connect and clicked to it. Every word, every verse is full of impact. Hits home run everytime.

Pr. John Watson brings about a new perspective from this story. This is a famous bible story. Jesus feeding the five thousand from just five loaves of bread and two small fishes given by a boy.
How Can I Make My Life Count

I don’t know how did the sermon impact you, as for me it God’s affirmation to me. I’m sure through my experiences, God has prepared me for this job. And just as it is for past few years that I feel like I want to offer my life to Jesus, I don’t know what can I do. But just as the boy offer his bread and fishes to Jesus, I’m offering all I have to Jesus and it really excites me. Feels like He has brought me here not only to work on the accounting portion, but he has a different plan for me. As though I’m now in for the most exciting time of my life! I don’t know how to explain it but listen to the sermon and you might know what I meant.

As I am writing this, it feels like I’m the jigsaw puzzle in my life is starting to piece together. The puzzle or the plans that God has for me. My ambition as a child was to be an air-stewardess, as it was seen as a glamorous job. On top of that, I haven’t been on an air plane till I was in my mid twenties (my first flight was with Jason to Hong Kong), and the plus point of being a stewardess is that I get to travel around the globe FOC! However that didn’t materialise. Even until recent years I was still blaming Fin for not letting me attend the interview with Cathay Pacific.

God’s word says that He knew us even when we have yet to be formed. He died for us while we were still sinners. He definitely has gone before me and has plans my days for me. God has fashioned my days for me which is why I am where I am today.

I felt God has planned it all for me. From the day I was in His mind up till now. Initially, I wanted to say from the day I stepped into the working world. Then, I wanted to say from the day I took up accounting course. Then, I remembered my time with Janice and Eileen when she invited me to PCC for their pre-teens. Then, I remembered the time I was attending the Girls Brigade in Methodist Church with Chen May and the Christmas Party/sleepover at her place. Then I realise…..it was from the very beginning. It was even wrong to say from the day I was born. It was from the very beginning that when God had me in His mind to create me. Which means, even before I even existed He’s already thinking bout me, planning for me.

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4, 5 NKJV)

I felt so much excitement. Can’t wait to start this new life.

Surely this is a year of new beginnings!

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Scriptures of the day:

Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV)

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:23 NKJV)

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 NKJV)

Have you been in such situation?

The Lord is saying to us, “All things are possible to him who believes”. He is telling all of us that all things are possible to any of us that believes in Him. Do you believe? Can you believe? What do you believe in? Whom are you believing in?

When you feel like you can’t, will you reach out and cry out to God, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”? I think this is what God wants from us. That we will not role play with Him but appear just as we are and be true to Him. If we cannot be true to our Creator, whom can we be true to?

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