God’s Serendipitous Blessings

28 02 2008

Do you know that God hears our grumbling? 

On our last Sunday in Bartlesville, our spirits were down. Knowing that this was going to be the last Sunday we’ll be worshipping at the church and that we won’t be seeing many familiar faces for a while, we were sad. So we expected people to take some time to say “goodbye” and maybe even invite us out to lunch after the service, but for some reason only one family acknowledged our pending departure and everyone else seemed “indifferent.” We couldn’t help but to feel disappointed and grumbled to ourselves that maybe we won’t be missed after all.

 We went to our favorite Chinese Buffet (well, it’s more like better of the two available in town) which we’ve been regulars for the last year and half to eat our blues away. As we filled our tummies with the last plate of crabs, an unfamiliar lady walked up to our table and said, “Let me introduce myself.” It turned out to be the wife of a gentleman whom I met last week at the church. There was a prayer time for our family during the service as a way of sending us out as missionaries to Japan. He had come up to me after the service with his daughter letting me know that he has a son in college who has a great interest in Japan and is majoring in Japanese. We had a brief conversation and he wished us well. A week later, here she was introducing herself. Her husband and daughter joined us few minutes later. They had been on their way out and had spotted us in the restaurant. I thought it was going to be a “Hi-Bye” kind of encounter but it was to be so much more…a time of uplifting conversation for over thirty minutes. They stood by our table the whole time and genuinely wanted to know us even though we were on our way out of town. The family had recently relocated to Bartlesville from L.A. and was looking for a church to plug in.  Here was a family whom we just met and yet because we share a love for Christ we were able to have a fellowship. They even expressed their desire to support us and gave us their information. Both Nicole and I were certain that God had heard our grumbling and had steered them to our table. We left the restaurant feeling so uplifted in our spirit and thanked the Lord for turning our sulking into praises. (Thank you, Mike and Lois!) As if that wasn’t enough, later that evening we were invited to a dinner by a family whom we did not expect. We were able to take a break from eating out and enjoy the delicious homecooked meal. (Thank you Joe &  Cindy!)

I enjoy blogging because I get to re-count and re-live the blessings. God not only hears our prayers but also hears our grumbles. I love that! I have a little glimpse of understanding why David wrote so many imprecatory psalms and why they were left in the Bible. Whether they are small disappointments or great anger, if we channel them to the Lord, He’ll take care of them. I know a professor at Talbot who during spiritual encounter sessions would direct the evil spirits to Jesus. He said that it was the best way he knew how to handle them. I thought that it was weird at the time but I think it’s wise. Our Lord knows what to do with both the good and the bad.

I’ve also learned what an impact a genuine caring conversation can have on downcast souls.  It’s like rain on parched soil. This took place because they took the time to slow down instead of a “Hi-Bye” encounter. This is something I’ve learned from being in OK. People seem to make more time for this than those in big cities. 

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One response

14 03 2008
Peter Thomson

Sung and Nicole, Thanks for sharing. Please know that the entire Asian Access family on this side of the can can not wait to have you here. We are praying for you as you prepare, including as you go through the tough times. We are standing with you! Blessings, Peter

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