Wednesday, May 31, 2006

From Strength to Strength

Dear praying and caring friends; and especially my family of origin,

Thx God for the grace to see me thru each phase of my journey in this new world of cancer as HE was with me in the past 15 years of ministry in FCBC.(1 Tim 1:12)

It’s all about His amazing grace, that allowed a man like the privilege to go thru all the challenges in the ministry and now in my physical mortal body – in order that I may be ‘transformed into His likeness from glory to glory’(2Cor 3:18)

I am home now as Whee Ling has updated you.
Yesterday was a very tough day for me. I vomited once only though the whole night was rather hard to pass, with sweating, headache and great discomfort in my whole body. I think it's probably due to the chemo/velcade that I was given. Usually my whole body feels ‘funny’ and uneasy' after each dose but had been bearable though there were minor side effects except On one occasion when I had fever for many days and was totally knocked out. One thing I remembered quite vividly then (though I was very drowsy and saw them for few moments and I knocked out again), were the faces of my sister, Angie; john - my dear brother and close friend and Melvin -doctor friend. in my tired and weary state physically and emotionally, they came and sat there quitely praying as they looked after me. I am deeply touched by their presence; prayers and even such provisions by the Lord just to see me thru each phase of my cancer journey. Indeed, He gives more grace whenever the road gets longer and tough along the 'valley of BACA'(Psm 84:6)- a place of weeping.

well, Thank God I am feeling so much better today. I had a great time at home with Whee Ling and Josh today after resting the whole night and part of the day.the greatest joy today was also to hear Josh beginning to pray more now using the word of God.

Above all, thank you for your prayers. Same phrase again and again, but am eternally grateful and sincere. For I know that your prayers uttered for us have touched heaven and cuased our Heavenly Father to give me more grace to endure and persevere.
Frankly, there were times, I entertained the thought of asking God to just take me home as much as I know THERE IS A PURPOSE for me to go thru this valley experience.

Whee Ling mentioned that there were signs of depression. Guess I was surrounded by many very sick patients in the ward who were coughing very,very badly and were agonising day and night. Perhaps I was not well rested and I could not sleep in the daytime. Trying to read weren't very helpful as my eyes are turning more blur'.And I do struggle at times with the process though I have complete confidence in my good and great God.

But thank God He always loves to speak to us, His children. In my sorrow and struggles, He comforted me:

Whenever I think about my pain, I would hear words like "I am not an evil God. And I am not against you. And it is not a curse upon you'.
Whenever I felt a little lonely at times in the hospital,I would hear him say,"though you feel forsaken, I will never leave nor forsake you. I have not abandoned you like a fatherless child. Instead, I have been here all along, even when I am silent'.
and,whenever I see my physical body turning ugly and changing, I learn to draw close to Him by trusting and pouring my heart to Him(Psm 62:8), and I would hear Him tell me affectinately,"Son, I see your pain and feel your sorrow.I had been there remember.For I've walked the road of Calvary'.

Whee Ling 'caught' me with my eyes red several times in the hospital and when I was on home leave. I didn't know how best to explain what the Lord was doing in me. Yes,I was quite depressed, but I also had tears of knowing God is so good to me by speaking so much to me as I behold his face.He gave me new manna each day though I lost appetite physically.Besides, not only did He remind me of allllllllllllllllll the wonderful words released to me in the last admission, it was also a wonderful retreat at the mountain of the Lord.(too many details to share- imagine 3 weeks of words released daily).but i would just share one and it was powerful and life changing to me.

At 4am one night, the Lord woke me up and immedistely He gave me this word. By the way, 4 am is very interesting time where God often wakes me up and would release a word to me regarding certains situations in my life or others that need attention or action. It was in 1989 when I first spoke in tongues in my sleep and got up at 4am. Since then, I have journalled many words He has given me near this time of the night.
So, that night 19 April 2006, God said,"Unless you are ready to die, you are not really ready to live."

When I heard this, I thought God was preparing me to die. Indeed He was. Especially, in my spirit. as I pondered upon these words, He spoke to me," Do you not believe that I love your parents, Whee Ling and even Josh enough? Do you think you can do a better job in caring for them than I do? For I love them much, much more than you do for I made them and I made you too.Can you not entrust them in my very hands?".

What happened was I began to surrender all of me to the Lord. My parents (whom I worry a lot as they've lost my eldest brother who died many years ago)- can you imagine if I were to go to the lord before they do? And my family - Whee Ling and Josh - I finally felt so set free in my spirit and soul that I can totally entrust them to the care of the Lord, having full confidence that the maker of our lives will watch over them day and night when I die. As I surender, not only do I feel ready to die, I sense a new surge of energy in wanting to live.Finally, I understood His words to me - unless I am ready to die, I am not really ready to live. In my heart,I suddenly found the strength to want to live on - regardless of how long the Lord ordains my days, as it was more important for me to number the days of my life and live the abundant life meaningfully and purposefully for His glory.

The recent admission were full of tears - tears of sorrow as well as strength. He has turned my mourning into joy (Psm 30:5;11). Thru the valley of weeping/BACA, my dearest Father in heaven has helped me 'make it a place of spring', where I made the choice to trust, believe and place all my confidence again in Him for every area of my life, including my mortal body. Like Paul said in 2 Cor. 4: 16-18

"So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever."

Psm 84:7 says this when one makes a deliberate choice to make the valley of BACA a place of springs, "They go from strength to strength till each appears before God in Zion."

You know, I've never felt so close and so intimate with the Lord than this time of my life.As I write with tears in my eyes, these tears are tears of joy and strength because His words are words of life. god's word brings new life. Even tough sometimes I think my body seems to be wasting away, yet in my spirit, I am regenerated. Even tough I feel ugly as I see all the changes in my body, in my spirit I see the beautiful, tranforming grace of God that's allowed me to go into this pit of darkness that has drawn me deeper into His love and faithfulness. And I realized, life is not even about pleasing Him, especially in ministry, because it is all about intimacy with Him - for as we grow closer to understanding and going after our Father's heart,we would naturally do the things that please Him.

As I continue to trust God for His healing, I want to thank you for being there for my family and me. Each of you has been there for us in so many different ways. This is one of God's greatest provision in our lives.

I pray and ask God to bless you with new strength for this day in all that you do. And that He will cause you to draw near to Him every moment of what you do.

Let's long after God's heart together,

"Unless you are ready to die, you are not really ready to live."
- God's word to me on 19 April 2006