“Why does suffering happen to me as a Christian, Dad?” said my son Pitou, while we were waiting in the surgery room.
It broke my heart to see my son get in an accident and break his arm in front of me. It was the same feeling when I saw him convulsing 8 years ago when he was 9 months old. It was the same hospital (Kantha Bopha children hospital) where all the treatment is free and professional.
My wife Serey had to help with the ONYX class on Saturday so I have to switch with her to sleep with my son at the hospital. It's only one small bed and because there are a lot of patients my son needs to share the bed with a 6 year old girl from Svayrien province. Every parent or relative has to sleep on the floor under the bed. I couldn't sleep for the whole night and I was really exhausted. I read the book Survival Guide for the Soul by Pastor Ken and I was annoyed by the screaming and crying of one of the kids so I decided to check on him.
He was about 5 years old and broken his leg and his sister was about 8 years old taking care of him, and they were very exhausted and crying together. After I talked with her, I was shocked that they were orphans because their parents passed away a couple years ago. My heart was overwhelmed and broken but I heard God's word: "let them come to me."
I comforted them and gave them some drink and KFC chicken, which they said it was the first time for them to eat. I shared the gospel and prayed for them, and while I was praying I felt the Holy Spirit and Father's love through me to these orphans. I couldn't hold my tears. It was the first time since I believed in Jesus and experienced God's love and Father's heart and sent me to comfort the orphan that was hopeless and in panic.
God uses our present suffering to prepare us for future glory.
That night I read chapter 2 in Survival Guide for the Soul, "The Whole Self (From Breadth to Depth)." I understand the feeling of Mr. Leighton " when his son Sandy passed away in the midst of his searing loss and pain, Leighton felt God drawing close to him. He sensed the Holy Spirit calling him."
God is using everything that happens in my life–including those things that seem utterly senseless–to prepare me for future glory. In this life, we won’t know the answer to the question: Why? But in the life to come we will either know the answer or it won’t matter because the glory will be so great that we will simply forget the pain of the past. Either way, we will end up completely satisfied.
Through this suffering, I could see my son's faith in Jesus and courage in his vulnerability. It reminds me of the message that I've translated for Pastor Peter Quek during at Tenth Church Justice Journey last November 2019 in Cambodia.
"Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage." -Dr. Brene Brown, Rising Strong.
I'm grateful for your prayer for my family, especially for my son. I strongly recommend to everyone to read the book Survival Guide for the Soul, to live satisfied in the acceptance and love of God.
This newspost was written by Tenth Liason in Phnom Penh, Mr. Un Makara. Makara has been a vital part of our Global Mentors program which about mutual spiritual transformation for mission leaders. Global Mentors uses Survival Guide for the Soul as the first year framework.
PS We have known and walked alongside Serey since 2006 as she was the Director of what is now called Alongsiders.