in the simple things.

June 18, 2015

Too many phone calls in the morning with several text messages. Sigh. Is there more that I can help? I wondered, ignoring the calls. The texts seemed to be urgent. I returned the call back to my cousin. I have helped her get her school transcripts from Malaysia last week. Doing so, she would be done with her senior year this semester.

She answered the phone call as fast as she could. She would apologize, as usual, that she was taking my time in the midst of my busy time. She was running out of breath. I could sense something urgent in her voice. I was getting a little nervous. Then she said, “I am done with high school!” huhh… I immediately followed up with, “Did everything work out? Did they see the transcript? Are you saying you are done.. done?” Yes to all.

Then what hit me hard was her repetition of the many “U Van, thank you”……

That broke the giant heart of mine. My heart became soft and my chest became gooey and the teary eyes felt that. No, I don’t deserve it. God, I am sorry that I didn’t help her wholeheartedly and having compassion on her. I was just helping what I thought was a small minor thing that could just easily work out. But I am realizing that what may seem easy tasks for me are the ones that got these people go crazy about! Even with the bills that could be done with one phone call and the forms that could be filled in 5 minutes.

For most of my family and church members, these are the things that make them worry. I usually take their anxieties for granted. I usually don’t give enough empathy. I usually get annoyed when they supplement their requests to me again and again.

But… God, He is so different. He takes in each and every single anxiety that people have, and He asks that they would cast these on Him. He wants to unload their burdens for His yoke is light. He loves humility that results from our own inability and he wants us to cast our anxieties on him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:6).

But… God, He is full of compassion. He sees the people who are sheep without shepherd, and He came among us. He went through what we go through, so that He became our High Priest (Hebrews 4:15). Thank you, Jesus.

But… God, He is so willing to listen. He loves it when His beloved children speak to Him. He longs to give them peace that transcends through Christ (Phil 3:6-7).

What came to my mind is this:
Micah 6:7-8 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Does God want worthless religious performances and sacrifices? Clearly not! Not ever those thousands of rams and ten thousands rivers of olive oil. They may look so perfect as a feast “for the Lord.” And no, not even the very precious firstborn of yours. Not even your own body for the forgiveness of your sins! Those rituals don’t please the Lord – however great and costly they maybe before the humans.

What does God want? He requires of us to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him.

We must do wrong to none. We must seek evil for none.
We must take whatever opportunity to do what is good.
We must learn to delight in showing mercy.
Justice is put before mercy.
We must walk in obedience to His will.
The two above is only possible through the last one – by walking humbly with God.

That’s what Jesus did. A sinless man seeks justice for us on the Cross; the blood of Christ justifies us for He took God’s wrath away. A holy man seeks mercy for us on the Cross; the blood of Christ is the reason God is for us, and not against us. Jesus walks on earth humbly in perfect union with the Father that no one else could do – and this has become our only way to righteousness.

Being in communion with God MUST result in loving justice and mercy, because that is what He loves.  

Isn’t it amazing to know that God sees and pleases at the simplest things we do for His glory? They might not be singing choir, feeding thousands, or your amazing preaching, etc… but it could just be the quiet time you humbly come before the Lord. It could just be advocating for the injustice. It could be interpreting a language for someone. It could just be giving food to the homeless. It could just be picking trash for someone. It could just be the shoulder you provide for someone to lean on. It could just be a word to your neighbor. It could just be a smile.

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