Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Impossible? For Man, But Never for God!

 "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!"
~Jesus (Matthew 19:26)

Where do I start? June 2012 was a month to remember. On June 5th, I received a phone call from my aunt in Thailand informing me that my dad had been in the hospital for the past 2 months; he was very ill and was not expected to be alive much longer. He suffered from a stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver damage and kidney failure. The next day I received (via Facebook) two photos of my dad lying in a hospital bed looking so different from what I had remembered (I had not seen him in 20 years). I was in tears. He looked thin/bony. I wanted to go visit him so badly. My husband and I took our sons to go get their passports made that day. However, we were told that it would take 4-6 weeks for their passports to arrive. We also looked at the cost of 5 plane tickets and realized that we couldn't afford it. We prayed and asked others to pray for God's will to be done. Finally, we decided that I would be going alone. Our travel agent gave us 2 options: leaving on Thursday and arriving on Friday there or leaving on Sunday and arriving on Monday there. The second option was a little cheaper and had less layover stops. Nevertheless, we prayed for God to direct our every decision. And He did. We felt led to go with the first option (you will see later how thankful we were for God's perfect timing). I left on June 14th and arrived in Thailand on June 15th near midnight. My aunt picked me up at the airport.

I wanted to go visit my dad immediately but my aunt said it was too late and told me to wait until morning. Early Saturday morning, we went to visit my dad (he was already moved from the hospital to his house). A little background story: My dad left my mom, my brother, and me when I was in junior high school. He remarried and had 2 children with his new wife. He stayed aloof and uninvolved with my brother and me. I personally forgave him a long time ago. I wrote him letters, sent him pictures and gifts, shared my testimony and gave him a Gospel tract. But I have no idea if he did read my letters/the tract or if his (unfriendly) wife kept them from him. He never wrote me back or called me. Now back to the morning I visited him... I tried to share with him about salvation through Jesus Christ. I touched him and kept talking to him but he did not open his eyes or respond at all. I was quite discouraged. Yet I would be seeing God's fingerprints everywhere during my week in Thailand. This post will be way too long if I write about all the details. Therefore, I will try to make it concise and only mention the main things. If you have any questions or are confused, please feel free to ask me. 

My aunt and her family already booked a reservation at a beach resort (before she knew I was coming). Since I stayed with my aunt, I had to go along with them. My friends (whom I had not seen in 20 years also) set up a get-together at a restaurant on Sunday night (after we came back from the beach). After dinner, I wanted to go visit my dad but my aunt said that she had to go to bed and get up early to go to work the next day (Monday). Again, I couldn't do anything but comply with her. That night, I couldn't sleep at all. I stayed awake all night long and prayed (for my dad, my family back in America, my relatives, and others). At about 4 a.m. (on June 18th), my aunt's cell phone rang. My half sister called to tell her that my dad passed away. I broke down sobbing, wishing I could have spent more time with him. I did not know what to think about his salvation. 

When I was in the USA and was unable to go visit my dad yet, my husband and I (and probably others, too) prayed that the Lord would send a Christian to share the Gospel with my dad. I didn't know how or if the Lord would grant that request. On the first night (the same day my dad died) of his funeral (which took 3 nights plus a day of cremation), I was sitting alone out in the temple's courtyard because I requested to be excused from all of the Buddhism ceremonies. While the people listened to the monks' chanting, I was praying for them to be delivered from that bondage and to come to know the true God. A lady (whom I did not know but recognized as a friend of my dad's wife) came to sit opposite of me. She asked me if I was a Christian. I was taken by surprise. I said yes! She then said she also was a Christian but my dad's wife didn't know. She told me that she went to visit my dad when he was still in the hospital and shared the Gospel with him. She said he didn't open his eyes but when she asked him if he believed in Jesus, he squeezed her hand. I couldn't believe my ears! I kept thanking God out loud! Both she and I were crying because we were totally overwhelmed by how awesome our God was. God was so gracious to me; He sent that lady to let me know that my dad did indeed have the opportunity to hear the Good News about Jesus Christ even when I couldn't be there to personally tell him yet. Truly amazing!!! I was and still am in awe at how God showed His love and power. He filled my heart with peace, hope, and joy. I have been sharing about this God-ordained encounter and this testimony of God's faithfulness, grace, and mercy! Everyone who has heard it is amazed, too. To God alone be all the glory!!!

What a whirlwind week of emotions, activities, and reflections! The theme of that week was definitely this: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!" (Matthew 19:26) I am still amazed by how God worked everything out. Only God knows whether my dad was saved or not. I, of course, would like to think that he was (the Thai lady assured me he was), especially after all that God allowed me to experience. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude. Nothing is impossible for my God!

"God is bigger than any limitation, circumstance, impossibility, or insufficiency you may be facing." (Nancy Demoss)

You're invited to share your thoughts about the quote above (Matthew 19:26) on your blog and then link up your post here. To learn more about "In Other Words"(what it's about, how it works, and how it originated), visit here.

This post is also linked up with Faith-filled Friday @Beholding Glory, Spiritual Sundays, Sharing His Beauty @The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates with God at The Wellspring, and "Hear It, Use It" @Graceful.


Piper said...

HOW AWESOME IS THE LORD!! Thank you for sharing your heart!

Karen said...

What a wonderful story and post today. Thanks for giving us this truth from God's word to think about and live out in our lives.

Debbie said...

I am crying after reading your story! I have many in my family who do not yet know Jesus as their personal Savior. I pray and pray.

When I worked as a nurse, I had a similar situation. A woman that I had grown to know was very angry with God because her son died at a young age. However, I used to share my faith and testimony with her. She listened politely but nothing.

Three days before she died, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to visit her at a care home. I obeyed and shared the Gospel with her and asked her if she wanted to invite Jesus into her heart. She said yes and we prayed. The next day I was concerned that she may not have truly understood so I returned. When I asked her if she remembered, she smiled and said yes she did.

She died two days later.

I attended her funeral. I approached her daughter in law and told her I was a nurse who had come to know Vivian. She had a cross necklace on and so I decided to share what happened only days before. She cried when I told her and said that she had been praying for her salvation for years but that she had been so angry. Her prayers had been answered and I was so humbled to think that God had used me.

So, this is such a lesson in trusting God. Our job is to be obedient and share when prompted and to always pray. I'm so happy to hear that God used this woman in your dad's life. Praise God. Nothing is impossible with Him.

Blessings and love,

Denise said...

This touched my heart, bless you.

Wendy @ E1A said...

Awesome story! ((( Praise God )))

Charlotte said...

What a wonderful testimony. It is so true that all things are possible with God. I have to remind myself of that occasionally and I needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing your story.

Pamela said...

I love the Demoss quote and its fulfillment in your life. Our God is so merciful. Praising God with you...

Lisa notes... said...

What an encouraging story! I'm so glad you were able to hear that your dad had heard the good news. That brings such peace.

Nana Jul said...

How GREAT is OUR GOD?!!!
Nothing is too hard for HIM!!
What a testimony sister!
So thankful the woman came and sat with you so you would know. Orchestrated by none other than God himself.

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