God’s Unwavering Love

ukulele 7

We met with a music teacher whom our missionary hosts referred to us. She used to teach guitar, but switched to ukulele at the beginning of this year. Her parents are baptized Christians and her uncle is a pastor. So when she was young she would go to church with her siblings, mostly just to sing and play. While growing up, she would pray whenever she was afraid. In her mind God would shine His light on her, and she would be no longer scared. That’s why even after she got married and moved to another city, she would still seek out churches to attend, though not consistently.

By providence she went to a night market where our hosts were distributing flyers for free English lessons taught by Americans. She jumped at the opportunity to learn English from native speakers, and started attending the Sunday afternoon classes, but unfortunately had to stop because her business picked up. Our hosts had only one bible study with her before they left for home service, and requested us to follow her up, hence our meeting, over breakfast in a restaurant.

She asked why is it that so many people go to temples every week with zeal, but not that many go to church regularly. We explained that many who worshipped pagan gods do not really understand what they are doing. They do so because their ancestors had always done so, and they follow out of tradition without questioning the validity.

Others do it out of fear and greed. Some are afraid that if they stopped worshipping idols they would be harassed by evil spirits. Others worship because they want something from their god, such as prosperity, fertility, healing, success in exams etc. They perceive worship to be a transaction – their rituals and offerings in exchange for blessings. Both are wrong motives, and their devotion is misplaced in the wrong objects.

In contrast, the one true God of the Bible wants our hearts, a relationship of love and trust in Him. If we truly love God, we would want to attend church where we can worship Him together with those of like mind. We would not find it burdensome, just as we are not tired of seeing our loved ones, because doing so brings us joy. We do not worship out of duty, but love. And a person’s attitude towards worship reflects her relationship with God. Her face lighted up because she understood. So we asked her what her relationship with God is.

She said she is not doing all that God wants her to do, but she is trying. We explained that it is not what we do that count, because our best efforts do not measure up to God’s perfect requirements. Instead, God wants us to trust Him, just as a loving father asks his children to trust him, even under adverse conditions. We explained the gospel to her and she understood. The Holy Spirit had prepared her heart and she was ready to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior. We prayed right there in the restaurant as other customers watched. She was overjoyed and her face lit up as she realized the simplicity of the good news. She exclaimed that this is a great day in her life, and promised to invite her friends so they could know too. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

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