How are you today?
In October 2019, I went to 9 am service in my church in Seoul. The other night, I went to bed very late, but strangely, I was able to get up very early on that Sunday morning without any difficulty. So, I arrived in the main sanctuary at 8:20 am. Then, I put my Bible, and Kleenex on a seat, to mark “Occupied”, and I went to the bookstore in the basement floor of the church. I enjoyed going to the bookstore, having a look at books and sometimes, shopping there. On that Sunday, I wanted to buy a book written by a Korean missionary in a Muslim country. As soon as I entered the bookstore, I had an amazing moment. There were a few employees in the bookstore, and one of them was a tall young man with glasses; perhaps in his thirties. Whenever I talked to him at the cashier’s, he was quite blunt or very matter-of-fact. He never smiled, nor was he kind. I thought to myself, “Isn’t this church bookstore? Isn’t he working for brothers and sisters in Christ?” But, one Sunday, I also thought that probably he could be so tired with the crowds in this megachurch, from early morning till night on every Sunday. I could recall my earlier days when I volunteered in the church library more than ten years ago. When I worked there for an hour or two, I met a lot of people who came to borrow or return books, and I had to repeat the same answers to the same questions from many. It was very boring many times. But I also thought that if I had been filled with the Holy Spirit at that time, I could have felt different and done it in a different way.
So later, when taking some time for intercession, I couldn’t recall what made me think of the employee in the bookstore out of the blue, but I think it was the Holy Spirit. I just said to the Lord, “Lord, I pray that the man in the church bookstore has joy in working there and in serving others.” Then, on that Sunday in October, when I just stepped into the bookstore, he literally walked toward me and said, “What can I do for you?” I could never imagine that he would welcome me and voluntarily ask me what I would need! I said to him that I was looking for a book by such and such, but I couldn’t recall the book title at that time. He searched for the database in the computer, and he listed up the titles of the stock. In addition, he kindly led me to the bookshelf where the books were. I was really amazed, knowing his attitude in the past. And I said to myself, recalling my prayer for him, “Indeed, nothing is impossible with the Lord.” I felt Him teaching me to pray for those that I'm not happy with rather than dislike them or complain of them in my heart.
Later, when I went back to my seat in the main sanctuary, I got to know that Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church in New York was invited as a guest speaker and would preach in 9 am service only. In other time slots of Sunday service, he wouldn’t preach. So, I thought: that was why the Lord woke me up early that morning, though I went to bed very late the other night. I felt there must be something in his sermon that I must listen to on that day. And his message was on Jesus’ first miracle to turn water into wine at the wedding, and it spoke to me a lot. He said that we should analyze what made Jesus work miracles in the Scriptures and said that first, Jesus was invited to the wedding, and we should invite Him in every matter of our lives. Second, mother Mary said to Jesus that there is no wine. And Pastor Jim said that we should talk to him when we are angry, sad, disappointed, or in need, just like we talk to family, friends, and so on. Third, the servants did what He told them to do. And Pastor Jim said that we should obey Him and do whatever He tells us to do. It includes not only what He tells us through the Bible, but also includes the words in person like “Teach in Sunday school.” or “Go to such-and-such a country.” And he shared his testimony that his dad was an alcohol addict, and beat his mother and him. In order to avoid his father, he spent a lot of hours playing basketball, and he became a good basketball player in his high school and college. Later, he was in the business world, but the Lord said to him “Preach!” But he said to the Lord, “How can I preach? I didn’t study in seminary.” He didn’t share details at that time, but I recalled from his previous visit to my church that there were so many miracles in his church that many drug addicts or outcasts in the society came to the Lord. While I listened to his sermon, I thought of the latest miracle that I had just seen in the bookstore a while back! That night at home, I knelt down and said to the Lord, “Lord, I invite You to every aspect of my life. Please, help me talk to You first, whether I should vent my anger or whether I'm tired or sad. And I want to obey You. Let me surrender to You, Lord.” Now, I look forward to seeing more miracles in my daily life that turn water into wine.
Do you believe Jesus turned water into wine? And do you believe the same Jesus can overturn your situation, if you ask Him and choose to obey Him? Nothing is impossible with Jesus. I pray that you and I go to Him, invite Him in every aspect of our lives, and surrender ourselves to Him.
Have a bliss!
One generation shall praise Your works to another,