Eugene Cho

beauty in the midst of brokenness

There’s the need for balance – to understand both our beauty and depravity.  When you look around the world, it’s easy to get downright depressed, discouraged, and overwhelmed.  I certainly feel that way sometimes.   But in the midst of all this junk [including my personal junk], I’m also freshly reminded that when God created the universe and all that which it encompassed – including humanity – He saw and acknowledged that it was ‘good.’  That may be the most incredible part of God’s narrative story – right next to the Resurrection.

So, while we acknowledge the story of brokenness and sin, we can also acknowledge that God is at work – all around the earth – through the power of the Holy Spirit – to restore, reconcile, and redeem.

Locally, nationally, and globally, there have been [and always will be] a list of heavy, painful, and tragic things.  The same week that the tragedy of Virginia Tech came to pass, I received an email from a Karen Christian brother I had met during my fall visit to Station 1o1 in Burma.

How are you? you are remember me. i am xxxxxxx. i would like to tell you last two year you will come to mae sot i sending you team to 101 area church. you are remember when you visit to 101 church you are sharing the message. in this time 101 area church is S.P.D.C attack and occupy.  many people flee…please pray.  [SPDC is the military ruling regime – State Peace and Development Council]

Heavy and painful stuff.  The above isn’t just news to me; they are people I visited.  Looked into their eyes; encouraged them to have hope; taught the scriptures in that church that is not occupied by the Burmese military.

Locally in the Quest family, as it has and will continue to be, there are plenty of stories.  Why?  Because that’s life.  There are beautiful stories indeed but there are also painful stories.  Tense relationships, marriages in crisis, cancer, sickness, addictions, and so forth.  Painful stuff but this is where God’s work of restoration and redemption can take place. 

I stumbled onto this guy’s blog who lost his dear brother to cancer this past year.  His recent letter written to his brother gives me another glimpse of hope and beauty in a broken world. 

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:35-39]

Love Wins.

Filed under: christianity, quest church

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One Day’s Wages

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First day of our daughter's college years at this great school. We love you. We're so proud of you.We believe in you. Go Huskies. Go Dawgs. And also, beat Stanford this Friday. As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it.

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