Eugene Cho

“guide us…”

I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed this week with stuff.  As a result, I haven’t had the energy or time to follow through on posts I’ve been wanting and promising to write [sorry!].  Yesterday, I came home feeling stressed.  It’s a strange feeling because my threshold for stress is very high.  I rarely get rattled.  It’s good to have this sense of stability but if I’m not careful, it leads to my biggest personal struggle: my pride and self-reliance.  Confidence is good; self-reliance or rather, unreliance on God is my path to isolation and exhaustion.

Yesterday, I was especially feeling overwhelmed with stuff:  trying to care for people stuff; church stuff; interviewing people stuff; QCafe stuff; need to feed three kids stuff; need to sell the home stuff; humanitarian organization stuff;  wanting to fly to Myanmar stuff [if they were issuing visas!]; getting ready to head to Asia for our sabbatical stuff; getting ready to host several guests at our home stuff, getting ready for important meetings stuff; and other stuff.

Lots of stuff.

My wife, Minhee, sat me down last night, held my hands and just prayed.  It was so good for the soul.  We prayed for many things but if there was a phrase that kept echoing in my heart, it was:

“Lord, guide us…”

That’s exactly what I needed to hear and pray.

Question for YOU: 

If you could summarize your prayers to a short phrase, what would it be?

I know there’s many who read the blog but don’t comment.  It would be great to hear from everyone [and encouraging to one another] to share how you are seeking and praying. 

Filed under: , family, religion

38 Responses

  1. Janet says:

    Lately, my prayer has been, “Change my heart, O Lord.”

  2. elling says:

    I’m praying trough the psalms, finding just one sentence or word each day in the spesific psalms that I will pray over. Today it was “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;” from Psallm 5.

  3. Danny says:

    Use me, O Lord, for your glory and honor.
    Use me.

  4. Teresa says:

    your kingdom come, your will be done…..

  5. jason says:

    help me be a better husband, father, and person

  6. Randall says:

    Hang in there PE.

    I’ll be praying for you.

  7. erick says:

    Eugene. Thanks for this piece, it hit home pretty hard for me. first of all, stress has been heavy on me lately. my wife and i just moved for the third time since we were married in august and between transition (again), a new position with a new ministry, being new to marriage…the list could go on…it just seems like even with good things it can feel like so much is going wrong. I personally can really struggle with feelings of inadequacy and yes, pride can be too much for me as well. I am not a control freak when it comes to myself and others, but with God I can be. I ask myself in a state of realization, “what the crap did I do that for?”. Not that it’s about the easy way out in life, but honestly, that is what God wants for us, right? To make things easier because of our reliance on Him…to me, ‘healthy relationship’ and ‘reliance’ are synonymous. I realize that my issue is in my self-expectancies of earning. So far from how God thinks, huh? This is a habitual thing for me and only God and my reliance on Him will take care of it. I expect too much from myself and have this sense that I need to prove myself, i think this shuts the door on grace. Anyways, my prayer needs to be “let go, erick. let go.” thanks for letting me ponder out loud, i’m feeling a little mashed up today.

  8. Tyler says:

    Lord, teach me what it means to rely on you…

  9. Blogbarger says:

    My prayers this year (so far) have gone something like this: “Yes, Lord. Yes, I agree. I know this is true. What do I do now? How…..?” Thanks for your honest post. I really appreciate your blog (which I am new to). I’ll be praying for your upcoming trip.

  10. smileforjc says:

    Lord, I want to be more like YOU.

  11. Nina says:

    Lord lead me

    &

    Lord teach me,

    …change my mind & understanding.

  12. becky says:

    Please help me to want what YOU want.

  13. ctaloyo says:

    Where are You? (Help me see)

  14. FF says:

    Eugene,
    I’m not a Christian anymore – I think – but have been lurking on your blog for awhile now. It’s given me much to be hopeful about as I find the courage to one day return to faith.

    Help my unbelief. I want to know you.

  15. rexhamilton says:

    Great post Eugene! Your transparency is a light…

    My prayer lately has been simple. “Please show me what you’re doing today, Jesus.”

  16. eugenecho says:

    @everyone. thanks everyone for sharing and look forward to hearing from others.

    @smileforjc: good to hear from you. look forward to crossing paths in asia soon.

    @erick: wow. thanks for sharing that.

  17. Wayne Park says:

    P.E., come to think of it, u sounded tired on the phone the other day – more tired than us and we’ve been rocked pretty hard lately. But things are going to take an upturn this summer. Everything will be ok…

  18. Betty says:

    For the past few years mine has sounded something like, “Free me from fear, fill me with love.”

  19. brandonsneed says:

    Jesus save me.

    Sounds Sunday-school-ish but seriously … my biggest problems the past few years of college have been the polar opposite to what yours are. Self reliance and overconfidence? I wish. Self doubt and overanxious-ness? Yeah … been a good learning trip though.

    More details on that on my blog.

  20. Leah says:

    honestly, when i get so exhausted from trying to do too much, and don’t think i can keep up with it all, when i feel like i’m failing or falling, when i feel afraid or alone and just don’t know what i should be doing with my life, i pray the same prayer:

    “jesus”

    not very fancy, but that’s it.

  21. jim says:

    Break Me and Recreate Me!

  22. P.V.Sankar says:

    My prayer will be “LET THY WILL BE DONE”

  23. georgesong says:

    “the joy of the Lord is my strength…”

  24. Chad says:

    “Lord, help me and teach me.”

  25. Rebecca says:

    “In Your Presence is fullness of Joy”

  26. gaius says:

    help me to be all that You’ve created me to be

  27. foster says:

    i need you

  28. Melissa says:

    I pray first for wisdom, then for courage. The first is useless without the second.

  29. queltica says:

    i guess it’s a prayer:

    um, hello? are you real?

  30. Katherine says:

    Mine: “Lord, help!”

    My sister’s (for over a year): “God, I need a job”

  31. Linda says:

    I’m with Theresa and PVSanker… Thy will be done

  32. w says:

    Lord, be gentle with me because I am so weak.

    or

    Let not my need for or lack of your perfect understanding/wisdom, keep me from moving.

  33. slim1 says:

    less of me, more of You

  34. Meghan Burt says:

    “Help me to trust that those who mourn will be comforted…”

  35. Rachael says:

    lately, my word has been “let”. it covers my life as a child of God quite well, especially as i continue to begin to understand submission (there’s that nasty word again, PE!), grace, forgiveness and peace.

  36. dreamxchaser says:

    lord, help me make it home ok. ( thats what i say every night now. )

  37. […] rest for the soul There are some significant transitions going on with me and my family.  They speak the language of both excitement and anxiety to my soul.   For folks that know me well, they know that when things get tough or busy, I just put my head down, wear my heart on my sleeve and roll up those sleeves, and just pound away – no matter how heavy the strongwind..  And more often than not, things move and get done but as I’ve shared before, I can fall into the temptation of self reliance. […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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