Eugene Cho

life is both beautiful and broken

Life is beautiful.

The gift of life and its experiences are truly amazing. And while it would be great to imagine a life and a world where we only experienced beauty and good, we know that reality to simply be false.

Life is broken.

The reality of pain and disappointment is something I don’t have to explain to anybody. We all understand.

But what we often fail to understand is that while God doesn’t necessarily will such pain and tragedy to be a part of our lives, God is with us…even in the broken and perhaps, especially in the broken.

You see, if God is only present in the good, triumphs, victories, highs and blessings of our lives, we’ve all been duped. Seriously duped.

That would be a false gospel. Please, don’t believe in a false gospel.

As a pastor, I’ve often had the front row view of these incredibly hard moments in people’s lives:

sickness, betrayal, isolation, depression, death, cancer, and the list goes on and on.

I think part of the reason why “the broken” is so difficult for us to handle is that we never plan or want to plan for such things. Do we ever plan for disappointment? Pain? Hardship? Brokenness? Do we ever pray for it? In our sense of idealism, fairness, and even faith, we believe that “everything” will be good since the world was “fixed.”

Well, we know that is simply not the case. It’s not the case for the world. It’s not the case for the friend or acquaintance we hear about but we don’t ever want to believe that can be the case for “me.”

Well…

Things don’t always turn out the way we envision in our lives.  We try. We pursue.  We dream.  But we come to realize that we have fallen short in a fallen world. Others have fallen short. We are simply…broken people living in a broken world. And while skeptics and cynics will chomp on the opportunity to deride Christians for our “naivete,”

this is the great hope of the Gospel:

Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…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 8:33-39]

For me, there is no silver bullet or magic theological answer. The good news is NOT that God guarantees a life of absolute bliss, blessing, and perfection but that in all seasons of our lives,

God is with us.

And in the big picture of God’s meta-narrative, all things will be restored back unto Himself. Shalom will be fully restored. Beauty will have the final say.

I know I’ve shown this video couple years ago but the song and the video are worth showing and seeing  again. This is entitled “Everything” and I hope that it speaks to someone today…

Know this and live in this truth:

God loves you.

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5 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, Tom Bilderback. Tom Bilderback said: life is both beautiful and broken: http://t.co/Q6sRmE6 […]

  2. Sejin says:

    God Emmanuel.

    Such a good video. I’m going to share it to 10 people.

  3. Chris F. says:

    Thanks Eugene … just what I needed to hear today

  4. esther says:

    our pastor spoke a very similar message the past two Sundays…

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One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

my tweets

  • "They got money for wars but can't feed the poor." ~ Tupac #trumpbudget || 2 days ago
  • Heartbroken. Praying for Manchester & the UK. For those mourning loved ones. For those injured and fighting for life. Lord, in your mercy. || 3 days ago
  • Window seat. For the win. https://t.co/yG66Sm2bvu || 5 days ago
  • As leaders, we must not sacrifice our family for the sake of ministry because loving our family IS good leadership: instagram.com/p/BUVAGVwg-5z/ || 5 days ago
  • We long for a Gospel that comforts but resist the Gospel that disrupts. Having the former without the latter seduces us into complacency. || 5 days ago
  • Love wins in the end but in the meanwhile,it fights for things that matter. Love isn't sentimental. It's both gentle & fierce. Love endures. || 1 week ago