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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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest Took a train to Busan. Did not encounter any zombies but I was ready just in case.

Busan. First visit to this city (couple weeks ago) and was blown away by its beauty. Also, shocked that it has become the fifth largest containment port city in the world. That's a lot of import and export.

#MyAttemptToBeTheBestSmartphonePhotographer 
#Pusan #SouthKorea

my tweets

  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 22 hours ago
  • Father, bless these Iraqi and Syrian refugee children that have already endured so much. As we pray, teach us how t… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 2 days ago
  • Pray for Iraq. Pray for persecuted Church, minority groups (Yezidis) and Muslims alike who are suffering under ISIS: instagram.com/p/BZF2j6Ngrna/ || 2 days ago
  • "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." - a local Iraqi priest || 3 days ago
  • I've been traveling through Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan. Meeting local pastors/leaders, NGOs, and refugees. Join us on IG… twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 3 days ago
  • Seeking justice is part of our discipleship. In other words, seek justice not just to change the world...but to be changed more like Christ. || 6 days ago