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

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"He must become greater; I must become less." - John 3:30 We have to remind ourselves of this truth every day lest we forget:

Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant.

Be faithful.

PS: Also, it helps to get some Vitamin D especially if you live in the rainy Northwest Thank you, Brooklyn, for the reminder. Umm, @jlin7 is a Christian but he wasn't very Christlike with me on the basketball court. He muscled me into the paint, dunked on me, mentioned my momma, and then said, "Stick with preaching." Just kidding. Kind of.

If you haven't heard, Jeremy Lin is donating his one games wages (approximately $140,000) and an additional $100 for every 3 pointer made to support Girls' Empowerment and Education through @onedayswages. That game is this Friday vs the Boston Celtics!

Join his campaign as he's inviting his fans to donate just $7. - http://onedayswages.org/jlin

Did you know that 32 million girls of lower secondary school age are not enrolled in school.

Did you know that every year of secondary school increases a girl’s future earning power by 20 percent.

Did you know that if all girls in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and West Asia had a secondary education, child marriage would fall by 64 percent.

We can't change the entire world but we can impact the lives of one, few, and in some cases...many.

#jeremylin #jlin #linsanity #onedayswages Don't be held captive to either praise or criticism.

Know who you are.
Know what you're about.
Know WHO you serve.

The answer to who you serve makes all the difference... It's the day after International Women's Day - and it's still important to celebrate the contribution of women in our lives, society, and world. As we honor women all around the world, I'm also reminded of how women and children are those who are most deeply impacted by injustice - especially poverty.

Sadly, I have witnessed this reality in too many places. ​In 2012, I traveled to a remote area in Eastern Kenya as part of a @onedayswages response to a famine that struck the Horn of Africa region. This famine impacted nearly 13 million people and according to some sources, took the lives of about 250,000 people. During my trip there, I had the chance of meeting many people but the person that still remains in my memory was a Muslim woman named Sahara.

She was so hospitable in inviting us to her small and temporary home. During our conversation, I learned that ​Sahara traveled 300 kilometers (a little under 200 miles) – some by cart and some by foot – as they sought to escape the worst drought that has impacted East Africa (Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia) in the past 60 years.

This is not a misprint.
200.

She traveled about 200 miles on cart and foot. ​And all along, she was ill. If you look closely ​at the photo, you might notice the large lump in her throat - likely a large cancerous tumor.​ She did not travel alone. She traveled with her husband who I was not able to meet because he was staying with one of his five other wives in this polygamist community.  She did not travel alone. She also traveled with her six children – the youngest being about 1 and the oldest being around 8. She had just given birth to her sixth child when they began her journey. Her youngest was severely malnourished when they arrived to this new settlement in a town called Benane. 
Sahara and her children all survived this journey. They survived because she persisted. 
In honor of Sahara...and so many other women who keep...keeping on.

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