Growing up, I had the luxury of being served. My parents were always busy with their businesses, so we had a helper who was living with us. She would look after us and do the house chores. I was never pressured to do any chores, not even making my own bed. I also had ‘chauffeurs’ to drive me around. And of course, I was in deep trouble once I left the comfort of my home and came to Australia for my nursing degree.
I was studying full time and had a few part-time jobs. I was very much obligated to serve people at my workplace and my studies, or else I may get fired or a fail grade. As a nurse, I had to give showers, make beds and clean up situations that are too grossed to be described. My part-time work involved long hours in kitchens and careful cleaning to meet the Australian standard of work, health, and safety (WHS). The bible says ‘do everything without grumbling’ and ‘with sincerity of heart and reverence for God”. But I was always grumbling and asking God, ‘why?’. In addition to that, I was also battling with low self-esteem, eating disorder, depression and financial insecurities.
One day God spoke to me during a church service. He said, “I will place in you a heart of compassion.” I thought, “Seriously, God? I am the one who needs compassion and not the other way round.” It seems so impossible at that time because I had so many issues and was so self-absorbed. However, God allowed me to experience some of the lowest moments of my life to change someone who is headstrong and stubborn like me. Out of desperation, I came to the end of myself; let go, and let God be the pilot of my life. I felt the peace and God’s reassurance protecting my heart and my mind as the refining work of God begun and the layers of lies that has ingrained in me in the past slowly being lifted away and carved out by the workmanship of God. Although I felt frustrated and sometimes was angry at God, thinking that I was forgotten, I can confidently say that God was with me throughout the entire refining process. The refining process may not always be easy, and it may take a long while, but our God never forgets. Even now it is still a work in progress, but I felt what God has promised me in my lowest moment in 2011 had come to pass this year.
Just the other day, I had a meeting with an executive from a major hospital brainstorming on what we can do to improve the quality of our services to people, in other words, how to serve people better. I felt so excited! It is indeed God’s transformation power. Although I may not get to share the gospel directly, I get to show God’s love through my action and care. And whenever I see how grateful they are for the care they received, I knew it was God loving them through me because I know I can never love them the way Jesus does, not with my own strength and limitation. Only God can transform someone who was self-absorbed like me to someone who can empathise with others, from depression to be joyful in every circumstance, from discontentment to being contented and thankful in every situation. Indeed only God has this kind of transformation power, to bring beauty out of the ashes. To God be all glory, and honour and praise. Amen.
ES Fam South West, Hope Church St Lucia