Psalm 136:4 “Give thanks to him who does mighty miracles. His faithful love endures forever.” About a year ago, we found out that my dad has cancer. After a tortuous process of preparation, the first surgery failed, and I felt quite a bit of frustration with the doctors. Emotions in the family ran high. I felt a lot of guilt for not being able to be there. Then I decided to just suck it up and visited Seoul three times, quarantining for four weeks on each trip. By June 30th I had spent three months of 2021 in quarantine. But in the midst of the struggle my earthly father exhibited nothing but the love and optimism of my father in heaven. Always ready to crack a joke, dad always made sure to let us know that he was just fine, and that everything was going to end up well. He leaned into his relationships, spending more time with his family and friends. He started playing tennis 4 times a week in the midst of chemotherapy. Well, I write this as my dad is back on the operating table today. I would never wish cancer on anyone, but there have been so many good things that came out of this experience. It’s brought us closer as a family, and it’s definitely given us the opportunity to grow in our faith. Last night Elaine asked me if I was worried. “Honestly… nope.” “How come?” “Cause God’s got this.” Lord thank you for healing my dad. I know that today you are going to demonstrate what I already know to be true... that the name of cancer stands no chance against the name of Jesus Christ. Thank you that the victory has already been won. I come into line with your goodness and grace today. In your son’s name, Amen.
Psalm 133:1 “How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” Our eldest Kyan had a really rough day yesterday. After what he felt was an unfair scolding from Elaine, he threw a tantrum. Then our youngest Nate Nate went and destroyed the Minecraft creation Kyan had worked on for hours. He threw another tantrum. By the time our daily devotional came around before bedtime, Kyan was totally pooped and really ready for the day to be over. I explained a bit about game theory and how humans are probably wired to employ a strategy of reciprocity when dealing with others. But God calls us a higher standard. “Jesus said, ‘if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.’ Kyan, you know that if you want to start a company someday, the bigger the vision the more excited people will be to join you. Why shoot for a normal goal when you can shoot for a big, hairy audacious goal? I know it feels unfair, and I can explain why Mama has the right to raise her voice while you don’t, but that’s not really the point. Even if she was being totally unreasonable, God calls you to and then empowers you to live up to an impossible standard of loving even when it’s unfair. Because that’s what Jesus did.” Lord, thank you for comforting my son. Thank you for teachable moments, and thank you for moments with the greatest teacher the world has ever known. Thank you for empowering us to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters. In your son’s name, Amen.
Acts 13:22 “ He raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’”
One of the questions that believers and atheists alike struggle with is “if God is good, why do bad things happen?” Yesterday a friend of mine said “you know, God allows Goliaths so he can make you a David.” How profound. If David hadn’t gone up against the greatest giant of his day, he wouldn’t have become King. He wouldn’t have gained a reputation as Israel’s greatest warrior. He would not be mentioned in the book of Acts as a man after God’s own heart. Without Goliath, David would not have born from his family line the greatest gift the world has ever known. You have an amazing gift from God, that you’re destined to share with others. If you’re facing a giant today, I feel like God wants you to know that your Goliath will fall, and bring you into your calling of releasing that gift into the world. Lord, thank you for the power to overcome. Thank you for your son. But thank you also for the Goliaths. I’m so excited to see all you have in store. In Jesus’ name, Amen.