Bring Your Problem to God
24 September 2017
Rev, Andrew Lee who was the former senior pastor of Parker UMC now serves the Cambodia people in Cambodia as a UMC missionary. Before he went there, he had taken many injections to prevent any disease in Cambodia. But two months after he arrived there, one day, he got a mosquito bite and was infected with dengue virus. He suffered from high fever for a couple of days. His wife Janis updated his conditions on Facebook. She said that she couldn't do anything for her husband but waited until the fever was gone. She asked people to pray for him through the Facebook. She chose to bring the problem to God and asked Him for help. Pastor Andrew is now fine and doing well. I think that Pastor Andrew now realizes how weak he is even before a small mosquito. I think that since he has realized his limitations, God's grace will be always with him and he will have a great harvest through his mission work.
Who receives God's grace and blessings? Is it the person who is smart with many talents? No. It is the person who realizes his or her limitations. It is the person who brings problems to God and constantly asks Him for help.
Today's scripture talks about the miracle where Jesus fed many people with two fish and five loaves. One late afternoon, over 20,000 people were hungry. The disciples came to Jesus and asked him to send the people to the villages to buy food. Jesus said to them, "You give them something to eat." The disciples were very surprised with these words. They faced a big problem.
Here we see two disciples who responded to the problem differently. The disciple Philip thought that they needed at least a half-year wages to buy food for the people in the field. I think that he was good at math because he calculated it immediately. He was worried about how to have and make the money. While he was worrying about the money, the disciple Andrew brought two fish and five loaves to Jesus. He was worried that since it was a small meal, not many people could eat. But Jesus was pleased with Andrew because he brought that small meal even though he was worried. Jesus was pleased with Andrew because Andrew brought the problem to him.
With God's help, Jacob was able to reconcile with Esau. Jacob and his family settled down in Shechem, which was close to his hometown. Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. His daughter's name was Dinah. One day, Dinah went out to the street to see other girls. On the street, she met a man named Shechem. I think that he was a son of Shechem tribe's leader and that's why he the same name of his tribe. Dinah was violated sexually by him. Jacob's 12 sons were very upset and planned on taking revenge. One day, Shechem came to Jacob and asked Jacob to allow him to marry Dinah. Jacob's 12 sons told Schechem that they would allow him to marry Dinah if he and all the men of Shechem would be circumcised. Shechem accepted it and all the men in Shechem were circumcised. When they couldn't move around because of the circumcisions, Jacob's 12 sons killed all the men in Shechem. Later, Jacob heard that the countries that had a military alliance with Shechem, planned to attack him and his family. He and his family ran away. He brought his family to Bethel and asked God for help. When they faced the problem of Dinah, they had to first bring the problem to God instead of planning revenge, and instead of relying on human's way.
When you face a problem, what would you usually do? Do you follow the ways of Philip or Jacob's 12 sons to calculate things or to rely on human's way? Or do you follow Andrew's way to bring the problem to God even though you are still worried? You need to choose Andrew's way. Bringing the problem to God is a way of accepting God's help and blessings.
When I studied at the seminaries in the mainland, I worked at a church as a part-time youth pastor. I always had a hard time because of the tuition fees. One summer, I knew that 2,000 dollars were short on tuition fees for the upcoming fall semester. I didn't want to ask my parents to send me money. I thought that I would make 2,000 dollars if I worked at a market for 3 hours every night for about two months. I planned to work night instead of writing and focusing on my dissertation. I had the mind of Philip. I didn't pray or ask God for help. One day, my friend pastor told me that I would probably get a scholarship if I applied for a scholarship at a church. It was one of the big churches in L.A. I filled out the application and mailed it out to the church. I prayed to God and asked him for help. I brought my financial problem to God. A couple of weeks later, I received an email from the church that I was chosen for a 1,000 dollars scholarship. I was very happy to hear it. And next day, my seminary office worker called and told me that I was approved for a 1,000 dollars scholarship. I was able to make 2,000 dollars in two days. I realized that when I chose to bring the problem to God, God answered my prayers.
On Sunday, two weeks ago, the Hawaii District Superintendent, Rev. SeHee Han preached at Olive UMC because the church had an anniversary service. She shared a story that had happened at the church in Culver Palms UMC where she had served as the senior pastor. There was a bright and intelligent, 11-year-old African American girl at the church. Mary had an alcoholic father who had abandoned her and her brother. Her mother left home. Mary and her brother were raised by her grandparents who depended on their Social Security as their only source of Income. She wanted to enter college after she graduated high school but she knew that her father and grandparents could not support her financially. But she never gave up. She had hope. She prayed and asked God for help. She brought the problem to God. One of couples at the church watched her grow in the church for more than a year. One day they made an appointment to see Pastor Han in church. They shared with her that they saved a college education fund for their daughter. They told Pastor Han that If she allowed them to use it for Mary, it would be a blessing for them as they would not have a chance to use it for their own daughter who had died from a terminal disease a couple of years ago. Mary received the help from the couple.
Do you have a problem? God does not want you to resolve with your own plan or way. He wants you to bring the problem to Him. Believe that He will help you. Bringing your problems to you is a way of accepting God's help and blessings. I bless you in the name of Jesus so that your life will be filled with God's grace and blessings as you constantly trust in Him and bring your problems to him in your Christian life.
Last modified 14 January 2018.