Thinking back on my life, I've often wondered why God ever took notice of me. There I was, the youngest of three children to first generation, Korean-Buddhist, immigrant parents, sharing a 3-bedroom, 1-bath townhouse with eight other people (my parents, my older brother and sister, my paternal grandmother, my paternal uncle, his wife and two kids). And out of all these people, in a little and impoverished neighborhood, there I was. Nothing special. Just one, in the midst of many. So, why did God, almighty, awesome, wonderful, magnificent God, take notice of me?
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved."~ Ephesians 1:3-6
That blows my mind away! God chose me before I had time to either do anything good or bad. I find so much comfort and peace knowing that God’s love and gift of salvation is not dependent on me. The Bible says that He chose me because it pleased Him to reveal and share His glorious self with me (1 Corinthians 1:21).
I still remember the awe-inspiring time I first heard the Gospel. I was quiet and contemplative as I pondered the love of God, fully demonstrated in Christ Jesus the Lord. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, left Heaven, came to earth, lived a lowly life, brutally suffered and died for me; and I didn't even know Him! Why would someone I didn't even know, die for me? And such a horrifying and humiliating death! I knew I’d broken God’s law and deserved His wrath and eternal damnation in Hell. I also knew what I just heard, was a love, not of this world. I wanted nothing more than to show Him how grateful I was for all He'd already done for me while I was completely ignorant of Him.
It was then, that thirteen years of brutal and unmentionable beatings and persecution began. What was my response? Terror, at first. Then peace. How did this peace come? From God's powerful word, living and active in me (Hebrews 4:12). When I was a bit older and could read the Bible for myself, the Holy Spirit led me to Matthew 10:34-39 and Psalm 27:1-3, 10-14.
I did wait for the LORD to deliver me from this merciless torment. And after thirteen years, just as suddenly as it started, it also ended. Sometimes I wonder if that's what the Israelites must have felt when they were terrified to see that they were walled in by the enemy behind them and the Red Sea before them. Then suddenly, God parted the Red Sea and they traveled safely to the other side. And just as suddenly, their enemies were no more. The Lord still does that for us today, but often we miss the Red Sea partings because our eyes are not fixed on Christ, but on our circumstances. I have a magnet on my fridge that says, "God didn't promise a pleasant passage. But He did promise a safe landing." If the Israelites continued to look at the enemy behind them, they would’ve missed the miracle God was working before them.
Today, I am completely reconciled to my parents, and we have quite a wonderful and loving relationship, though they are still not saved. Well, possibly my mother, but that’s a story for another day.