A Miracle in the Crisis
Being the only child in my family, I find it most difficult to share the gospel with my parents. They know my sins, my weaknesses and my failures better than anyone else. In additional to that, based on the traditions of Asian hierarchy, it is disrespectful for a child to call parents unto repentance. However, nothing is impossible in Christ. God continues to do miraculous things through crisis and difficulties. This Easter, after years of petitioning to the Lord, my mom has received Christ as her Savior.
According to Dr. Matt Queen, L.R. Scarborough Chair of Evangelism at Southwestern Seminary, evangelism is a spiritual discipline. God calls us to be obedient and faithful when we evangelize. After witnessing my mother’s decision to trust in Christ, I just wanted to share what I have learned from God:
I must pray without ceasing. As noted earlier, my daily prayers include my mother’s salvation. Also, I have implored many friends across the world to pray for her salvation. Praying without ceasing is something that pleases God. When we come to God with our request, we admit that we cannot save or change anyone. Only God is able to save (1 Thess. 5:16). There were times when I felt deeply discouraged and could not see any way my mother would trust Christ. There were more times of rejection than I could remember. However, the more I prayed for her salvation, the more I saw the active hand of God working in my heart and making me see my responsibility to share the gospel and His role to save. Often, I was close to giving up. I was completely frustrated at my mom’s stubbornness. Yet, I repeatedly asked God, “Please loosen the soil, please loosen the soil, etc.” As I continued to faithfully fulfill my responsibility, I began to see the work of the Holy Spirit. My mom began reading the Bible last year. She also attended church with me this past winter break when I returned home. She even started asking questions about the Bible. This process of evangelism to my mom taught me the importance of a dedicated walk with God and the dependable work of the Spirit.
I must show compassion to the lost and love them. One of the greatest temptations while evangelizing to my mom is the feeling to educate an unbeliever with biblical knowledge. While this is commendable, it may not be wise and loving. Once, there was a time when I talked with a professor whose expertise is counseling and care towards the elderly. I was convicted by some of his sage advice. He shared that one of the worst ways of evangelism towards loved ones is by trying to overwhelm them with biblical head knowledge. Instead, the importance is in discovering ways to be compassionate and loving towards the elderly. My mom has been suffering from diabetes for many years. Soon, she will be having a critical and complicated surgery. It is during this season that God has been working in my heart. I have learned that I must show her compassion and care by my enduring patience and love. Another encouragement I have learned from other mature Christians is that my biblical change is the best testimony of Jesus’ love in front of my family. Having seen her child’s change, my mom has felt my vulnerability and has gradually begun to share with me her struggles, worries and confusion, and become more open-minded to talk about Christianity. Biblical knowledge is important, but it is the enduring love, compassion and patience towards those whom we love that will earn opportunities to share the gospel.
I must be a minister of God’s Word. “For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the diving soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). This verse reminds me of the importance of ministering God’s Word to my mom. Interestingly, during this current pandemic, I have been provided more opportunities to talk to my parents over the phone. Recently when I spoke with my mom, she has read through the first ten chapters of the book of Matthew. I asked her what she remembered in these passages. She replied that she only remembered a woman who discharged blood that was healed by Jesus. Taking full advantage of this opportunity, I spent a good amount of time going deeper into that story and asked her to pay attention to verse 22, which says, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” I reminded my mom that she did not have to finish reading the Bible in order to believe in Jesus. Like the sick woman mentioned in Matthew 9. Jesus not only healed her, but saved her soul. At first, I did not realize that this was the Holy Spirit’s work for my mother to remember this. However, looking back, I now know that it was God who spoke to her heart through this story. Although I did not ask her to put her faith in Christ, I knew that this was an opportunity gained to be a minister of God’s Word.
This past Saturday, the Spirit was stirring my heart again to share the gospel with my mom and invite her to come to Christ. I was uncertain of her response, but I knew I must continue to try. This time, when I shared the gospel of Jesus’ love, my mother repented of her sins and received Christ as her personal Lord and Savior.
I never expected this to happen during this Easter weekend. I am still rejoicing at my mother’s salvation. Let us all remember that all things work together for good, according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). The coronavirus cannot stop God’s work of salvation. Doctors and nurses are saving people’s lives in the hospital. We, as Christ-followers, are called to win lost souls wherever we are. All glory be to God.
Anna Yao (edited by PK)