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Serving the Lord in the Garden


Hymn 47 Out of My Bondage, Sorrow, and Night

47  耶穌救我 


Hymn 183 The Changing Year

183 勇往直前   


<His Goodness and Mercy Follow Me>  他的恩

357 The Lord’s My Shepherd


In my life I have received many graces from the Lord.  When I was in Taiwan, He often granted my prayer requests and gave me the desires of my heart 他將 (Ps 37:4).    By His grace, I was able to enter good high school and college as I had prayed and as He had promised.  Looking back, it seemed that I was successful in receiving the blessings as I had asked for, yet I had actually failed.  The lesson I learned was that I myself did not know what the best was for me, only the Lord knew and I should trust Him and let Him bless and guide me according to His own plan. 


In contrast, my Lord gave me quite different experiences in U.S.A, it seemed that I failed, yet I was not defeated 失敗 被打   (2 Cor 4:7-9). He let me taste the triumph through difficulties and failure. As king David wrote in Psalm 23:5

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.”

使 滿 溢。


Success or failure, it is irrelevant 不重要的.  The importance is the life lessons that the Lord wants to teach me.  He has the ultimate goal for me – it is to enter His heavenly kingdom and to see Him face to face.  Hymn 208 “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder”, I want to be there.  This was my request and I know that the Lord will keep His promise.  With this high goal, I understand that He needs to lead me sometimes against my own will and my own desire.


Jacob encountered God when he fled from his house.  On the road in the wildness, in the dark and lonely night, God appeared to him in his dream. The Lord blessed him and promised to be with him (Gen 28:10-16).  The trial of Jacob’s journey was the beginning of his victory. 


I consider that it is my great blessing that the Lord sought me when I failed.  I have several such experiences.


<In My Failure, He Sought Me> 

Hymn 30 In Tenderness He Sought Me

第30首 妙愛找我

31 主全為我  奇哉,祂來臨感動我心懷!主來找我,找我


My first experience was at high school.  My school works failed miserably in my freshman year at my dreamed high school.  It was rather difficult to enter into Taipei First Girl high school.   Through my prayer requests granted by God, I was able to enter it with ease.  After I entered into this privileged high school, I found that all girls were top students from Taipei and other big cities in Taiwan.  I was a simple and naïve girl from a small country private school.  My classmates were like Goliath, the giant, to me.  David defeated Goliath with faith but I was intimidated and lost my confidence.  I also had problems understanding the accents of some teachers.  The class became very boring for me and I often dozed.   My rank was 34 out of 42 in my class at the end of the first school year.  My father was very disappointed with me.  I lost my confidence and did not feel like relying on God any more.  I stopped asking God for His blessings on my grades and school works until something amazing happened to me one day during the winter break of my second high school year.  I still remembered how shock I was when I opened my grade report and saw I was ranked number 5 in my class.  I was so surprised with two reasons:  1) I had never achieved that kind of high rank on the monthly tests of that semester.  2) I saw number 5 in my prayer before I picked up my grade report.  Without asking His blessings, He showed this number 5 to me though I did not understand what it meant during my prayer.  From that point, I held on to God tightly and kept praying for His blessings on my next milestone.  I begged Him to let me enter into the best college of Taiwan with the major of my choice.  The Lord graciously blessed me and granted my wish according to what I asked for.  Well I failed again after my dream was fulfilled. I found myself dozed quite often in college because I was not interested in the major of my choice.  Through these experiences of seeming success yet failure, I learned a precious lesson to ask God without giving Him specification for He knew what the best was for me.  It was better to trust Him and not to choose on my own. 


My second experience was in March 1992 when I encountered a terrified hail storm with thunder, heavy rain and hail right after my shopping trip.  I shopped for the clothes thinking that I might need it one day for my father’s funeral.  I had prayed for my father every night since young.  With this act, it seemed that I unconsciously gave up my father.  I knew that God was between my father and me even when we were separate in two places, Taiwan and United States.  Once God revealed my father’s sickness in my dream to wake me up to pray for him at Chinese New Year eve when I was in graduate school.  At that time, I did not know that my father was very sick but God showed me in my dream.  Neither did I know that my father was very sick and was in the hospital since February at that shopping trip. 


The hail storm was very severe.  It reminded me the hail plague of Exodus (Ex 9:23). With heavy rain and hail, I couldn’t see at all when I drove home.  I thought that I would die and could not make to my house.  I called on God and repented in my heart.  The Lord had mercy on me.  He let me remember that there was a small shopping plaza and I turned my car into it.  Right after I carefully parked my car, I turned to see through the side window of my car, I was amazed to find that the hail storm stopped right at that moment.  There was neither hail nor rain.  The second shopping center is in close distance from the first one.  It is only about two blocks away.


<Can It Be?>

Hymn 449 And Can It Be?


Through that hail storm, the Lord woke me up from the deep spiritual sleep in the comfortable worldly life.  And He walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death of my father.  My experience on God’s love during my father’s sickness and death is another lengthy story.  In short, I experienced indescribable calm peace during the difficult time which I was most afraid to face.  To today, I still thought about God’s amazing love.  And can it be?   He took away my most beloved one yet He let me feel so much great love from Him.  Can it be?  This is the question that I kept amazedly asking later on when I encountered other life difficulties and experienced even more God’s grace.


<The Valley of Tears>  Psalm 84:5

Hymn 35 Joy Cometh in the Morning  

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Ps. 30:5)

宿 便

第35首 雨夜過後見光明


It was His amazing love that I started to serve the Lord after my father passed away.  However I did not know then that I was not equipped well to serve Him.  Now I realize that there were many important Bible teachings and life lessons that I needed to learn.  Walking through the valley of tears , gradually I learned many lessons along the way.  Even though His love and grace never departed from me over the years, and Holy Spirit was always my counselor and gave me much comfort and encouragements, yet I became very tired in my faith journey.  Finally I realized that I was spiritually sick during the fall Spiritual Convocation, 2001,  and I cried out to my Lord for His healing.


Psalm 40:1-3

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me,

And heard my cry.

2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,

Out of the miry clay,

And set my feet upon a rock,

And established my steps.

3 He has put a new song in my mouth—

Praise to our God;

Many will see it and fear,

And will trust in the Lord

。他 使 使 。他 使  


I thank God that He did not give me up during my periods of weakness and failure.  In contrast, in my failures He sought me and taught me to submit to His will over and over.  Indeed it was my blessing that the Lord inclined to me and heard my cry.  At the fall Spiritual Convocation, 2001, from the bottom of my heart I cried out to my Lord in my prayer.  I told my Lord that I was sick and sincerely asked Him to heal me.  I realized then that I was deeply entangled with bitterness and grievance 不平 in my heart , so called the bondage of sins (Heb 12:1, 15).  I felt that I could no longer go any step forward in my faith journey.  I had struggled with my grievance 苦情 for a few years and often prayed in tears but could not really overcome.  During that Spiritual Convocation, I finally realized that my struggles were in vain and spiritually I was deeply sick.  In the bottom of pit, I cried out to my Lord and asked Him to release me from the bondage of sins and heal me.  I also knew that my service door was shut.  Though I was spiritually sick, I didn’t give up serving my Lord.  But I made up my mind that if the Lord did not open the service door for me, neither would I seek to open myself.  I wanted to wait for Him and knew that the Lord would come to seek for me.  I had this faith, hope and confidence.


<God’s Healing>

Hymn 72 The Great Physician

“Bless the Lord, who forgives all your iniquities and who heals all your diseases.” (Ps. 103:3)

第72首  萬福之主


I experienced God’s healing in the following year through some Bible teachings and realization:


A.)  Love Our Enemies

Luke 6 27-31

27: "But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

28: bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

29: To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.

30: Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.

31: And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.

。咒 。有 。凡 西 。你

Who are our enemies?

Those who persecute you (Mt 5:43-48), those who hate you (Lk 6:27), those who curse you (Lk 6:28), those who mistreat you (Lk 6:28), and those who strike you (Lk 6:29) -- who scold and gossip, and those who take your cloak (Lk 6:29) -- who take advantages of you.


When I understood that our enemies were around us, it gave me different perspectives and responses to those who were irritating.


B.) Faith Can Remove the Mountain of Sorrow, Fret, and Dismay

Matthew 17:20 For assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.


My spiritual struggles continue until one night I read a devotional from The Stream of Desert -- Faith can remove the mountain of sorrow, fret, and dismay.  I decided to try it out myself and this was my prayer – Lord, please remove the mountain of sorrow, fret, and dismay for me.  I finished my prayer and left the mountain on God’s hand to remove.  And indeed God removed the mountain of my heart for me.


C.)  I Was Mute Because It Was You Who Did It

Psalm 39:9 I was mute, I did not open my mouth, Because it was You who did it.


My spiritual struggles with “hatred and grievance” stopped when I found myself contending with God.  One day I couldn’t stand any more. I questioned God in my prayer “Lord, why do you let me encounter these matters?”  Then I realized that what bothered me really was not important.  The real issue was that I couldn’t accept and submit to His will.  I remembered some visions that He showed to me in my prayer when I cried out to Him during the fall Spiritual Convocation, 2001.  In a sense, what I encountered was foretold and it was Him who allowed it to happen. 


I pondered why God let me shed so many tears in prayers for years.  I knew that God loved me very much.  He wiped out my tears within one day after I kept crying to Him in prayers on the Sabbath day that my father passed away.  At the end of Sabbath and after a special final prayer with a sister in the children’s classroom, he took away sorrow from my heart and I cried no more.  After giving some more thoughts, I realized that my sorrow and tears were caused by sins.  Sins were very difficult to remove if we were unaware of their existence and destructive powers.  It never came to my knowledge how dreadful it could be being entangled by the bondage of sins.  I also discovered that I had been quite away from God’s garden since I came to United States.  It was perhaps the most important reason why I was so tired in my spiritual faith journey.


<Restore to God’s Garden>

Hymn 407 In the Garden


I didn’t really know what God’s garden was for me.  One time I gave testimony in a mountain church in Taiwan when I was at college.  At that small chapel, I saw the beautiful mountain with green trees outside while I witnessed. I thought to myself that was it the garden of God as described in hymn 407 ‘In the Garden’?  No, it was not my garden.  I discovered it after God healed me that my garden was where I first encountered the Lord during my junior high school years.  They were peaceful and blissful years.  When I closed my eyes to pray, I saw glorious light and knew that God was there to listen to my prayer.  I talked to God and asked Him to bless my school works.  He granted all my requests and played number games with me.  He made my study in junior high school years very easy and joyful.


In Matthew 18:3 Jesus said that,, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” 國. I often pondered Jesus’ teaching about returning to little children.  There was a little girl that I am most familiar with – she was the young me and she is the one that I need to return to.  With simple and childlike faith, my life will be much easier.  I also need to be more sensitive to sin as the young me did.


Isaiah 66:2b

Says the Lord.

“But on this one will I look:

On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,

And who trembles at My word.”


<He Is the Sovereign Lord>

Hymn 183 The Changing Year

183 勇往直前  

46 主開心眼    主耶穌醫治我,前雖瞎眼,哈利路亞,今看見!


God teaches me through my life experiences and through His spirit.  One very important teaching that I learned is that He is the sovereign Lord.  When He blessed me, He made me understand that He was the one who satisfied my desires.  When I suffered, He let me know that He was with me.  Unfortunately there were some lives lessons that He needed to teach me over and over again.  After my father passed away and I started to serve the Lord, I offered Him many suggestions.  To my disappointment, He hardly accepted any.  Now I understand that He does not need any of my suggestions because He is the sovereign Lord.  He is the potter and I am the pot.  He knew what the best was for me and He also knows how to guide His church.  It is ironic that my relationship with Him started with my school grade report.  Now if I want to stay in the garden with Him and serve Him, I need to tear down my report card.  In God’s kingdom, there is no report card.  All He wants is our love of Him and our faithful service.


(Jeremiah 18:4) And the vessel that he [the potter] made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.

o o


 (Isa 30:20-21)

20 And though the Lord gives you

The bread of adversity and the water of affliction,

Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,

But your eyes shall see your teachers.

21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,

“This is the way, walk in it,”

Whenever you turn to the right hand

Or whenever you turn to the left.



(Isa 40:31) But those who wait on the Lord

Shall renew their strength;

They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,

They shall walk and not faint.


(Psalm 18:2) The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;

My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.



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