By Michelle Wong
Each time I hear some parents bragging about their bright children, I get very sad. Recently I heard a talk by a father bragging about his brilliant son. I suddenly felt lousy. Tears streamed down my face, my mind pounded, “Why is it his son is so good? Why are everybody’s children so good except us? My parents adopted five children from dysfunctional, poverty-stricken families. I have wonderful parents but we still feel inferior.
I cried bitterly, “Lord, forgive me for falling short of people’s expectations. I’m not as good as the other people’s children.”
Then suddenly, a still small voice spoke, “You are better.” I stopped crying.
Later, I tried to reflect on the inner voice, “You are better.” Is this from the Holy Spirit? That night I asked Him, “Lord, how am I better than those brilliant people?”
Immediately a scene in the Gospels flashed in my mind, where Jesus was sitting near the temple treasury where people gave their tithes and offerings. The rich people gave a big portion, but it was only a fraction out of their abundance. But the poor widow gave a miniscule amount, worth only a few cents, yet Jesus said she gave more than any other person did because she gave her all to God.
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on. Mark 12:41-44
So I quieted down, “God, how is this related to my situation?”
The answer came, “I look at you differently. I know everything about you. I saw those days that you were treated without dignity. I saw the pain you went through. I saw your magnanimous heart, how you forgave. I saw how you kept falling and how you kept picking yourself up. I see your tenacity, your perseverance, doing your best, how you endured your failures. Other people’s children are normal and healthy, emotionally stable, so it’s a normal thing for them. But you are not like them. You don’t have the health and emotional strength. Despite your weakness, you strived hard to bless others, forcing yourself to attend university and helped numerous people there. Your course mates loved you because of your character and contribution. You have done something which was out of your ability. You wrote a book*, something you couldn’t have done when depressed. You may think it is not successful, but to me it is a success, because this proves that my Holy Spirit is working in your life.
Your loved ones
Your Christian family and friends said you have achieved so much because they can see that you have achieved success in the spiritual realm! That is what I see too. Listen to your supportive parents and siblings, to aunt Goldie and uncle Tek and their like. I’m very pleased with you.” I listened to these words from deep within my heart and spirit, and I just cried. I’m so touched by His words, His reassurance, His loving voice. I hold on to them. God you are so understanding, so personal.
God saw that poor widow 2000 years ago; our loving Saviour also sees me today. He sees me in the spiritual realm, from the spiritual perspective. Although I feel terrible and inadequate, that I have fallen short of people’s and even my own expectations, God knows when I have done my best and that’s what counts with Him. END