Friday, December 21, 2018

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

You've heard how James and I got married after only three months of dating. We were best friends and thought we would live happily ever after.  But life and marriage are not that simple!

By 1988, we had so many arguments (especially on how to raise our five years old son) that I thought it was inevitable for us to go separate ways or remain miserable living under the same roof for the rest of our lives.  I often wondered, "Is that all there is?"

That year, we accepted the invitation from two friends to attend a Christmas celebration. The drama that night compared and contrasted the lives of two women. I saw a glimpse of hope.

On January 1, 1989, I started attending church in Palo Alto, intentionally arriving late and leaving early to avoid talking with people. On Saturday, January 28, I attended an evangelistic meeting in the evening. The speaker was a medical doctor. Just like me, he came from Hong Kong for college. My high-tech career successes seemed small compared to his achievements, yet he had felt the same emptiness I was feeling! When diagnosed with cancer, he cried out to God for help.

Amazingly God healed him both physically and spiritually. I sobbed when I heard how he asked for forgiveness and reconciled with God before reconciling with his wife. His talk about writing letters to his young children ahead of their growing up years really broke my heart. I thought about my husband and our young son.

After his testimony, someone led a song "What a Friend we have in Jesus." I heard "Oh, what peace we often forfeit? Oh, what needless pain we bear? All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!" loud and clear. That night, I received Jesus as my personal Savior.

As you gather with family and friends this Christmas, don't forget Jesus is the reason for the season. Jesus came to earth, Word became flesh, to show the way. Like Mary and Joseph, we don't have to be afraid when unexpected things happened. Read Luke 1:30-33 and Matthew 1:20-21 about a young engaged couple, Mary and Joseph, and what the angel told them about the birth of Jesus.

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:22-23).

The year 2018 has its ups and downs. I am grateful for our church co-workers and our son's family. Being united with Christ has given us sufficient grace to live together and love one another.

Almost thirty years ago, Jesus gave me a new life. Before long, God renewed my marriage and family. In 2016, my calling church recorded a video of this special song of my heart. At that time, James and I only had three grandchildren. Now we have four, and are looking forward to having another granddaughter in Spring. You may watch the 6.5-minute video of my sharing, singing and playing the piano by clicking HERE.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Love, Joy and Peace to you,
Winnis Chiang