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Incredible Joy

posted Apr 6, 2010, 12:56 PM by Elisa Lui   [ updated Apr 6, 2010, 9:08 PM ]

July 2008

They say that you ought to be careful what you pray for, because it just might become true. Now, I’ve experienced that firsthand. I have been praying for my dad’s salvation for years, asking that God do "whatever it takes" to reach him. Two weeks ago, my father discovered he had cancer in his gallbladder.

Now, I am incredibly joyful that God has transformed my earthly father from an obstinate atheist to a citizen of the heavenly kingdom. After years of forbidding my family to discuss about God at home, belittling Christianity as only a form of therapy, denying the notion of life after death, arguing with pastors, and refusing to attend any events that were hosted by a Christian organization, my dad accepted Christ on June 25th.

After receiving his biopsy result, my dad asked me about my thoughts on death. I shared with him my belief that even though our bodies would disintegrate after death, but our souls would continue to exist in eternity. I also said, "Dad, after I die, I am going to see mom, grandma, and brother in heaven, but I am not going to see you." For a man who had devoted all his life for the well being of the family, that disturbed him greatly. "But I want to see you all," said my dad with a desperate look on his face. Death was no longer just a common occurrence that my father encountered among his patients; it had become an unknown territory in which he had to confront on his own.

in the following days, God blessed me the opportunities to share the gospel with my dad in long, deep, and honest discussions. At the end of the week, my father even asked me to bring him to church. After getting back from church, I was completely blown away when my dad told me that he wanted to start reading the bible and asked me where he should start. I proposed to begin with the Gospel of John and quickly ordered a giant-print bible online, which arrived the next day. However, God was moving much faster than express mail. As I was unwrapping the bible from the packaging the next day, my dad announced that he was ready to accept Christ. It was important to me that my dad was really accepting Christ for who HE is, and not because of a desire to please my family, so I went over each point of the Four Spiritual Laws and peppered him with questions. At 9:30pm that night, my mother and I lay our hands on my dad as he prayed to invite the Holy Spirit to dwell in his heart. We then studied the first chapter of the Gospel of John together.

God’s amazing grace continued to overflow in the days after. As a medical interpreter, my father had spent the past decade discouraging his patients from Christianity. I had prayed for many years that one day my dad would use this job to spread the gospel rather than reproving God. Although I never shared these prayers with anyone, recent events feel like God’s gracious response in HIS timing. For the past week, my dad had been telling his patient to give their worries utterly to God because God has a plan and HE will carry their burdens for them. I have no doubt it was the Holy Spirit who was speaking through him.

Prior to this experience, my dad always claimed to be unwilling to accept God until he had clear and proven answers to all his questions. Faced with his own mortality, my dad had to decide whether those questions were really the reasons that he didn’t accept Christ, or if they were just an excuse. It as if that God knew exactly what was needed to disperse my dad’s skepticism, and that HE deftly answered my "whatever it takes" prayers for my dad’s salvation. I am grateful that it did not take something even direr to pierce my dad’s unwillingness; I am even more grateful that my dad now knows Christ.