BY Dorcas Cheng
Back in November 2019, our church just finished its Missions Conference. On the last day, during prayer time, I went to Pastor Alan and Amy to receive prayer and they asked what I wanted Jesus to do for me. In tears (of course), I replied, “Courage, I want Jesus to give me courage.” Then the pandemic hit and I thought I would stay home and do nothing. But nothing can stop God and He said to me, “Didn’t you ask for courage? I will give you courage.” Sure enough, God opened up opportunities to step out of my comfort zone with courage.
He gave me courage to sign up for the Empower class, knowing that I will have to write reflective and theological papers even though I haven’t written one for more than twenty years. Through Empower, God gave me:
- Courage to write again
- Courage to reflect on my life – all the good, the bad, and the ugly — and see God connect them into a beautiful story of His love
- Courage to write a life mission statement, which I recommend for everyone to do
- Courage to step out of my comfort zone and to cross my “boundaries” to initiate conversations with my neighbors and ask people if I can pray for them
- Courage to surrender the 2nd half of my earthly life to God
During Empower, God has asked me whether I trusted him over and over again…Do I trust Him? Do I trust what He says in the Bible? Do I trust in His promises? Do I trust in His faithful and steadfast love to surrender my life to Him?
Coming into Empower, I was in a season where I felt useless. I just turned 50 and believed the lie that my life was over. I was too old to do or start anything. But God asked me whether I trusted Him with my life, even at 50 yrs old. In the Spiritual Formation class, I read the book, Surrender to God’s Love by David G. Benner, and in the book God helped me to understand that surrendering is similar to me floating in the river of God’s love. God asked me to trust Him and to surrender my life to Him — staying afloat in the river of His love.
I am thankful that I was able to be in Empower, especially during the pandemic where uncertainty, fear, and loneliness were prevalent. The classes and books that I read kept me on course and brought me deeper and deeper in my understanding of God’s heart for His people. The last class I had was “Calling to Missions” taught by Ingrid Davis. As I was listening to the lecture, I had a vague feeling that I had heard this message before. God prompted me to look at my notes from the Missions Conference back in November 2019. I suddenly realized that the reason that the lecture sounded so familiar was because the professor and her husband were the same speakers for the Missions Conference! The message I heard more than a year ago that prompted me to ask Jesus for courage, was the same message that concluded Empower…“As long as God is saving, rescuing and restoring all people, nations, and languages back into relationship with Him, I still have a part.” God has shown me my redeemed and transformed life is for Him and His purposes. For this, I will keep asking for courage to trust in Him and stay afloat in the river of God’s love and bring people with me into His river.