God works, and He works everywhere. If I ever doubted – or doubt in the future – His omnipresence, may this post bring me back to the truth. Two short stories occurred that are so random, but so clearly God working in my life.
On Friday night, I finally got to go fishing (for real this time, not just walking into my potential death at every corner). At first, I only caught a lizardfish the entire night, but when Luke came up with the genius idea to go surf fishing,
“Are you okay with catching nothing?”
“Yeah sure, I caught a lizardfish today already so it’s chill.”
After checking the crab net and reeling up a less-than-palm-sized crab, we packed up our stuff to go to shallower, more enticing waters. We set up the two longest rods with one hook rigs, which Luke taught me how to make properly with a sliding sinker, and then we put on our squid bait. I went to the restroom and came back, and Luke said to keep an eye on my rod because there seemed to be interest. I proceeded to play Flow Free. After seeing the nibbles he was referring to, he (after going to the restroom) came back and said that the hook I chose to put on the rig was one of a few that he used when he caught his shovel nose guitarfish. My rod only got nibbles for about an hour, and at 12:56:
“Wanna call it a day at 1:15?”
“Hmm sure. What time is it right now?”
“Like almost one.”
Dejection was in the air for sure, as both of us had secretly hoped to catch something. I cast out my line one last time and just waited. Suddenly, after what seemed like five minutes, my rod fell against the pier. I looked back, expecting to see Luke in the vicinity having accidentally kicked it, but upon seeing no one, I realized that my line was actually being yanked by something on the other end. Quickly, I took up the rod and began pulling up and reeling in as he instructed. It got to a point where it seemed like
“Dang…I think my line is stuck…”
“Oh really? Wait, does it feel like you’re pulling in a realllly heavy something?”
“Hmm…*reels* now that you mention it, it does!”
Eventually on the surface of the water, a white patch appeared. It was a ray! And it was not a small one either. Luke swiftly moved to use treble hooks to try and simulate reeling up the fish with two rods, but the effort was mangled when it got tangled with my line. Thinking quickly on his feet, he used the crab net and let it down quickly, hoping to get there before my line snapped from the tension. I realized what he was trying to do and then lifted the ray up out of the water as he scooped the net underneath the ray and started yanking up, with me reeling in all the while. It was about two feet long and it came at a time when we had both given up. I realized that this is when God is able to use us and surprise us in our lives. It was such a small event in the grand scheme of things, but it made me appreciate how God works – His power is made perfect in weakness.
The next thing was the fact that for Saturday night’s gospel meeting, Brother Huang, who serves in the prison ministry in Taiwan, was going to be sharing. He had previously shared many times at Westminster, so I went into the night’s event jaded from thinking that I had already heard all the stories. However, after hearing the testimonies shared by the young men that Brother Huang was working with and hearing miniature biographies from one of the prison ministry workers – who was an ex-heroine addict himself and shared his own testimony – I found myself moved afresh by what I heard. God really showed me how He gives us so many opportunities to reach out; we need only grasp them. As I was helping the reset the format of the church seating arrangements, Alan came to give me dessert by request of my mom. I smiled and told him to serve our guests from Taiwan first, which led me to breaking out of my bubble of insecurity and speaking to one of the kids, telling him to please take the dessert. Eventually, Sheng Hao, a boy who had trouble staying in school because teachers found his incessant singing a huge distraction to the class, asked the boy I talked to what I said. Seeing this in the corner of my eye, I had a sense that I was going to talk to him. He came over and we made eye contact, and he thanked me for being so welcoming to them. I, in turn, thanked him for coming and sharing his story with all of us. We eventually began chatting, and I even joked with him about having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for singing. We exchanged names and became friends, and I learned that apparently, his assigned English name in was also Ben. When they were called to leave, I invited him to come back again some time and gave praise to God in my heart for opening up that door. I also learned that the son of Brother Huang was going to be serving the Chinese-speaking ministry in the Bay area at the church that Jeremy Lin attended. I remembered that Daniel also went to that church, and so I approached him and asked him to keep a lookout for D. Yeh. And to wrap it all up, the stirring messages that were shared showed me how blessed I was to live in the environment that I lived in, to have a whole (as opposed to broken) family, and that I could have the privilege of hearing their stories and – as with Sheng Hao – become a part of their incredible journeys in Christ. I normally wouldn’t have even approached them, but God really worked in a way that opened up the opportunity to do so. I don’t understand how God works, but after tonight, I don’t even want to. All I know is that He is capable of doing works within me that I thought impossible, and I pray to walk by faith so that He continues opening doors and that I am bold to open them.