A Greater Weight of Glory
Based on a testimony from “Sabah Testimony Book 2006”
Brother Leong Zhao Siong was
around thirty years of age and belonged to the Kota Kinabalu church in Sabah.
Not long after his baptism, relatives and friends sent him and his newly wedded
wife off, as they traveled to Canada for their honeymoon. Sadly, this was a
trip of no return.
Brother Leong met with a fatal car
accident in Canada. The driver of the car that he was in lost control of the
vehicle while driving in the winter snow. The car flung to the opposite side of
the road, swirled and crashed head on with an oncoming car. Death was
immediate. His wife was also seriously injured.
The long distance telephone call
from Canada was like a clap of thunder to his mother. She could not accept the
fact; it was too sudden. She nearly fainted.
When church brethren visited the family to offer condolences and comfort to the
family, brother Leong’s ashes had just arrived from Canada. The Leong family
had only one son. His early death came so suddenly
that everyone could understand why brother Leong’s mother wept so endlessly and
sorrowfully. But unexpectedly, the end of man is the beginning of God’s grace….
“…And God will wipe away every tear from their
eyes.” (Rev 7:17)
Confronted with such great pain
and sorrow, even the brothers and sisters in Christ who visited the bereaved
family could not control their tears. Words were not sufficient to comfort
them. In the end, the visitors sang three hymns with the family: “Think and
Reflect”, “Heaven Is My Home” and ”In the Sweet By and
By”. All these hymns were related to the believers’ hope of the heavenly home.
Amazingly, the mourning family’s heart felt more at peace after they had sung
those hymns. This shows that hymns truly comfort the broken-hearted. Hymns are
similar to prayers—they help us to express what is in our inmost heart and to
tell our sorrows to the Lord. Hymn singing can also help us to comprehend the
will and the love of God, and lift any heavy weight or pressure from our
hearts. Therefore, whenever we are in sorrow or affliction, let us remember to
sing hymns of praise to God.
On the night that the Lord Jesus
was betrayed, His heart was very sorrowful—even to the point of death. So, He
did two things. First, after eating the Passover dinner with His disciples, He
sang hymns with them. Certain old manuscripts say that they sang all the way to
the Mount of Olives. Second, He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. When Paul
and Silas were thrown into prison and faced such an adverse situation, they did
not forget to pray and to sing hymns in praise of God. They were thus able to
face their afflictions bravely. This was a most moving event. Therefore even
the earth shook and the prison doors burst open.
“…I have tested you in the furnace of
affliction.” (Isa 48:10)
in Brother Leong’s Father
Even more unexpected was the
decision of brother Leong’s father to accept baptism into the Lord. Some might
have expected that he would reject the faith in his grief. That would have been
a natural human reaction. Yet, he wanted
to be baptized. Later, when asked on the reason for his decision, he simply
replied, “Three hymns.” These three hymns had touched his heart deeply. He had
received inexpressible inspiration and unconscious comfort from them. By God’s
grace, his spiritual eyes were opened so that he could see the true meaning of
life and make a great change to his philosophy of life. In the past, he had
only sought fame and profits in this world and had deeply disliked the true
church. Consequently, he had never wanted to accept the gospel. However, when
his son’s life was taken away, he had to face the fact that life is too
fragile. Many questions kept floating into his mind, e.g., “What is the true
meaning of man’s life in the world?”, “What ought a man
pursue in this life?”
All these questions eventually made him realize that Jesus is the most precious
treasure in the world and the only hope and reliance of man in this temporary
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who
have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs…. (Ps 84:5–6).
God truly turned the valley of
tears into a place of springs for brother Leong’s family. He used this great
affliction to bring his father, and also his grandmother, to believe in Christ.
In addition, the Lord revived the faith of brother Leong’s mother. In the past
she had not been attending church services regularly due to her husband’s
unbelief. But after her son’s death, she and her whole family grew in fervency.
They began to attend church services regularly and to join in the divine work.
The great grace and love of the Lord is really beyond the expectation of men.
“Who comforts us in all our troubles….” (2 Cor 1:4)
Comfort from God through Visions
Brother Leong’s sudden death
caused many tears to fall and many hearts to bleed, not only among his physical
but also among his spiritual family members. But Jesus lovingly wiped away all
During a visit to the bereaved
family, a sister saw a glorious light in prayer. Her heart had been heavy with
sadness, but when she saw this vision, she was filled with joy. When she shared
this vision with the Leong family, they received great comfort and assurance
that the Lord was with them.
Later, brother Leong’s mother also
saw a vision during a prayer that deeply comforted her. In her vision, she was
taken to a very bright place. Although it was very bright, the light that she
saw was a gentle one. She was then lifted up into a clear sky, passed through a
forest of green trees and came to a very beautiful place. When she saw this
beautiful scene, her heart immediately rejoiced, and the dark mist that had
wrapped up her heart vanished completely. She seemed to have been lifted up
from a painful abyss into a very joyful world. She felt as if she had entered
into heaven and her heart was filled with an inexpressible serenity, joy and
comfort, which she had never experienced before. Therefore, she could not help
but to pray loudly in praise of the Lord Jesus. When she saw the same vision a
second time during that prayer, she was so happy that she even broke into high
spiritual song and did not want to stop praying. A week later, God allowed her
to see another vision. This time she saw many doors in heaven from which
glorious light shone forth.
The Lord Jesus said,
Do not let your hearts be troubled … I am going
there to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I
will come back and take you to be with me that you may also
may be where I am. (Jn 14:1–3)
Intention Is Good
Brother Leong’s mother used to
have very little knowledge of the word of God, so she could not find an answer
to the events in her life. The Lord, however, helped her to understand that the
pain of physical separation from her beloved son had eventually achieved a
greater purpose—the salvation of her whole family. These events were to show
her that her home is not in this world but in heaven.
We are but sojourners in this
world; therefore do not yearn for the affections and the things of this world.
All things in the world will pass away. So, we ought to hope in that which is eternal, the more beautiful place in heaven,
built and governed by God and prepared for those who love Him. One day, we will
return to that place which is wonderful beyond compare. On that day, when we
are united in joyful fellowship with the Lord in our heavenly home, we will
finally understand and say: “O Lord! All Your intentions are good, for they
have accomplished today’s salvation for us.”
upon Comprehending God’s Will
Many a time, God gives us the
opportunity to accompany our brothers and sisters in Christ through their
physical, emotional and spiritual pain and affliction. We ourselves may also
have tasted such afflictions. On the surface, it seems as if God were quite
unfair and cruel by allowing His children to suffer. However, God’s intention
is good. In fact, He will not allow His children to suffer in vain—there is a
Moreover, He will walk through the
valley of the shadow of death together with us; He will comfort and encourage
us, give us grace and eventually, allow us to comprehend His will.
And though the Lord gives you the bread of
adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into
a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers.
For our light and momentary troubles are
achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Cor 4:17)
Yes, the answer lies here,
“achieving for us” an eternal glory that far outweighs them all….