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 (Manna 51: Family Focus)
Transcendental Peace from God
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Transcendental Peace from God

Patricia Chen—Irvine, California, USA

The Unsettling News

            For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” (Jas 4:14-15)

This passage resonates loudly for me, and I am thankful for this opportunity to share an amazing blessing from God.

I have often thought that it is a wonderful grace to be able to do God’s work, and I treasure every opportunity that I am given. So when I was assigned by the church to go to Australia to assist in the Religious Education Teachers’ Seminar to be held in April 2003, I took hold of that opportunity and made the necessary arrangements in December 2002.

That same month, I also went to see my physician for a routine physical. Upon examination, he found a small lump in my left ovary, which prompted him to schedule a second ultrasound in three months’ time. Dutifully, I returned for the second ultrasound in March 2003.

During the second round of checkups, the physician informed me that the lump had grown and was now the size of a kiwi. That would explain the tingling pain I had been feeling in my left abdomen those past few months. To be on the safe side, the physician urged me to undergo surgery within the next few weeks to remove the tumor.

I struggled greatly in my heart when I heard the news. What about my plans for Australia next month? What was I going to do? If I went through with the surgery, I would have to be confined to bed rest for at least a week, and I would have to cancel the church assignment.

The Inner Struggle

Although it was not a matter of life or death, it was a tough dilemma for me. Should I rely on God and ask Him to have mercy on me so that I could have the faith to attend the seminar and undergo the surgery after I returned? Or should I heed the doctor’s advice and have the tumor removed?

I have often told my religious education students that they should trust in God and rely on Him. The question was how much? I felt myself challenged to face the truth about my own level of faith. Was it just a theoretical understanding or did I, with true conviction, believe that He could help me? Each trial we face could well be the beginning of God’s renewing grace. But before we can learn this lesson, we first have to trust that God’s grace is sufficient. As these thoughts went through my mind, my little faith soared.

In my heart a small voice was telling me not to be afraid but to face my trial with courage. God’s grace would be sufficient for me. After a few minutes of pondering, I told the doctor that because of my trip, I would not be able to do the surgery until the beginning of May. He asked me if that was my final decision. I firmly replied, “Yes.” He scheduled another check-up for April 28 and a surgery on May 1 at 8:30 in the morning.

After I left his clinic, I sought the advice of another doctor and a medical professional. They both warned me that if my tumor enlarged over the next few weeks, there was a chance that it could rupture and I would bleed internally—causing major complications.

When I heard this, I felt a chill run down my spine. What if I had made the wrong decision? My inner struggles returned once again. Should I go or should I stay? The church had already bought the plane ticket. There were teachers from different churches in Australia who were eagerly awaiting this seminar. These were teachers who worked tirelessly for God, never expecting any compensation. Only the love of God could effect such dedication. Compared to all these volunteers, shouldn’t I, as a full-time worker of God, all the more fulfill the work He has entrusted to me?

The Peace from Entrusting Him

The inner turmoil slowly began to subside. I was brought back to the memory of my mom when she had surgery years ago. Coincidentally, at that time, I had also been sent away to do holy work. What God wanted me to learn was to give all my burdens to Him. Through prayer, God will give us unexpected peace just as it says in Philippians 4:7, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

It was a hard lesson. But I knew I needed to submit myself to God all the more, for that was the way to receive strength from Him. With the prayers of my family and colleagues behind me, I set off for Australia. Thank God, I once again experienced the joy and value of working for Him. Throughout the seminar, I soaked in the words of God. His presence was greatly felt when I prayed together with the teachers at the seminar. One could not reap such joy from any work in the secular world.

Each day, I asked God to guide me and to help me accept the trials He put in my way. However, a part of me did not dare to ask for Him to remove the tumor. I felt small and insignificant and did not deserve God’s grace and mercy. I only asked Him to guide me back to the US safely and that the surgery would be successful.

The Power of God

I returned safely to the US on April 26. On the 28th, I went to see the doctor as scheduled. I remember the doctor asking me if I was ready for the surgery the following Monday. He reminded me that I needed to arrange for post-surgery pickup from the hospital. As the doctor was talking to me, a small voice inside me urged me to request another ultrasound and see how large the tumor had become. Because this powerful urge came over me, I boldly asked the doctor to have another ultrasound done.

Thank the grace of God, he agreed. Miraculously, the doctor could not find the tumor. He searched for a long time, but he just could not locate it. In my heart, I knew what had happened and could not stop repeating, “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!” The doctor was bewildered and said that the tumor had disappeared completely. In the end, he told me there was no need for surgery.

God knew very well how terrified I was of the surgery and mercifully spared me. The Americans have a saying that goes, “No surgery is a good surgery.” As I walked out of the hospital, I felt lightness in my feet and I was overjoyed. I quickly told my husband and my family this great piece of news. I also called my colleagues and shared with them my overflowing happiness and peace.

I thank God for guiding my path and allowing me to experience His presence in my life. If it were not for the mercy and grace of God, the tumor could not have simply disappeared. I also thank God that He gave me the courage to ask for another ultrasound so that I did not have to undergo surgery.

John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This verse speaks directly to this miracle. All the glory be unto God’s name. Amen.

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Publisher: True Jesus Church