Making Me Fireproof:
Praising the Lord and Blessing Others in Extreme Conditions
God works in mysterious ways that we may never understand but as long as we obey and live a life focused on Him; He can do great and mighty things. Being completely obedient to God is not easy but the joy that we will experience as a result is something that is beyond what words can describe.
A life that is full of miracles and God’s stories can be joyous. It has been almost a year since mom went home to be with the Lord. The reason why God has placed me in this darkening work environment and putting me through a grieving period with friends and my own family is to use my experience in Him to change other people’s lives, and to allow my painful journey to bless others and lift them up. I have found that the more I experience Him, the more faithful I have become and the more I want to praise Him. Here’s the continuation of my unfolding story on how God continues to use my dual storms to make me a light in a dark and broken world.
1. God knows exactly when and where to place us
Just over two months ago, I was coming home from an 11-hour work day. God placed me and my neighbour whose mother’s health is deteriorating in the same elevator in my building, the same person who I shared my mom’s story with a few months back in the parking garage when I got her in tears.
Her mother has been in a nursing home and was in great pain at the time. The doctor said she could pass any time and the prognosis was only for a few weeks. All of a sudden April 9, 2014 came back when I was told about my mom’s condition. We cried and prayed together. I shared with her my experience during my grieving period and how I have turned to Christ for peace and comfort.
What was amazing was that God knew exactly when and where to place us. My neighbour was just returning from visiting her mother when the doctor told her Jesus could take her any time. She has not even gotten home yet and I showed up in the elevator as the first person she met after hearing the bad news. Before heading to the elevator, I took a short break looking at community notices in the lobby in my building on my way upstairs. God made me wait so that I could be in the same elevator with her as she came up from the garage. God is always on time, He is never early and He is never late.
Since that elevator ride, I have frequently bumped into this neighbour of mine and she continues to share with me the amazing story about her mother, who is still alive and well as I am writing this blog. On Easter Sunday a miracle happened when she returned to the nursing home to see her mother, who was not in her bedroom at the time. Her mother’s condition has improved so much
that she was walking around in the nursing home talking to others. My neighbour anticipated that was her last moment with her mother when they found peace with each other earlier that morning. It turned out that God had other plans, He said not yet.
2. God has a mission for each one of us
Just over a month after the elevator ministry. God took my ministry to another level. Because of the stress and craziness of my work environment, I was diagnosed with workplace induced hypertension a few years ago, a condition that I have finally found a way to manage. But this is also when God put me to work once again, ministering to the person who has been the reason behind the anxiety – my own boss. She was losing her sister (at a young age) to illness, who passed away shortly after I started praying for her and the family.
After days of prayers, I decided to attend the funeral visitation of my boss’ sister just a few days before mother’s day. The funeral took place on a day when I was off work and just before I was leaving the country for a much needed break. It was a 35-minute visit at the funeral home where I did not know anyone but my boss; but God spoke to me and gave me the encouragement that I needed to head into this year's mother's day, my first since mom went home to be with the Lord. I managed to get through the visit and it was not until my boss said, this must bring back memories of my mom when tears started to come down hard – she ended up having to give me a hug in return.
I met most of the family members but it was my brief chat with my boss’ brother-in-law that I felt touched. He has very strong faith and he told me the story of how his wife had been blessed for over 10 years after her heart transplant and during this time, how she never stopped volunteering to support other heart transplant patients and their families. His wife had great strength to struggle through her last couple years with health complications but she never gave up. The night before she passed away she was holding in her hands a picture of Jesus. It was this strength God gave her that is now helping the family get through this difficult time. There were scrap books on display in the room that were made by her husband for each year she was blessed to live after her heart transplant. I only managed to get through a couple of them and it was like reading the story of how Jesus worked to help others. I felt encouraged and it was exactly what I needed to get through this year’s emotional mother’s day.
3. God has bigger plans for us
Despite the exhaustion, both physically and emotionally, God gave me an opportunity recently to attend another job interview. This was my 10th job interview and 112th job application since March 2012 when I started to pray for God to deliver me out of this darkening work environment. But instead of delivering me out of the fire, He has made me fireproof.
Looking back, it is clear that God’s plan is always bigger than ours. He has kept me here at this darkening workplace for almost four years to build my character and to minister to the person who
is one of the reasons for my desire to leave this job. Along the way He has also given me other co-workers in need to practise my skills and has turned me into a prayer warrior.
God tells us in His Word, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.” Psalm 37:3-8 (NIV)
God's grace is indeed sufficient for all of us. If we truly follow His lead and just simply respond to His urgent call to serve Him everywhere, He sure can use us to share His grace and love, and to be His light in the darkest place in this broken world. The reward is beyond what we can imagine. May His glorious name be praised!
Lorraine FungJune 2, 2015