From the Pastor’s Desk:Rev.Collins Kung
Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,
Reflecting on the loss of my mother recently reminds me of this verse from Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”
When we are born and when we die is not something we can control or decide, it is determined by God.
My mother once told me that she wanted to return to heavenly home early, because she felt that her health was deteriorating, and she is living in the torment of illness every day, and it was difficult to continue to live in such a way. When I heard her saying this, I felt sad in my heart, but I also understood her desire. I felt the conflict in my heart. As her son, I don’t want to see her suffering indefinitely nor wanting her to die early.
I still remember that our family always gave her positive energy every time we visited her through the video call in the hospital or nursing home. We comforted her with the words of the Bible and hymns. We prayed for her too, asking God to give her strength and mercy, peace and joy to go through each day. I did not ask our Heavenly Father to take her away as soon as possible, but asked the merciful Lord to give her strength to live every day.
Her passing recently reminded me that God has His time to make everything beautiful in its time.
First of all, the day of her death (Hong Kong time: February 8th) happened right after our church’s Tuesday prayer meeting. I firmly believe that God has heard all of our prayers, and according to His good will, let her rest from her labors on the earth and rest in the arms of the Lord. After the prayer meeting, I received the message from my family that the nursing home informed us that my mother lost consciousness and was sent to the hospital where her death was confirmed. According to the daily routine in the nursing home, she had a shower that morning, she had lunch, and she rested. She went with the Lord in her sleep. No one knows, neither the staff at the nursing home nor my family, not even herself, only God knows.
Secondly, after the prayer meeting on Tuesday, it was Wednesday, which happened to be my Sabbath. I was riding a bicycle alone, passing the woods and seaside to meditate quietly. I cried while cycling, and I released all my suppressed emotions. God let me cry for the whole day, and I gradually calmed down.
Thirdly, when I was preparing to preach the following week, I had scheduled the story of the resurrection of Lazarus long time ago. God comforted me with His words when I prepared the message, John 11:25 Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live”, God himself wiped away my tears.
Fourthly, I recalled the video call with my mother a week before she passed away. At that time, she was well and more responsive than any previous visits in the past. She asked us questions and answered our questions. So I encouraged her to recite the Lord’s Prayer to us, and she recited it verbatim. (Unlike in the past she just followed us to read in broken sentences). At the end of the visit on video, I prayed for her and she responded with amen. Although I can no longer talk to her now, this conversation allowed me to witness the kindness of God, and I have no regrets.
Finally, God has made a way for me to return to Hong Kong to attend my mother’s funeral. Originally, I was scheduled to preach on March 18/19, instead we have “One Circle” worship team to lead the worship and to preach that week, which had lessened my work load. I have arranged to return to Hong Kong from March 13-17, the impact on the church’s ministries will be reduced to the minimal between the two Sundays during my absence. Furthermore, the travel restriction between China and Hong Kong had been uplifted, our uncles, aunts and other relatives can also come to Hong Kong from the mainland China to attend the funeral service. This is a good opportunity for them to hear the gospel. May God use Mother’s funeral service as an opportunity to witness the gospel.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
May all glory to our Heavenly Father, amen!
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Collins Kung