the creek was my favorite spot when i was in huay bong village, chiang-mai, last week. i went up there to visit my friend’s family and experienced new adventure. because only few people would speak thai with me, i was put in a position where i had to force all my karen language skills to use, even as little as it might be. very often, i found myself brain-fried and emotionally drained because of the effort to understand the language and to please the villagers.
i was pushed to the edge both in physicality and mentality. my friend didn’t treat me as a guest but as a part of his family, which means i couldn’t just sit around and be served. instead, i was asked (or even sometimes bossed around) to do the dishes, sweep the floor, carry logs, cut lemongrass, clean 6 river fish and cook. he intended to test me and train me so that i would at least have a taste of what it’s like to be a karen. and if i said i wanted to be a missionary for the karen tribe, then i needed this lesson. but like refined gold, one must go through trials to receive the crown.
i shed many tears for the sake of my self-worth, doubts and physical pain.
in those moments, i usually walked across the field of grass to the other side where butterflies fluttered quiet and dragonflies landed softly on pebbles. i would sit there, toes deep in the water, ignorant of the hours passed, listening to the gurgling sound of the stream and be filled.
nature puts me back into perspective. branches sticking out from different kinds of trees, bearing different type of fruits; flowers delicately woven for eyes like mine to behold and the immovable mountains that can crumble with just God’s whisper. they represented His creativity, tenderness and majesty. as i sat there, i worshipped Him…the God of abraham, isaac and jacob…my God.
the scripture from psalm 146:3-5 rang clearly in my mind like the gurgling noise of the creek:
“do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. his spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish. happy is he who has the God of jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”
by the creek, together with God, the song of sparrows spoke comfort to my sorrowful heart. the breeze gently wiped away tears from my eyes. and the mountain wrapped its strong arm around me.
though the journey towards my vision of becoming a missionary in the karen tribe is daunting, and the constant “why me” plagues at my heart, the Spirit of the Lord has assured me that everything that is happening serves His purposes of redemption for mankind.
with this truth tucked securely in my heart, i rose up and determined to overthrow every struggle with the hope in the God of the universe and with the strength of the One who says, “i have overcome the world”.