Daniel 4 is the king’s public address to his people, like the President’s State of the Union address. It’s really sad for me to say that even though I have lived in America for more than 25 years, was born and raised in California, I have never been interested enough to watch any State of the Union address, not even from Obama the first black president. However during the offering prayer, this passage was described as the king’s testimony sharing. I have been listening to testimonies for years so I have a better idea what this is about. The king will talk about great things God did for him! How he experienced God personally! Nebuchadnezzar’s personal experience with God was so great that he shared it publicly, with the whole world. God confirms that this is a good testimony by giving it a whole chapter in the Bible.
From the start the king catches my attention saying he will talk about “miraculous signs and wonders” God performed for him. His eyes were really opened to God for the first time in his life. After my Bible study in Mark 2, my eyes were opened to Jesus for the first time in my life. If I could express it myself, I might say, “It is my pleasure to tell about the miraculous sign and wonder of Jesus.” His love was like a miraculous sign and wonder for me. Because I was always taught in Sunday School that God loved the world, that was already in my brain. Also it was just a fact that Jesus was on earth a long time ago. But it never crossed my mind that he knew me as “Son” and he knew about my sins. Jesus having such a depth of understanding about me and a personal love for me was unfathomable. It basically meant that Jesus had been watching me and loving me all my life leading up to that Bible study. It was miraculous that Jesus had been in my life together with me for 18 years.
When I was a confused child, wondering, “Where is my dad?” Jesus saw me and loved me with broken heart. When I was in my room playing with toys and watching movies by myself, I was actually not alone because Jesus was right there. When I was in school, not having any group to fit in with, just going here and there, Jesus watched over me. When I was near the point of death, Jesus protected me from going off the deep end. When I was bummed out that I did not get accepted into USC, Jesus arranged that I would go to CSULB where there was a shepherd, so that I could get fished right away in my freshmen year. Then after 18 years, finally Jesus poured out all his love in that one to one Bible study. In almost every testimony I write, I talk about that Bible study and Mark 2:5, because like the king’s key point of his address; this is really the key point of my life. Jesus is the miraculous sign and wonder of God in my life, so I cannot help but to write about it and talk about it all the time. And I will never get tired of talking about the miraculous sign and wonder of Jesus. This is only the King’s opening line and already his testimony is so touching. He has me reflecting on my whole life.
The content of his testimony is that when God intervened in his life, he experienced the worst case scenario. If I could share my challenges with the king, he would be all the more happy and thankful for God’s goodness, power, and wisdom in my life. Anyone who really encounters him will praise and thank him even after suffering for many years. The closest I ever came to the worse case was around college graduation. Around that time my mom lost her job. She moved out of my childhood home where I had lived in my cozy room for more than 20 years into an apartment that was 2 rooms instead of 3. That’s when I moved in with my dad for a few months until he suddenly died in a car accident. After that my step mom kicked me out, and I was in 3 different motels for about 2 months; living out of suitcases. If my grandmother was still in California, I would have lived with her, but she had moved to Texas when I was 10 years old.
This was my first experience after graduation and entering the real world. It was a depressing and scary time when I was really pushed to my limit. I had no one to rely on, not my mom, dad, or grandmother–until one day while driving back to the motel room, when I got a call from Missionary John. The first thing he asked was, “Herman, where are you staying?” In John’s Gospel, the disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” It was out of their desire to spend time with him. Looking back I can see that Jesus wanted to spend time with me, but I was rotting in the motel. When I told him where I was staying, Missionary John said, “Leave the motel and go to the Common Life with Pedro right away.” I never thought in my whole life that a Korean would call me and give me a place to stay. But he is a servant of God, and God’s divine wisdom and mighty power was at work behind the scenes.
The message declares, “Everything happened so that eventually, we would open our hearts and meet God personally.” Everything includes my grandmother moving away when I was a child; my mom being one of the few to get laid off; even my dad’s death. When I entered the real world, I felt alone, thinking I had nobody to rely on. But God controlled everything in my life and was driving me to the place where I could really meet him as my Father in heaven who is with me all the days of my life. From heaven, he provides for me with his divine wisdom and revives me with his mighty power. Through my real challenges, God became real, performing miraculous signs and wonders in my practical life. Things always worked out so that I never had to skip one meal. I never went bankrupt or homeless. I always had a place to stay and food to eat. Eventually when it was time for me to leave the common life with Pedro, another place to stay quickly popped up that was close by and affordable. I also had 2 stable long-term jobs, including my job today. Even though I was never qualified, I was hired, promoted, and rewarded.
Apostle Paul says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Of course I am not alone, because Christ Jesus brought me into existence and God worked hard together with him, preparing everything in advance. He came down to my level and performed miraculous signs and wonders over and over again. He did so much in my life, all so that I could meet him. Today I should no longer insist my own way or understanding just because I dont like it. I need to be a humble son and submit to what my Father in heaven has prepared for me. Ultimately, he prepared for us to have a glorious life together. Then as his workmanship, my life will reveal his glory to peoples and nations of every language.