My dad and I were just talking about the sincere and touching testimonies we heard tonight…However, I was troubled when one shepherd mentioned having no human contact at all aside from crazy people all week, even though at the same time he said this was the best time for him to really be with God. Then I came up with an idea for having some fellowship – getting everyone together on a Zoom meeting with some Christian music playing, and commenting away on blog posts as fast as they could. It could be a great contest, with prizes!
But my dad pointed out that this might be a good idea if there was really spiritual reason to do so, but what’s the meaning of having a commenting contest just to kill time? Maybe other people might, but shepherds don’t waste their time like that.
Deflated, I couldn’t help but agree. I tend to think that all anyone needs is some fun and laughter to be happy, but that’s not true. It’s not even true for me, either. Fun has its place in life, but there are deeper things that humans need. In the movie Inside Out, it’s actually the emotion named Sadness who plays a key role in establishing a core memory for Riley. Remembering this, I added, “It seems sadness is more important than joy in developing our character.” My dad replied, “If it leads you to Jesus. Without Jesus, it only becomes nostalgia.” Then he spoke about his most sorrowful moments, the loneliest time as a shepherd, when his sorrow was so thick he could almost touch it. Yet those were the times when he met God.
So instead of just trying to get people to have fun, I realize that something really worth our time, more than just having fun fellowship, is to remember God. Hence, this open question for all the shepherds: what were your moments of sorrow where you really met Him?
First!!! I’m the first commenter. I win a prize.
Humor aside, and to receive this post in the spirit it was shared, I recall a very personal struggle that lasted two miserable years. Tears were abundant every single day. Tremendous mental distress was there. My heart and emotion had already escaped my control. To make a long story short, eventually God healed me completely. My only regret is letting that matter hurt me as much as it did.
The only thing worst than NOT getting what you want, IS getting what you want. I thank God for all the times He did not give me what I wanted! God always answer my prayers. Rarely He answer yes, mostly no. But they are all answered prayers that I could not be happier!!!
Wait a second your comment became much longer than before! Haha
I remember you shared once about the song “You raise me up” – especially the line “Then I am still and wait here in the silence, until you come and sit awhile with me.” That line stuck in my head. Up till then I had never paid much attention to it, but after you talked about it, I realized how touching it is that Jesus comes and sits awhile with us, when we simply have no words to pray, because of grief or shame or whatever it might be. Just His presence is everything. Praise God that He saw you and was with you during that time!
I wonder what your prayer topics were 😅
I had no prayer topic during those two painful years. I was just trying to survive LOL.
Wow, what insightful language! God answers our prayers even through the waiting, through not giving us what we want, and through his “No.” Praise God that he healed you completely and I pray that would happen continuously in your life! And yes, as many people on the internet say “FIRST!!” you should receive some sort of prize, hahaha. God bless you brother in Christ! 🙂
Yes, there should be a prize for that LOL
It would have to be a prize made suitable for @[(B)lasting (A)gent (O)range]
When Shep. Andrew talked about Jesus’s words to him tonight, I could resonate with him so much because Jesus told him the same thing. “You of little faith,” Jesus gently rebukes, and reminds me that he is in the boat with me. One time I was reading the passage in turn with my student. As I read this verse, Matthew 14:31 – ³¹ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” I was deeply touched because it seemed to me Jesus was actually saying these words to me. At that time, I was having a hard time struggling with anxiety and mess of my life, I was dragging myself to bible study with a heavy heart, but he encouraged me to have faith in him. Why did you doubt? My student didn’t know what’s going on even though my voice was a little shaky. I never thought I could meet Jesus during the time of reading the passage!
What an amazing moment with Jesus…I’ve read this verse many times but after reading your comment, I’m seeing it with new eyes. It’s amazing how He reached you with just one verse, even though you must have had so many anxieties and burdens occupying your mind. I’m also very touched when I think of this whole scene, especially the look on Jesus’ face at that moment – serious in His rebuke, yet genuinely concerned for poor Peter as He held him above the waves. Wow! He’s such a good shepherd to us.
Reminds me of what msn grace says:
Students we teach truly receive maybe 20-30% of the passage. Shepherds teaching receive maybe 80% of the passage. It’s cool when we are more touched than our students during our own bible studies! 😀
^ SO TRUE!!!!!!!!
Yes that happens even in bible study…God speaks to us through his holy spirit. That happened to me tonight in bible study when Jesus freed the demon-possessed men. I saw Jesus’ great love for me that he would sacrifice so many pigs, thousands of pigs, just for me! The Bible even says somewhere (I think Isaiah) “I will give peoples for your sake, whole nations for you.” Wow, just to think that God loves us that much. I am encouraged by this comment because, I also have come to bible study with a heavy heart….but Jesus is faithful and always restores us, like Psalm 23 states. God bless you brother in Christ – may he give you abundant blessings as you grow in Him with every passing day!
Thank you Alex! Indeed God brought us to a normal life, a life that No longer harassed by demons! Let us follow Jesus and be “demon hunters” 😎
A demon hunter?!?! That sounds extremely cool Hahaha, yes, let’s be the head and not the tail and be snipers, ninjas, and warriors for Christ :3
Wow, I was thinking of responding to this post…but when I think of the word “sorrow” it hits home so deep, that I couldn’t bring myself to answer this post. Until now. I thought it would be better to respond than to not, to share my journey with the Lord.
First of all, I experienced a lot of sorrow before I came to Christ and in the moments before I came to Christ. When I was in college at UCSC, I was pretty much all alone in my dorm room many times without any real friends and I cried very loudly every night. When I tried to reach out to my sister and Mom via phone call, and they didn’t answer, I couldn’t help but feel so lonely and sorrowful. I think God saw me in those moments, because it would’ve been only just several months later when I found Jesus.
Second of all, in my new life I find many sorrowful moments. As Missionary John said in your post, the sorrow has felt almost so “tangible” and “real” to me that I could taste it so deeply. I did experience God; however, always pulling through for me and leading me to Himself. There have been many times. For instance, in 2017, after I committed a major sin against God, was kicked out of my house with only a two-day notice, and was fired from my job….I felt so desperate for hope. But, it was during that time we had the Easter message on John 11. Resurrection faith and hope was planted deeply in my heart during that message and I remember Missionary John saying…”Your job’s not dead, it’s just sleeping!” He said many things were “not dead” but just “sleeping” and it gave me a new perspective on my problems – that the solution just had to be “awakened” pretty much.
Also, starting the summer of 2017, I began to have a sleeping-in problem where I would not wake up until the afternoons. This seeped into the new fall semester of 2017 and sometimes I would barely make it to class on time, or miss class altogether. Even when I tried to do morning classes, I couldn’t, so I had to withdraw from them and get a “W” on my transcripts. I would be so sorrowful every day, so hopeless, that I couldn’t even control my body in waking up. Every day was so painful for me. I could honestly say that I tasted a taste of Jesus’ suffering through this humble and sorrow training. And I would even continue to have this problem, even until now. I could say God intervened in my life in a major way; however, through the 2019 Summer Bible Conference where God deeply touched my heart through almost every message. I even felt like this conference was so personal, like it was just for me. I received a renewal of God’s Covenant to me through my message”Stay in the Land” and God’s forgiveness for me and my sins through the Bible Study on Luke 23. The Holy Spirit was moving, and I will never forget it.
There were countless other painful moments in my new life as a Christian such as when I experienced a demonic attack in 2017 with a crippling and paralyzing fear of anxiety when I woke up one day, with many committed sheep being established in my life and then sadly falling away one by one, and with my many sin problems that I feel like I can never conquer over (by my own strength I can’t, but through Jesus’ strength I can) … However, I always remember how God has been there for me through all these moments. Even in quarantine, where I can get restless and cooped up, I can never forget Jesus’ grace in my life. It’s through all these sorrowful, painful, and heartbreaking moments where I can only begin to taste the life of suffering Jesus experienced while he was here on Earth. And through it all, I’ve come to know Jesus as my Good Shepherd who leads me to quiet streams and who picks me up every time I fall. I can say that it’s because of all these sorrows that I’ve become a stronger woman of God. Every time I experience a worship service, a bible study, or testimony writing time of fellowship – I’m renewed and soar on wings like eagles. God’s Promises made to me also strengthen me in times of trouble and they remind me that I am never alone, but that He is with me always, even to the very end of the age.~
Lately, I’ve experienced God by researching all the Bible verses that clearly show Jesus’ love for us. Wow, it’s like I gain a whole new perspective when I see how wide, how deep, how long, how wide Jesus’ love is for me…that it even surpasses knowledge and understanding. Now that Jesus loves me so much, I will continue on in this journey as a Soldier for Christ…embracing all sorrows that come along my path, drinking the cup, and living for Him to the end. I will acknowledge Him before men, so that He might acknowledge me before the Father in Heaven. Even at the cost of everything.
Thank you so much for reading this really, really long post…hahaha…I just wanted to clearly show that just because life is very sorrowful, painful, and you experience much sufferings…it doesn’t mean that Christ doesn’t, or has never, loved you. It just shows clearly that HE DOES love you so much actually, because He is showing You that we must live like He did in order to truly experience eternal life.
Press on Soldier of God, and never give up on Him, for He is worth it…every tear is counted, every sorrow is worth it, and this life is fleeting…so hold onto Him to the very end.
God bless you all.
Praise God for his work in your life. It’s amazing that you’ve held onto Jesus this whole time. It reminds me of Jacob’s blessing on Joseph in Genesis 49. “With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.” <3 God bless you, my sister!
Praise God, thank you for your reply. ^_^ I do love that verse in Genesis and it touched me so deeply in testimony writing. It is an honor to relate to that verse with my life and I am unworthy to say the least! Haha, but Joseph is one of my greatest examples to continue on in the fight despite injustice and sufferings. Thank you my sister in Christ.
The only thing longer than your drive from Santa Cruz to Gardena is your journey of faith LOL.
Keep going and you will become Alexandra the Great!
Hahaha, true that, my journey of faith has been a long one, but a definite testament of how worthy our Savior Jesus Christ is for all our sufferings and sacrifices! Thank you for your reply 😀 I will keep going. 😀
I just taught Acts 9 to a student this morning. And this one verse reminds me of what you said…
“This [woman] is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show [Alexandra] how much [she] must suffer for my name”
Wow, I want to learn the book of Acts, that’s so cool that you have those notes ^_^ It is an honor to suffer for Jesus, for He is worthy! To be considered to be like Paul, wow, the only similarity we have is that we are both children of God. To be as great as him would be an honor to say the least! Thank you for your reply. <3 God bless you sister in Christ!!! 🙂
Thank you for sharing Alexandra, especially the way God has strengthened you and brought you to Himself. Reading your comment, I realized that without Him, there is no way out of the darkness, but in His love we find bright light. “And through it all, I’ve come to know Jesus as my Good Shepherd who leads me to quiet streams and who picks me up every time I fall.” Amen!
Thank you for your reply :3 Yes God has strengthened me every time! In his love we do find bright light, and his blood washes us whiter than tide…hahaha as I said somewhere else. Lol. Thanks for your comment again 😀
We were all amazed when a girl was so happy singing and dancing at the conference because she met Jesus very personally. 🙂
I actually don’t remember when I did that! Hahaha, but that is cool that you remember. 🙂 Dancing and praising Jesus is suitable at all times. 😀
I was also very touched by the testimonies! I’m always amazed at how such painful moments can turn into beautiful experiences with God. I’ll admit that as a young (and very immature) disciple, I don’t know sorrows in the way that many others do. But I do have two painful situations that come to my mind where I learned about God in a very personal way.
The first is in spring 2019, when a very precious growing sheep/disciple fell away. I’ve had many students come and go, but this one broke my heart because I had a very deep love for her. I cried a lot. As I sat in the church bathroom crying, God helped me to see what it meant that Jesus was called a Man of Sorrows. I was so amazed and comforted, because I had an opportunity to relate to Jesus in even this tiny way. I’ll never forget that.
Another time was when I moved into common life last summer. I had never lived away from home before, so it was a big deal for me. As I laid in the small bottom bunk bed (which my feet hung over the edge of), I imagined all my family members at home, eating a delicious meal, and playing with my cat. I quietly cried a lot that night. And then I woke up in the middle of the night because a cockroach was literally crawling on my face (the screen was open). I wanted to cry even more, but I think all my tears came out already. I felt like I was thrust into a whole new level of life with God. But the next morning when I got to campus, God comforted me. The sun was still rising, campus was so calm and quiet. It was like a big hug from God, and I had deep peace in my heart.
Oh no a cockroach on your face!! That really is like a whole new world. Yikes >< I was very touched by your description of the campus, how calm and quiet it was, with the sun rising. It reminds me of how Jacob was alone on the other side of the Jabook River wrestling all night in the darkness with his fears, and then with God. But after he personally met God and received His blessing, he limped away with the sun rising over him – a new start as a new man.
LOL. I had many sorrowful times in the CL as well, also tears shed all alone under my covers at night. (but alas, no cockroach…. whew.)
I remember one time, late at night, I set up a table in the Ebenezer sanctuary to write my testimony and pray and just cry after a terrible experience in one of my credential classes (screwed up during a big final presentation SO BAD). I thought my teaching career was ruined because of my flaws. But I was finding some peace in that quiet time, thinking about God’s sovereignty.
And then I saw an email from my professor saying everyone enjoyed my presentation and that I passed.
WHUUUUT. Tears of sorrow quickly turned into tears of joy and praise.
Ahhh what a beautiful moment!! I think I’m most amazed/surprised when God comforts me in very practical matters like that, because it reminds me of God’s deep concern for all areas of my life.
Hahaha wait how did you feel like you screwed up the presentation? I remember you talked about this in one of your testimonies and said it was like God made them blind or something lol
I didn’t feel it. I KNOW it.
I shared it during one of our mission meetings 😉
Oh gosh that sounds awful. Praise God who exalted you and had mercy on you!!
LOL. It was indeed awful.
Many moments of awfulness as a bible teacher too, if you can imagine. Oral communication was not a strength of mine. For many years, I always avoided sitting next to other shepherds in the USU hallway whenever I was meeting a student, so that I wouldn’t blow their minds with my lack of skills.
Through this weakness, I am confirmed: God’s grace is sufficient for me!
“God’s grace is sufficient for me” Your struggle to submit to God’s will for your life despite your weaknesses is a testament to truly how great of a person you are. 🙂 All to God’s glory.
Also, to comment on your suggestion..
no need for contests or scheduled zoom meetings or Christian music to comment on blog posts.
..We just need more blog posts…. 😉
Maybe I should make one…hahaha, but I always have an idea, and then I disregard it saying that it’s not truly a good enough message for a blog post. But maybe one of these days I’ll write another blog post hahaha. 🙂
I agree!! More blog posts needed. Helppppp xD
(how do you link names??? doesnt seem like it works for me)
That worked for me! I got the notification. I think only Bao’s username doesn’t work with the @ function 🙁
Sarah LINKberg you are being silly. Stop it.
Maybe that can be @[(B)lasting (A)gent (O)range]’s prize. A chance to write a blog post
I learned that the Spanish word for “fun” – “divertido/a” has its root meaning in “diversion.” So, while there is fun to be had, it can tend to simply distract or divert from the reality of your sins. Sometimes, facing myself and meditating on the sorrows in the world and the sorrows Jesus has to heal the broken nature of myself, of my sheep, family, etc., etc., it is so much more glorious in the end then the temporary diversion I had. In the matter of fellowshipping, I’ve been given much more insight through this post on how, as beautiful and edifying and glorious as fellowship can be, nothing beats purposeful time with God.
“Nothing beats purposeful time with God.” I am learning this more and more that through testimony writing, meditating on the daily bread, and prayer…it is much better for my soul than just having “fun” or “diversion” on the internet. Time with God is so precious and valuable to him and to us. God bless you so immensely. ^_^
Oh wow, that’s so interesting! Fun is nothing but diversion…that makes me think a lot more seriously about it for sure!
About 10 years ago, my eldest brother died in a tragic car accident. He was 10 years older than me, but in my childhood, he loved me so dearly and took care of me; despite our age difference, he was like my best friend. I still remember the many things he did for me: one of them is that, during his college, in his date with his girlfriend (she became my sister-in-law), he invited me to go to a movie with them. As a middle school student, I was so fascinated at the movie – still I remember the title and content, and it was really fun.
After I became a shepherd, I secretly hoped that he would be a shepherd for the whole family. He was not a Christian but he had a certain desire for God. When he wanted to learn typing, he chose to practice using Bible verses. One day, he asked me a question, saying, “God commanded the Israel people not to make idols. Does it mean that there are other gods?” I was so surprised and thankful that he had some spiritual desire to know God. But then, he died all of sudden. I was utterly sorrowful and heartbroken; I felt that a part of me was torn away. When my mother died, I was sad, but not like this. I could not understand why God allowed it to happen to him. God knew my heart’s secret hope for him; only if he had lived a couple more years, he would have believed in Jesus and even become a Bible teacher for my whole family. But before I confirmed his salvation in Jesus, he died. At the thought of not being able to see him eternally, I was devastated. After the funeral service, I came back to America, but still I was in deep sorrow for the next several months.
Then one night, I had a dream. In my dream, I was standing and weeping in sorrow, wiping my tears away with the back of my hand like a little child. Then suddenly, my brother appeared behind me, wearing a clean white robe. He spoke to me in Korean, with his familiar country accent: “Why are you crying?” I turned around, saw him with teary eyes and sobbed, “Because you died so suddenly.” And I sobbed more.
Then, I came to my senses, thinking, “Wait a minute! He died, that’s why I am crying. But he is….!! Huh?” In utter surprise, I lifted up my head to look at him more closely. I noticed that he was in good shape, then, boom! He disappeared, and I woke up. I was bewildered, thinking, “What was that?” And deep joy filled my heart. I sensed that God was comforting me. God knew my sorrow and arranged this whole thing to comfort me. Something must have happened between God and my brother, which I did not know about. I felt like flying, jumping and dancing. I was so happy, realizing that I would see my brother in heaven. Since then, my sorrow has completely disappeared, and I am so thankful to God who was mindful of me. I praise and thank God for understanding my sorrows and comforting me. I love you, Lord.
I am now crying so much because of this comment…thank you so much Missionary John for making me cry tears of joy. It touched me so deeply. Your sorrow turned to joy seeing your brother in heaven. I hope so deeply I will see my sister, mom, dad, aunt, and all family members in heaven too…and that’s what I so desperately pray for. I love them so much. Crying tears of joy right now. Thank you so much. I love you Lord, too. I know you have my family in your hands. God bless you so much.
This is wonderful. How amazing your brother visited you to give you assurance that he is in heaven! I learn that I may have good desires for myself or others, like how you had for your brother to be a shepherd. But God is glorious, even beyond imagination. Sometimes things happen in life that I dont understand. But I put my trust in Gods goodness and love for me.
Wow. I was speechless reading this. All that comes out of me is…God is so beautiful. I imagine how happy he was to comfort you this way. Thank you for sharing this. It reminds me that God is deeply concerned about me and my family members.
I remember back around 2010, I was sorrowful because of my sins and I felt like there was no hope for me. One day I went to the sheep pen to pray and I saw these flowers by the altar and they looked like they were dying. I felt like those flowers. For some reason, I prayed to God and said if he could restore those flowers then he could restore me. Then, I think it was the next day or so when I went to go pray and when I went into the sheep pen I saw Shepherdess Kathryn tending the flowers and they looked like they were restored to life. In my mind I said “What! Werent these flowers dying!!!” I even asked her “were these the same flowers as the previous day,” and she just said with a casual smile “yeah.” My mouth was open because I was super shocked. Normally no plant or flower can be restored that fast with just a little water, it was absurd, but there it was full of life. So, I realized that God heard my sorrowful cry. I did not really expect that to happen, but it did. So I found hope that God would also restore me and he did in a very miraculous way. 😉 I was so happy to God who heard my pitiful prayer and who restores and strengthens the sorrowful even in miraculous ways.
God really knew you and wanted to comfort you so much in such a miraculous way. Amazing!! I am amazed by the posts everyone shared. Our God is very understanding and he knows our sorrows. He knows what is needed to comfort each of us in our moments of sorrow. God is so busy with his plans and fulfilling his plans for the world, and at the same time he is deeply concerned about each of us. Wow!!!
That’s so touching and amazing! I was in tears reading your comment during my lunch break as I saw the way God paid attention to your small prayer – especially how He does not ignore a broken soul or their cry for help. It encouraged me a lot to not be overcome with despair with my own sins and feel like it’s all over, but come to God in repentance. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me, I will never drive away.” Indeed, He might even decide to make flowers bloom for them!
Just curious, do you remember what kind of flowers they were? I’m trying to picture it in my head…
Sorry I do not remember. I should have taken a picture for evidence, but I wasn’t thinking about that at the moment lol. 😏
God took care of the flowers according to your prayer to comfort you and encourage you. Indeed, God is so tender. Our God is good.
Returning again to this blog post – I miss regular blog posts. I pray we would restore our zeal for the blog. <3 God makes all things beautiful in its time. 🌷🌏🐋🌇🌉🌌❤️✝️
Me too. Your comments are so encouraging, really appreciate it! I had run out of inspiration for a few months, but am working on new ideas to keep the blog active. The stories and thoughts that shepherds have to share are too good to miss!
Awesome, yes keep it up! I still have my blog idea – perhaps I will work on it soon and you can check on it. 👍🙂 I pray more shepherds and shepherdesses would find truly inspiring and encouraging ideas so that we can plant hope and faith as the body of Christ. ✝️🌏🙏🏻🚀