～ 以赛亚书58:6-11 ～
Day 16 : Oct 18th (Tue)
Been feeling very excited past few days for God has been showing me the reasons for fasting and the results. At the same time, He grants me grace to accomplish things I did not expect!
Within just a few days, God gave me wisdom from above and prompting to help some truly needy people in a very practical and lasting way, especially those who serve God faithfully and are financially challenged at home.
My heart was filled with this joy and conviction this morning as I was preparing to go to work. While putting on my shoes, I heard “Good morning, Pastor!”
I looked up, it was our gardender, a Malay man. He is in charge of clearing the rubbish, repairing and maintaining the garden etc. His work is rather tough but he is a friendly man, always greets me when he sees me.
Today, as usual he was clearing the rubbish and saw me outside the door.
Suddenly he pointed at an old car battery left outside my door for more than a month already, and asked: Do you still want this?
Immediately my heart was a little angry, I felt angry at Jonas, the young man who left it there and kept delaying to take or throw it away! I had warned him, I said I do not like to uglify my house, so do not leave rubbish outside my door! Jonas is lodging at my place, a month ago his car battery broke down, he changed it and left the old one there outside my door.
Two weeks ago I told him: I’m warning you, if you don’t get rid of this battery, the next time I will not be reminding you, I’ll be screaming and shouting at you! (Because I feel a spoilt battery placed outside my door is really unsightly.)
And of course I asked him as to hy he did not throw it away immediately. He said he wanted to bring it home to give to his dad to sell or something. I even said: To sell? How much can that thing fetch? My goodness!
He apologized very quickly an said he would get rid of it immediately… and his “immediately” turned out to be – after two weeks the battery was still there! Now you know why I was angry!
So when this Malay gardener pointed at this old battery, unknown fire started rising inside…
I thought someone must have complained as my residential area is very concerned about beauty, proper order, security etc.
And I thought in my heart: You are in big trouble, Jonas Tan!
But the gardener continued: If you do not want it anymore, can I have it?
Me: Huh? But this belongs to that boy in my house, I have to ask him… but what do you want it for?
Gardener: I can recharge it and it can light up some bulbs in my house.
Me: Don’t you have electricity supply at home? Where do you live?
Then he told me he lives in a village and the electricity supply is not good and very often fails.
I said: but this is a spoilt battery.
Gardener: The other house gave me an even worse one not long ago and it supplied some three months of power supply to me…
I felt rather sad to think that he is actually so poor, so I said immediately: Just take this!
Gardener: But you haven’t asked the boy, will he be angry?
Me: He wouldn’t dare to, I should be the one scolding him!
My heart was filled with compassion, I said: Do you want a new one?
He was very surprised and replied: Wow! A new one can lit up the whole house! But no thanks, this is sufficient!
Me: You sure? I don’t mind helping you.
Gardener: It’s true, yes, this is good enough… thank you, Pastor!
Me: Oh ok, but in future if you or your family need anything or encounter any difficulty in living, do tell me, I’ll try my best to help.
The gardener was full of gratitude and left happily with that spoilt battery…
Watching him walking away, I thought in my heart: God, how come these few days I seem to be consciously or unconsciously helping quite a few needy people? How come the opportunities and wisdom keep coming to me?
God said: Go read Isaiah 58.
Immediately I understood… Isaiah 58 talks about what a true fast is and the results of such a fast…
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.”
~ Isaiah 58: 6-11 ~