(Spoken during Sunday services at Hope Church Singapore)
Hi! My name is Soo Guan or Simon, and I am working as an IT Network engineer. Today, I am here to tell you a love story.
The story started many moons ago, when someone gave me a love letter in Junior College 1. The impression I had then was “Wow, someone can love me so much!” But the culture was very foreign to me. So, I said to myself, “I believe in God but I can’t accept His love”
The second encounter I had with this love was about 10 years later, when a friend gave me a Bible for Christmas. After reading the first few chapters, I was very disturbed by the violence documented, including incidents whereby God told the Israelites to kill people. So, again I ran away.
The third time I was touched by His love was Easter 2003. I attended a friend’s church where they put up a drama about the last day of Jesus’ life. I was very touched by it. So began a year of questioning.
I attended church services intermittently, but was only drawn to the sermons and not the praise-worship songs. You see, I am a very rational person. And the first impression I have about Christians’ faith is that it has no place for reason!
During this period, I asked many challenging questions (e.g. in the Old Testament, God stated many laws. How come we are not obeying all of them today? Who decide? Church leaders?). I like to use this opportunity to thank people in my care group then, especially Joel & Evelyn, who explained patiently & bear with my tough questions.
During a tough time in 2004, I was really, really down. I challenged Jesus, “You show me the way you want me to go, and I’ll follow”. The very next day, I attended a friend’s church service where the pastor preached about taming our tongues from the book of James. He mentioned that “many times, when people went forward for altar calls, they were very passionate in front of God. But a few weeks later, all was forgotten.” He reminded us not to promise things to God casually/offhandedly. And when we did, we must honour them. I took it that God was reminding, “Remember what you promise me the day before?”!! So, I promised myself not to take my promise lightly.
From then on, I searched more about His love in my heart rather than in my head. So instead of the conventional method of “Seeing is Believing”, I tried “Believing is Seeing”. I believed that God did something in between, because after 3 months or so, I decided to follow Him. I went for my water baptism in May 2003 as a show of my love for Him publicly. I chose “Simon” as my Christian name, after the only man who carried Jesus’ cross.
I made the choice because someone else chose to love me even before I know Him; because He loved me before I love Him.
Many moons later, I still have tons of unanswered questions. But I believe that He will reveal more to me in His time. I can understand the Bible better, especially when I use both my mind and my heart to unearth the treasures within. When I open my heart, the knowledge will just come. I’ll end this love story with a verse from Matthew 10:38-39, which spoke to me during my search many moons ago:
Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
I wish you “Happy Cross Carrying”!