I was on the phone with a friend telling her about the latest miracles that God has worked in our lives and she said, “You need to write these down and show everyone!” I have been thinking about what she said and wondering how I could do it. So, why not here and why not now? Here it goes! This is a real story that happened in our life.
This is a story that I told to our kids in worship last night and it really seemed to help them see that God is not just a miracle worker for white people but for everyone and that God doesn’t care only about you keeping the rules but about every little thing in your life!
We had been called by God to come up to Chiang mai and take care of Preaw. Preaw had attempted suicide and had nowhere to go or anyone to take care of her. There were many reasons why we did not want to take care of her but one of the big reasons for my wife, Chitlada, was taking care of her family. In poor thai families, they will invest everything in one person, which happens to be my wife in her family, to get an education. When that person gets a degree that person is expected to send money back to support the family every month. This isn’t always only when they invest in you, but most thai women send money back to their mothers every month.
Chitlada did not want to move to Chiang mai because in Bangkok she had a great job. A job that she had worked her whole life to get and her family had invested a lot to enable her to be able to have that job.
Chitlada was very good at her job and she loved her job alot and it gave her the ability to send money back to her family. In thai culture to be a good daughter you must do this, for my wife not to do this it would make her a bad daughter. In her mind we could not move to Chiang Mai because she wouldn’t have a job and she wouldn’t be able to send money to her mom which would make Christianity look bad to her family. Also, why would we help so many other people but not help her family? We were using so much of her money and money that was donated to help to kids go to school and help the poeple in the slums we were working in. Why can’t we help her family? We had used up all of our savings and we were living month to month using most of our money to help other people, so we didn’t even have savings we could draw from to send to her family. For my wife this was very hard.
After, we finally decided that it didn’t matter, we were moving anyway (this was a very hard thing and was super complicated, not near as cut and dry as this makes it seem), Chitlada went to the owner of the hotel where she was the GM and tried to quit. The owner listened to her and said, “No, you cannot quit!” Chitlada was surprised and said, “What do you mean I cant quit?” in thai. The owner replied with, “You are too valuable for me to let go, here is what we will do. I will pay you the same amount of money if you fly to Bangkok for one week every month and come and work.” Chitlada thought this was a great idea and agreed and as soon as she got home she started telling me how this was so great it was! She explained how God had worked a miracle. As I asked for the specifics of his plan I realized this wasn’t the miracle that God had instore for us. Not only was the owner getting his work cheaper because my wife would work her butt off the week she was there, but it would be much more stress on our little family. I also started to think about what would it look like to the other villagers in our village if for one week out of the month it was just me and a 16 year old girl living in our home. Surely, they would start to think that Preaw is my “เมีย-น้อย”, my second or lesser wife and that would not be a good thing. So, Chitlada called back and told him that she could not do what they had agreed to do. The owner said, “Okay” and came up with a new plan. This plan did not give as much money but gave the same rate of pay as she was making at the time and instead of her flying down to work she would work from home when she had time. Logging into the system and taking phone calls. She would be handling problems remotely and advising the new managers how to handle new problems.
This was amazing! He created a new position for her. He told her that since she had been such a reliable and honest friend and worker that all she had to do was write down the hours that she spent working and he would pay. No questions asked or disputing the hours! She had never heard of anything like this or anyone doing something like this. It has been 2 years since we have been in Chiang Mai and every month my wife has had money to send back to her family. The owner has never questioned or argued her hours and has even donated money and things to us.
It is just amazing the way that God takes care of us! When we do God’s will he takes care of our every need! The biggest needs and the smallest needs God knows what they are and He wants you to rely on Him to take of them, He wants you to trust that He will take care of them, He wants you to trust that He wants to take care of you!
We definitely don’t deserve all the things that God has done for us, from the biggest blessing to the smallest miracle. But God has shown us over and over He wants to take care of us. I have asked myself why a lot. Why does God continue to bless us even when we are at times the worst missionaries ever? Then I am reminded of Isaiah 48:11:
11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.
God doesn’t do these great miracles in our lives because I am such a great missionary, my wife is such a great person or we have in some way earned it. He does it for His glory to show His character. Just like Isreal we deserve to be cut off from God. Our sin has left us deserving nothing but death. God for the sake of His own glory has refrained from the punishment we deserve, to show His mercy, His grace and His charachter. So, for this miracle and every other miracle God has worked we give Him the glory. For everyday that we have to serve Him, We give Him the glory! Becasue He deserves the glory not us.