I recently read “Not Forgotten: The True Story of My Imprisonment in North Korea” by Kenneth Bae. After being held captive for 735 days in North Korea, Bae was released on November 8, 2014. The book chronicles the unfortunate ordeal he went through, after being discovered as a Christian missionary. He struggled physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As anyone in his situation would, he prayed to God for an immediate release. Day after day, that was his prayer. Many around the world had joined in praying for his release. In the midst of struggle, it is hard to believe that God is present. Such was the case for Kenneth. Yes, he had good days, where he worshipped God in the harsh conditions, but there were also times of doubt. After all, how could God allow bad things to happen to good people, right? About one year into his imprisonment, Kenneth shares the following insight he gained. He prayed to God, “I am a missionary, and this is the mission field you have given me. Use me.” At that moment, God had changed his heart. He states, “The moment I stopped praying, God, save me, and instead prayed, God, use me, I felt free.” He felt God’s freedom in the midst of being a prisoner. Not only that, he later confides that God opened doors to have deep conversations with the North Koreans after he prayed, “God, use me.” We don’t know why God would allow bad things to happen to us or our loved ones. We often give up our call or mission in life and use our circumstances as an excuse for it. We blame God. Perhaps you feel this way today, where you want to give up. Don’t! Let us not give up, brothers and sisters. As Kenneth demonstrated, let us not draw our attention to our needs, but ask God to use us in the midst of our struggles. I know that God wants to use us, The Well Church. Are we willing and able to follow him?
“For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).