Learning to Thank God in All Circumstances

On February 11, my wife, Lynette, Caleb, my second son, and Dustin, his friend, on their way to church for their Bible studies, got into a major car accident on Hammerly and Beltway 8. Our car got totaled but other than Lynette getting a fractured rib, everyone was safe. I thank God for His protection over their lives.

On February 19, I was rushed to the hospital because my right eye retina was detached. The surgery went well. More surgeries, such as vitrectomy and cataract surgery, will be done in that eye in the coming months. However, I am thankful because there is a strong possibility that my vision will be restored at least to some degree.

On March 13, I was rear ended on my way home from the shepherds’ meeting at church late at night. Other than getting a little cut on my left eyebrow, I was fine. I thank God for protecting me from more serious injuries.

On April 5, I had to go see an ophthalmologist because my left eye retina was torn. I was in the doctor’s office for about three hours and then received a laser treatment at about 8PM. I thank God for the doctors who work late into the night to treat their patients.

On April 20, I had to rush to the hospital once again because I had a giant retinal detachment in my left eye. It was on that Saturday when we had our annual Crawfish Boil to serve our VIPs. At first, the doctor wanted to postpone the surgery to Monday because it was Saturday and she had to call in the OR team. But realizing that the size of the retinal detachment was unusually huge, she chose to bring in the OR team together and operate on my left eye. The surgery went well. The recovery process was going to be long and arduous which I am still going through. Nevertheless, I thank God that I was able to get the surgery done before my macula was degenerated which would have definitely caused me to lose my sight and go blind. I also thank God for the surgeon making the right decision to perform the surgery without delay.

In July and August, I went through two more surgeries on my left eye. The July surgery didn’t go so well but the August one went well. I am waiting for one more surgery on that eye on November 6. If everything goes well, that will be the last surgery for that eye. But I have two more surgeries scheduled for my right eye, one on December 3 and one next year. I trust that God will see me through and I thank Him in advance.

On August 10, Enoch collided with a friend of his while playing football in College Station and had a concussion and fractured cheekbone. He was taken to an emergency hospital and got a CAT scan but no major injuries were found. After a few days, he was able to serve as a staff at Impact Retreat, which is an orientation retreat for the incoming freshmen at A&M. Again, I thank God for protecting him from greater harm.

On August 15, Josiah, my third son, got nasal septum surgery. He has been having breathing issues ever since he was little. He often woke up with a nose bleed and dry mouth. We have been meaning to give him the surgery that he needed and were finally able to do that for him because we met our entire deductible due to my multiple eye surgeries. I thank God for my health insurance.

On August 23, Enoch got rear ended in Austin while visiting his younger brother to help him settle in at UT. Then, the following day, August 24, Lynette also got rear ended in Austin on our way to lunch after helping Caleb move in to his dorm room. Both accidents were minor and no one got hurt. I thank God once again for protecting us from potential injuries.

As you can see, it was quite a year for me and my family. I can’t shake off the feeling that the devil is definitely trying to hurt and intimidate us especially after last year’s House Church Seminar for Pastors, when I fully committed myself to do whatever God tells me to do to help other churches to be healthy and strong. Therefore, in the midst of all these trials and sufferings, I have great anticipation as to what great things God will do through me and New Life, which causes me to be thankful to God in spite of the fact that my family and I went through so much this year.

Thanksgiving is approaching very fast. It is good for us to take some time to reflect on how this year has gone and what we are thankful to God for. You may see pain and suffering on the surface. But if you dig deep, you will see the hand of God behind all that happened and be able to make some sense as to why they happened the way they did. He is in the process of making us more like His Son Jesus. Jesus is our treasure and becoming more like Him is our goal and reward in life.

So, what are you thankful to God for this year?

Your pastor,


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