The hammer hit hard… striking a finger
Illustrator Eun-Sun GO

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I have worked as a house builder for a long time and last month, I was asked to renovate a building. I expected that the work would be easy, but unexpected variables emerged one after another. I regretted and thought that I should have not touched the building, and I felt uncomfortable. I started hammering the top and bottom of the door frame to separate the door from the wall.Then I hit my middle finger with the hammer. It hurt so bad that I even couldn’t scream.

At the very moment, the Lord made me repent of my unwillingness to serve with joy and my shameful thoughts of complaining. My injured finger throbbed and ached. It was compared to the uninjured fingers. I realized that I had been living taking it for granted without thinking deeply about the grace I had received. The Lord reminded me of the past through the hammer incident and reminded me of what I was.

In my past military days, I had an unwanted accident and paid the price. After spending 100 days in a solitary room, I tasted a new world that was different from the world I had been enjoying. In the prison, without freedom, I finally realized the importance of freedom. In the small space of less than 6.6 ㎡, I saw myself objectively as a human being from another angle.

Nothing had changed in the world, and I was the one who passed the grate door. However, when I admitted that I could no longer get out of the place by my will or by myself, I became a meek and obedient person.

I came to realize that human beings are bound to be selfish while breathing, as if people have different minds when they go to bathroom and and when they come out of the bathroom. When I couldn’t see any hope and wanted to give up my life in despair, a verse from the Bible comforted me, giving me the courage to live again. “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice” (Isaiah 42:3).

As the weather gets colder and the temperature drops, my middle finger gets colder. Whenever this happens, the Lord makes me realize that mission does not break through without suffering. The place where suffering came to me, a selfish being, was the field where the Lord was serving me. I remembered John Piper’s message. “Don’t feel uncomfortable when troubles, pain, and sacrifice come. This is the part of the cross that we must bear.”

I will hold on to the cross where I died on, and I will not be fooled by the fake world. I realize that the closer I get to the words of God, the greater the words administrate my life. I look forward to the Lord today.

Jin-Guk CHOI

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