Pastor’s Corner | “Family pressures”

I have always enjoyed the term that we use in Chinese “Sam Si” (Heart Matter).  When a person becomes a Christian and is seeking to be baptized, churches often have an interview with the new believer by asking him/her some “Sam Si” questions. The replies to the questions reveal the understanding of this person’s new found faith.

Recently, I have had some “Sam Si” challenges that have come from my extended family.  The weight of these issues are not within my direct control and remain heavy as I feel somewhat useless to impact things while, at the same time, I must continue to function in my daily work and daily responsibilities.  Is this not something that you too can relate to when you feel stretched in different directions that hold different needs and opportunities?  How do you feel when you can see a problem/issue yet know that you cannot complete the task required to make things better?  We all, at times, are pushed to continue moving forward with certain responsibilities while family matters or situations involving friends make us not feel we can continue on.  We would really rather retreat to a place of rest and find a place where no stress or pressure would be coming in our direction.  Yet, such a retreat to calmness seems beyond our grasp.

Brothers & Sisters, this is where our Scripture has value to us all.   Matt.11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.”  Physical struggles are obviously real for us but the emotional and spiritual stress points of life’s daily grind can overwhelm our desire to keep pushing forward.  There may even be a desire to totally surrender our focus and efforts when we concentrate on our difficulties.  When our family is involved, there are times when the situation takes us beyond the wisdom of our faith and into dark places.  May God grant us the wisdom, spiritual hunger, and commitment to remember that God and his ways are matters of family in the same way that our blood relatives relate to us.  My current “Sam Si” is heavy for me to carry alone and sometimes makes it hard to remain focused on church related activities that almost seem irrelevant in comparison to daily things.  Thanks are to God that I know that I am never facing problems of any type alone.

 

 

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牧師的家庭压力

我一直觉得中文「心事」一词很有意思。当一个人在受浸成为基督徒之前,教会会与新信徒「问心事」。从这些「心事」的答案,可以看出当事人对他新寻到的信仰的了解。

最近,我的亲人中有一些「心事」的挑战。有些事情虽然不在我的控制范围之内,却是让我有负担,但又无能为力。而此同时,我还必须继续每天的工作和责任。你是否有时也有同感?你被各种不同的需要及事故牵扯着,你看到问题的存在,但是卻无法做什么让事情好转;你怎么想呢?我们被责任推动继续前进,但家庭事务或朋友使我们无力继续。我们真希望可以退到一个僻静处安息,没有任何压力逼迫,但是这种安息是可望不可及的。

弟兄姐妹,这是圣经经句的价值,马太11:28 :「凡劳苦担重担的人,可以到我这里来,我就使你们得安息。」肉体的挣扎是明显真实的,但每日生活的情绪及属灵压力会拖垮我们继续向前的能力。当我们把注意力只集中在困难上,我们甚至想要完全放弃努力。有时发生在我们亲人身上的事情会超过我们信仰上的智慧,使我们进入黑暗。愿上帝给我们智慧,属灵的渴慕和委身的能力,记得上帝和祂的道路比我们的亲友重要。我目前的「心事」,我一人担负是沉重的,有时会让我难以专注于教会相关活动。但感谢上帝,因我知道,我从不是独自面对任何困难的。