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          Christ is with us through Small Group 

                        By TEO SIEW ENG

    

     All the passages below are taken from the book, We speak of God, published by the Barker Road Methodist Church in 2001.

 

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:20 NIV)

 

     I was born into a Taoist family, but came to know God as a student. While my parents allowed my siblings and I some freedom of worship, the tacit understanding was "no conversion". Still, the seed that was planted in me remained throughout my university years, waiting for the right time to grow. I never really lost sight of God, praying fairly consistently and more so in times of need. I did not, however, know Him in a real and personal way.

     I married into an "anti-Christian" family. In the years that followed, God took a backseat as I raised a young family and focused on my career. Through all this, I was no closer to a personal relationship with Him than before.

     The sudden death of my dearly beloved mum jerked me from my spiritual complacency. It made me pause and reflect on the frailty of life, the life hereafter and God's great love for me. After six months of serious searching and reflection, my two children and I were baptised as Catholics in December 1974, with my husband's blessing. By God's grace, several of my family members as well as my husband and his family have come to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour in the years since. I have been attending BRMC's 8.30am service regularly since 1997.

     Yet, for a long time, God was not personal to me. I diligently observed my religious obligations and recited my daily prayers through life's ups and downs. I knew that God loved me and cared for me, but this was very much in my mind rather than in my heart. He was there yet not quite there. I could not get a grip on Him. He somehow seemed such a distant God, and I still had a void in my life. I desired to know Him better, to study His Word. I yearned for a personal relationship and walk with Him, but I did not know what to do nor how to do it.

    In His own wondrous way, God led me to the Woollerton Park Small Group. Looking back, the invitation to try out the Small Group was indeed God's invitation. I have been with the group for more than four years now; I have neither looked back nor regretted joining it. Through the Small Group, I have come to know God in a personal and intimate way, and I have learned what He desires of me as a Christian. My life has been greatly enriched and radically transformed. I view circumstances and life from a different perspective. Where in the past I would be anxious, worried and even panicky when things seemed to be taking a turn for the worse, I now enter into each situation by faith, believing and trusting in God's sovereignty and dependability, and knowing that He is fully in control. Instead of running ahead in impatient anticipation of the future, I have learned to rest in Him.

     Life's experiences have shown, time and again, that in Him we have a gracious and loving Father who is ever faithful to His promise to abide with us. I used to be fearful when visiting the sick, but God has taken away my timidity and enabled me to lend a helping hand even to the terminally ill. By consciously allowing Him to take charge, no matter how difficult that may be, I no longer live in fear of the twists and turns of life. "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7).

     I am still in the process of growing. As my prayer life evolves, and as I spend more time in daily communion with God and meditation on His Word, I find ever-increasing joy, peace and solace in my being. He is my refuge and my strength. And He has been faithful in giving me this Small Group which has had such a great impact on my spiritual life. I look forward to sharing and growing in His Word at each Thursday gathering. I thank Him for my brothers and sisters in Christ, for His goodness, for leading me in my journey through life, and for preparing me for eternity with Him. [195-197]

 

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of

doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

 

Siew Eng is a retired lecturer and worships at the 8.30am service with her husband, Chye Poh

 

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