I have recently returned to Zhuhai from a 6 day trip to Guangxi province. During that time, much was weighing upon my heart in regards to what I had left behind at the school in Zhuhai.

During my time at the school, there have been several occassions in which disagreements have arisen between Joseph and I as to how things were done in the school. Often, as things were explained to me, I would share my own opinions as well. Sometimes, a mutual understanding was reached; while on other occassions, this was not the case. The day of my departure, a similar situation arose after my last class for that day. At the conclusion of the conversation, Joseph told me that he would discuss with Mr. Kim whether or not it would be possible for him to terminate the agreement with the school regarding the summer camp.

This then was the state in which I left the school and Canton province to travel to Guangxi. I will be honest and share that I was terrified as I left the school; terrified at the prospect of returning to Zhuhai to find out that I no longer had a job from July 19th through the 28th. Losing a job is one thing, but losing that job in a foreign country with no where to go after that happens is another thing all together. Jesus convicted my heart of my need to trust Him in this situation; that He had a plan in this and that He was working it all out for His glory. How great was the rest and peace that filled my heart having given the situation fully to Him! I realized that it may be very possible that His will for my time in China may not include the summer camp; that He may want me to spend more time with friends in Beijing or with the friends that I have made here in Zhuhai (or perhaps something else all together!!).

Over the trip, I would listen to several parts of different sermons covering Paul’s letter to the Colossians. In Colossians 1:15-19, Paul writes about Jesus and who He is. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”

Paul tells us that if we want to know what God is like, who He is, we need only look to Jesus because “He is the image of the invisible God” and “in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell”. In one particular sermon it discussed several different attributes of God and how we see those demonstrated in the life of Christ. There were two that specifically stood out to me. First, God is the Omniscient God. He knows everything. We see this in the life of Christ when He calls people out for their thoughts (see Mark 2:8). Not their actions, but their thoughts! Second, God is the Sovereign Lord. Jesus has authority over all of the created order and nothing happens apart from His will. This is demonstrated clearly in His teachings in Matthew 11:27 when He says, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” He is Sovereign over salvation. Jesus is also the One who has authority to forgive sins and in many other ways during His life, He demonstrates His authority over creation as the Sovereign Creator.

Now, let me explain why it was so crucial for me to hear of how Jesus is both Sovereign and Omniscient. Generally, these seem like nice theological truths about the nature and character of God. However, with the situation I was being faced with, being dismissed from work in China, these two specific characteristics of Jesus were crucial in moving forward in the situation. In short, this hasn’t been something that has surprised Jesus. He knew about it. He knew about it long before it would happen, and moreover, He was the One who allowed it to happen. This was all a part of Jesus’ plan to further glorify His Name in and through my life. I could also trust that He was going to work all of these things out for my good as He promises in Romans 8:28. This truth and reality of the nature of Christ should give all of us hope and confidence to trust Him in all things and at all times. He reveals Himself through His Word as being the All-Knowing Authority over all of creation!

Towards the end of my travels I received an email from Joseph that further revealed the extent of the damage done to our relationship. The only thing I could do was intrust the situation to Jesus knowing that He would handle it and use it all for His glory. During the afternoon on the day we arrived back to Zhuhai, Joseph and I had a conversation about whether or not I would remain at the school. After much prayer, he and Mr. Kim had decided to provide me with another opportunity to serve at the school. I have been given time to reflect on what my own objectives are in being here and will again have a conversation with Joseph on this upcoming Saturday. In the time that I have had to reflect thus far, Jesus has revealed something very crucial in regards to the future of Joseph and I’s relationship. I came to China considering Joseph as a partner and a brother in the Lord. While I believe he is my brother in Christ, he is not a partner in teaching English in the classroom; rather, he is my boss. Jesus commands us to submit, to serve with humble obedience, to those whom He places as authorities above us. As Jesus has been gracious and revealed to me where Joseph is coming from, I am trusting that He will enable me to serve Joseph on his page. I am so thankful for how Jesus has displayed His goodness and mercy in this situation, and I trust that He will continue to do so. Only Jesus can fully bring healing and restoration back to our relationship, just as He is the only One who can bring healing to our lives and our very hearts. He is merciful to do so. To Him be the praise forever and ever.