What’s up guys.
We totally just finished our last concert before heading back to Willmar! We still have a couple of bookings and concerts before the summer program starts up, but we will pretty much be stationed here until our commitment with CTI ends. To that I say, unofficially, our spring tour is about to come to a close.
As well, since this may be my last personal blog post of the year, I think it’s quite fitting for me to reminisce and take a look back at this year as a whole to figure out the biggest thing I’ve had to overcome.
And the answer that I find to that question initially seems to be excruciatingly frustrating. Because the fact is, the biggest thing I’ve had to overcome is this entire year itself.
If you know me, you also know that I don’t sugarcoat things at all. But before you start getting any wrong ideas, if you asked me to go back in time back to the start of the year, I would have made the same decision to come on this full-time team with this bunch of great individuals. There’s just something about this experience that undoubtedly makes it unforgettable, memorable, and maybe even a little life-changing. And I would tell you time and time again that I truly enjoyed my experience throughout this entire year. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Here’s the problem.
I’ve often been called a piece of tofu growing up.
If you’ve ever tried to pick up a piece of tofu with a pair of chopsticks, you’d understand. It’s extremely difficult. Most of the time, it’ll just break apart when you try to pick it up.
I’m exactly the same. My immune system is easy to break, and difficult to mend back together. For some reason common colds take longer than average to go away. For some reason shingles start to form on my body as a result of a poor immune system when I’m still only in university. For some reason every little thing that happens to me triggers my asthma during the only year where I have to rely on an out-of-country health insurance policy that I don’t have quite the competency in fully understanding. Heck, I could probably count the number of weeks on one hand throughout this entire year where I wasn’t begging God in the middle of singing a song for Him to somehow get me out of the concert without viciously coughing into the microphone.
Excruciatingly frustrating to not be able to sing like you know you can for most of the year. Excruciatingly frustrating to know that half of the repertoire is instantly gone when Kenny is bedridden. Kenny, you were so foolish to sign up for a musical role that you’d suffer the most in. Kenny, you were so foolish to sign up for a musical role that you’d make your team suffer the most in.
And maybe I was foolish. But it brings me to my next point. All the way back in October, our infamous Hong Kong YFC director told us something that really began to start resonating halfway during this tour.
It is a blessing for us to suffer for the sake of the gospel.
It’s something that seems so simple, and yet rings so true, especially in this circumstance. It is a blessing to suffer for the sake of the gospel. It is when trials, stress, and suffering occurs that we can only rely on God because we don’t have the strength ourselves to overcome our circumstances. It is when trials, stress, and suffering occurs that God displays His glory and His strength through you. Suffering is a regular part of the Christian life. It was never designed to be easy. If ministries like these were so easy, I wonder if every proclaiming Christian would jump headfirst into them. If Christianity was easy, I wonder if every person on this earth would jump headfirst into it.
We always have a choice in how we address our suffering – to either see it as a blessing, or to groan and complain about how difficult our lives are. I’ve complained about my health. We’ve all complained about our sufferings before. I challenge you to see it as a blessing – it’s through our suffering that God’s glory and His strength is displayed.
And I believe this is completely 100% true for me this year. Because it could have been extremely likely that due to my health, I wouldn’t have been able to continue spring tour. It could have been extremely likely that I wouldn’t have been able to continue winter tour. Heck, I might not have even been able to continue fall tour. But here I am writing to you my final personal blog post of my full-time year. And to tell you the truth, I could not be more proud to tell you all that I was able to finish my very first tour singing on stage, and I was able to finish my very last tour singing on stage. And there is no way that this could have been possible through my own strength. Writing this blog post to you in Willmar, after five full tours, is enough evidence of that. It’s not about how I barely made it through each concert still standing on stage. It’s about how I would have NEVER made it through any concert if God’s strength was not displayed through me each time.
Now, I’m NOT saying that you should go and purposely hurt yourself. I think that’s even more foolish. Don’t do that. I believe we should be good stewards of our health and our bodies. What I AM saying though, is to think to ourselves when we are in times of suffering, whether we truly see it as a blessing if it’s for the sake of the gospel.
My friends, it is a blessing for us to suffer for the sake of the gospel. It is when suffering occurs that God displays His glory and His strength through our weakness. And that allows us to remind ourselves that it’s not about us, but it’s all about Him.