(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
“God sent them to earth with a purpose.”
In 2009, South Korean pastor Lee Jong Rak and his wife Chun-ja created a drop box where anonymous mothers could leave their babies to be cared for by others. Many of these women were teenagers, victims of domestic violence, and sufferers of social and cultural stigma. Many of the drop box babies had disabilities, but escaped death to find loving families and lives worth living. In 2019, it was reported that over 1500 babies had been saved through the drop box.
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A change in perspective
Brian Ivie’s documentary, The Drop Box, tells Pastor Lee’s story and touches on controversies surrounding the issue of child abandonment. While there were so many inspiring, and emotional aspects in the film, I was particularly struck by the change in perspective shared by one of pastor Lee’s adopted sons, Ruri.
Though only in 4th grade at the time of the documentary, Ruri displayed a wisdom beyond his years. He was bullied in school but went on to be voted class president multiple times. Asked whether he thought there was a purpose for the life of his severely disabled brother, Ruri confidently replied,
“Of course there is. I believe God made the baby box through Eun-man, so that my dad could save more lives. It all started because of Eun-man and the babies that had come to my dad before he created the box. They basically made the baby box. So God purposely blessed, not cursed, Eun-man to build the baby box.”
Ruri provided a kingdom view that embodied God’s kingdom of “the first shall be last, and the last shall be first”. He spoke with the conviction and love, declaring the victory and purpose with which God makes every person. Ruri saw the disabled as his brothers and sisters, and he saw their richness through the eyes of God.
How do we see others today? Do we see as God sees, or has the world’s opinion clouded our vision?
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From suffering comes growth
As a mother, I want to protect my daughter. I don’t want to see her suffering or distressed, yet I know that some victories are best won through roads of challenge.
The Dropbox documentary featured stories of many people who found themselves in unexpected situations of suffering. It was incredible to see how some of these people overcame their adversity.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James chapter 2, verse 4)
Through hardship, we learn perseverance and trust. We have our character sharpened and can learn empathy for others. It is tempting to desire an easy life, but I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness and moulding through tough seasons. If it wasn’t for these harder life experiences, my faith and my character would not be what they are today.
Testimony and strength can be gained in times of suffering, and we have the comfort of knowing that God understands and cares.
. . .
As my husband and I watched the documentary, I remarked on how Pastor Lee, humbly doing what seemed to be such a worthy cause, still found himself subject to opposition and criticism. My husband pointed out that Pastor Lee had a greater fear of the children dying than of the criticism. He so greatly feared babies dying that he could not sit back and do nothing. He feared God who loves life above the approval of man.
“I’ll need to put my life on the line to save these babies’ lives.”
Many times I have found myself afraid of consequences. Perhaps I am now more aware of what people think and how the world might react. Understanding and knowledge are part of maturing in our faith. As we face various fears and step out in faith, we can continue to declare God’s victory.
“In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence,
And his children will have refuge.”
(Proverbs chapter 14, verse 26)
What a wonderful promise to hold on to! God is our protector, our confidence and our refuge. In His presence, fear is diminished.
. . .
A greater purpose
We are created with purpose. No situation or opinion can change that because our purpose is given by God.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” (Proverbs chapter 19, verse 21)
God who created each one of us, made us all with purpose. He gives two great commandments; to love Him and to love others. If we truly know the Creator God and experience His love, we will love Him. If we have eyes enlightened with His spirit to see others in their God-given purpose, we will love them. If we give up our plans to God and let Him lead, we will find ourselves reaping the abundant blessings He has prepared for us.
No matter what circumstances may challenge us on earth, let us never forget that Christ and His victory on the cross have given us all purpose and life worth living.