Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why This Blog is Called "Seeing Jesus in Everything"

KIM UPDATE: We are headed back to the hospital for Round 4 later today. This round is key because after it is complete we will have a PET scan done to see if the cancer is gone. If nothing shows up on the scan then we will do two more rounds – just to make sure that even what may not be seen is destroyed. Cancer has the potential to mutate and reappear if it is not completely wiped out – so we have no choice but to show it NO MERCY and KICK IT'S A*S! Please pray with us that the cancer would be wiped clean this round. Please pray that Kim would not experience the spinal tap headaches and wrenching back pain we had in the last round. Lastly, please pray that the Lord would continue to grant a profound sense of His nearness and that He would show Himself strong in our lives regardless of the results or outcome.
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hiking the Waihee Ridge Trail on our 10 year anniversary
As many of you know, when Kim and I went to the ER early on Sat, January 7th we didn’t realize how sick she was. I immediately started sending email updates/prayer requests to many of our friends but within a few days it started to get out of control. There were too many people on my distribution lists and Google shut down my account because they declared me guilty of spamming (without due process even!). At the suggestion of a couple friends I moved everything to this blog on Wed, January 11th. I had no idea it would attract so many people, but we are so thankful for everyone that has served us by praying for Kim and our family (along with Andrew and Connor!).

Kim and I have pondered on a couple occasions “What if our roles were reversed?” and I was the one with cancer and she was forced to write and share prayer requests. Well, we concluded this blog wouldn’t exist because she doesn’t think she could write it and I’m convinced we wouldn't need it because she could just pick up the phone and call all 9 of my friends. (just kidding…sort of)

Anyways, I mention all this because when I set up the blog I had to come up with a URL address. I didn’t have much time to think about it and I considered generic ones like “prayersforkim.com” or something similar, but I quickly settled on “seeingjesusineverything”. I know it sounds a bit weird, for a website designed to solicit prayers for someone with cancer but over the course of the past year I felt the Lord was helping me to “see Jesus in everything” – whether it was in His Word, in His creation, in our circumstances – even in suffering.

Well, the blog has certainly lived up to its name. The LORD has shown up in a big way and revealed Himself in ways that we could have never even imagined when this whole thing started about two months ago. If you go to the “Answered Prayer” category HERE I think you’ll understand what I mean. I have never been more certain than now that God is real. God is everywhere. God is good. And His Son Jesus is alive – and can be seen in everything. Even in (and perhaps especially in) cancer. I’m not making this stuff up. The Bible actually tells us that Jesus is everywhere and can be seen in everything.

For from him [Jesus] and through him and to him are all things. -Romans 11:36

...all things were created through him [Jesus] and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."-Colossians 1:16

Those are some pretty bold statements. The Bible tells us that Jesus was not only eternal and pre-existent (Jn 1:1-3) but that He was the one that created everything we see in this universe AND (here’s the kicker!) everything he created in this universe was made for him.

Psalm 19:1-3 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day pours forth speech, night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.”

In other words, all that we see on earth and throughout the universe was designed by God to proclaim/declare/tell us something about God, in order to glorify God. Essentially, God is bearing witness to everyone and everything that He exists and that He is “eternal in his power and divine in his nature” (Rom 1:19-20). Therefore in a profound sense, all that we see in the physical world was created to direct us towards the spiritual realm – or God Himself. There is a fancy word theologians like to use for this called “general revelation”.

The apostle Paul wasn’t the only great theologian that believed this. Others like Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon, etc, shared the same view and expressed the same idea.

Luther said, “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees, and clouds and stars.” Calvin saw all of creation as a profound platform or “a dazzling theater” in which God displays His ineffable glory and His glorious works. C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Do you follow? While nothing can replace the propositional truths (spoken words) found in the gospel in leading us to eternal salvation (i.e. special revelation - Romans 10:17), God has revealed Himself through all of His creation to direct us towards the gospel and towards salvation – ultimately for His glory.

Let me give you an example. If Jesus created plants and seasons, then what were they created for? What were they meant to communicate to us? If you follow Luther’s quote then it’s very clear.

Have you ever noticed when a plant dies you can take its seed – which also appears dead - and bury it underneath the ground, and in due time, what was "dead" and buried erupts from the soil with new life and rises towards the sky?(see time lapse video below)



early stages of growth
When Kim and I were in Maui celebrating our 10 year anniversary last June we were hiking one of the most amazing trails in the world – the Waihee Ridge Trail. The profile pic you see of Kim on the right was actually taken on that trail during our hike. As you make your way up the mountain you are treated to incredible vistas of the island and the Pacific Ocean, but despite all that what caught the attention of Kim and I was this small, ubiquitous plant. I’m not sure what it was even called but as we were hiking you could see it in all of its stages of development and I remarked to Kim, that once it bloomed it looked like it was “praising God”. I was so enamored by it that Kim asked, “Why are you taking so many pictures of that little plant?”  It literally appeared like this little plant was worshiping its Creator.
blooming (worshiping its Creator)!

So why does a dead seed when buried in the ground, in due time, rise again with new life? Is this just a product of natural selection, chance or evolution at its finest? Or did Jesus create that plant and that process to tell us something about who He is and what He did?

Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” –John 12:23-24

What if the plants, seeds and seasons were not convenient metaphors Jesus pulled from "nature" to supplement His teaching. What if they were specifically created by Jesus, before time began, for the purpose of illustrating the profound truth of his resurrection and the new life we have in Him? (John 20, Rom 6:4-6)

Even the “great theologian” David Crowder (love him!) recognizes this profound metaphor in his song “Wholly Yours” (see vid below):

I am full of earth
You are heaven’s worth
I am stained with dirt, prone to depravity
You are everything that is bright and clean
The antonym of me
You are divinity
But a certain sign of grace is this
From a broken earth flowers come up
Pushing through the dirt
You are holy, holy, holy
All heaven cries “Holy, holy God”
You are holy, holy, holy
I wanna be holy like You are…

So, to sum this all up, If you believe that ALL things were created by God, for God (Col 1:16) then everything we see has value and importance in that it points us to God but it was not meant to be God – only God is the ultimate thing. That’s why it is foolish and wrong to worship “created” things rather than the “Creator” (Rom 1:24-25). Our hearts were meant to know, love and worship the ultimate – and until we do this we will always find ourselves restless and searching. But when we find that our created purpose in life is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever" I believe we will begin to “see Jesus in everything”.

In His Grace,
Peter & Kim

16 comments:

  1. Praying for Round 4. Thanks again for keeping us informed with specific requests. We a lifting you all up! I read Psalm 29 this morning and it describes how God in his awesome glory is revealed in the storm. It ends with this message to us:
    "The Lord sat as King at the flood; Yes, the Lord sits as King forever. The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace."
    Psalm 29:10-11

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  2. Praying for you during this round of chemo, Kim! Peter - I can't tell you how many times since you started this blog that I have stopped myself, truly opened my eyes and thought of "Seeing Jesus in Everything". Thank you for your sharing, your humor and your inspiration.
    Keeping all of the Cho family in our thoughts! :)

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  3. Thanks Peter for sharing! We always keep you guys in our prayers, but we will pray for NO CANCER and NO HEADACHES/BACK PAIN specifically!

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  4. Hi Kim & Peter,
    I'm a friend of Christina's and have been praying for your family. I'm actually sitting at U of C hospital right now for my mom as she has been battling cancer for almost a year. I even considered coming to visit you guys today but thought you might want to limit visitors.
    I know the road hasn't been easy, but I'm encouraged by your entries. I pray that this round will be less painful!

    running with you guys...

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    1. Dear "friend of Christina",

      We just got into TN670. Swing on by! We'd love to pray with you.

      Peter & Kim

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    2. sorry about my mysterious name. :)

      really good seeing & praying with you guys! Kim, you look great, btw. :) wish you an uneventful weekend

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    3. Stay strong Kim! Praying for you.

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  5. Peter,

    I am telling everyone I know to read your posts from now on! God is using you BIG TIME through these posts! HE has spoken to me so much through reading your posts. HE is reminding me how much I was dependent on HIM through my husband's cancer 6 yrs ago. HE is also reminding me how much I need to rely on Him and see Him in everything now. I know it seems crazy that you, just pouring out your heart for your wife and telling others what God is doing through this trial, can affect change for the Lord. But it can! I'm telling you this because it is changing me. I know that God is using this trial for His glory! I pray that Kim made it through th chemo yesterday without any complications and that she is resting this morning. Keep strong in the Lord, Peter, for Kim, for your kids.
    In Christ, Debbie Goumas

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    1. Thanks for the kind words Debbie. Happy the posts are ministering to you.

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  6. Praying hard for Kim during this next round! As always your posts are such a blessing.

    Amy Neumann

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  7. Peter,

    I pray each day for you and your family and for a FULL recovery.... I echo the sentiments of others that through this blog you are bringing each of us closer to God. You and your family are an amazing inspiration for all.

    God Bless - Erika Gjovik

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    1. Thanks Erika - miss everyone at GE!

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  8. Angela and I hope the lymphoma completely responded to the treatment and that the scans are negative.

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  9. Peter,

    Hope you two are doing well today and Kim is tolerating this round a little better than the last. You both are an inspiration with your strength.

    Because I'm full of useless knowledge, those plants are ferns. The shoots are known as fiddleheads because of how they resemble the top of a violin. They are edible at this early stage and can be found for sale at all the local farmers markets here in the spring. Now you have some useless knowledge too. :)

    Lynn

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    1. Thanks Lynn! Love the useless info - those "fiddleheads" can make philharmonic orchestras blush with their beauty.

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