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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

When Hearing His Words Brings Peace Even in the Hardest Things

By Susan Park



Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Susan’s Story


Growing up in a first-generation Korean-American church, I remember sitting in the wooden church pews, watching my parents stand in their white choir gowns as they sang the hymns in Korean. I could always hear my dad’s booming alto voice as he sang the hymns with passion and conviction. Many years later, after my dad went to Heaven eleven years ago, some of the remaining choir members would remark how much they missed Elder Mang’s voice. I miss hearing his voice, too.

 

My dad was a strong man. He was physically strong as he played soccer and tennis, fixed things around the house, and shoveled the cold Chicago snow on the driveway. He was a hard worker and rarely missed a day at work. Most importantly, his faith and character were firm as he lived a life of integrity, serving his family and church. In my eyes, my dad was invincible. However, everything changed when he was diagnosed with liver cancer.

 

Shortly after he was diagnosed, my dad’s muscular frame became more delicate as he lost weight from the cancer. His hearty appetite diminished as he could barely hold up a pair of chopsticks to eat the Korean food he once loved. He became emotionally vulnerable, which was foreign to me because, in the past, I rarely saw him cry. Also, his strong voice weakened due to his loss of energy. My heart broke seeing my dad deteriorate right before my eyes. He was the firm foundation of our family, and it felt like that foundation was cracking into shattered pieces.


As I sought comfort from God during this difficult time, I came upon these verses:


“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever,” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NLT).



Through these verses, God gave me peace in two ways. He reassured me that, despite my dad’s weakened state, He was renewing my dad’s spirit every day. And as I walked through this with me dad, God helped me to have an eternal perspective. My dad’s suffering was temporary, and one day, my dad will no longer suffer and be with God forever. I was deeply encouraged and comforted as God spoke to me through these verses, and I felt compelled to share these verses of hope with my dad.

 

My dad cried as I shared how God spoke to me through these verses, which promised how God continued to renew my dad’s spirit and that his sufferings would come to an end one day when he joined God in eternity. These verses comforted both my dad and me in the final days of his life.

 

These verses continue to strengthen and encourage me to have an eternal perspective. When I go through hardships and difficulties, I know that these sufferings are temporary and that there is eternal hope in a loving God. I am reminded to fix my eyes on what is eternal, such as growing in my relationship with God and obeying my calling to love God and others.

 

Whenever I miss my dad, I am reminded that he is no longer suffering and enjoying the presence of God. My dad is living the verses that I shared with him. I could imagine my dad standing tall and strong in a white glimmering robe and praising God in his booming, alto voice for all eternity.


Photo credit: Wix Media.

 

The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest essay series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.


Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive each new essay in your inbox, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a FREE download of a Prayer Planning Worksheet, a resource to help you prepare your heart to listen for His voice in prayer.


New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!


Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.


 

About Susan


Susan Park is a Korean-American Christian writer. She loves to encourage women with words of hope and joy. She is passionate about how we can co-create with God in our creative work. She is currently working on her first novel about a second-generation Korean-American woman.

 

Susan has worked as a writer and assistant copy editor for the Christian online magazine Marked Ministry, a speaker about creativity at The Extraordinary Faith Summit and a writer for the Dawn Bible app. She has been a featured writer and podcast guest for other Christian writers and is one of the contributing authors of the book, “Life Changing Stories: A Devotional Collection Revealing God’s Faithfulness and Transforming Power.”

 

Susan lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three boys. You can connect with Susan through her website and on Instagram and Facebook.


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