“My teachers did not want to waste their time on me,” Naam said. “Why do you?”
How could I begin to answer her? Naam had spent her entire life feeling that she was of no worth to anyone. In her Buddhist culture her disabilities marked her as one who was suffering the consequences of misdeeds committed in a past life. Yet when I had first seen her, laboring towards the outdoor recreation park that day in Thailand on her hand-peddled tricycle, I had felt instantly drawn to her.
After that day we met weekly and she was a blessing to me. She would patiently correct my pronunciation as I read Bible stories to her in Thai.
“Are these stories true?” she asked me. I explained that these were indeed true stories of the true God. Did she want to know this God? Naam was hesitant. To leave Buddhism would be to dishonor and shame her parents, unthinkable in that culture. She shook her head, no. Yet I was not discouraged.
Our time in Thailand was exciting when we could clearly see God at work. But at times I would find myself wondering, “What are we doing here? Are we wasting our time?” But I knew my time with Naam was not a waste. She was beginning to believe herself to be worthy of love, and it was changing her. God was shaping Naam, just as he still continues to shape me.
Whether we plant, water or reap in his kingdom, it all counts. God will work all things together for the highest good for those that he loves and who are called according to his purposes. As we enter this next season of life and wonder what it will look like, I am assured that whatever we do will have value and worth.
“Your teachers missed a great opportunity,” I told Naam. “You are not a waste of time.”
With our God, nothing is wasted.
by Ingrid Russell