1. The Cactus

The Cactus is a plant that grows in the dry and barren desert landscape. By and large, its appearance does not attract the appreciation of many. However, concealed below its surface the cactus conceals a unique, hidden beauty. These plants thrive by the continuous absorption of a limited water supply in the desert air. When its body is finally full with enough water, it blossoms and reveals the beauty of its inner being.

During these days of my sickness, I have received encouragement from personal observations of how the cactus lives.

When I was first hospitalized, I was extremely weak - I could hardly breathe. Even my own doctor was not too optimistic. He disclosed to me that I would have but a few days to live. Since I firmly professed to the biblical promise of eternal life, I felt that I could simply give up any determination to continue living. However, God had His timetable including further lessons for me to learn. During those sorrowful days, I met a fellow patient who was a stranger and unknown to me. One day he came to talk to me, he said that he had been praying for me. With the conversation, he also gave me two presents: a lapel pin in the shape of "praying hands" and a small glass cactus figurine. Inside the box of the glass cactus was a printed note that read "Do not quit."

God used this nameless angel to speak to me, telling me not to give up. On that day, I knew that God did not delight in my outlook and attitude for life. Since then, I have begun to gradually and aggressively trust God. With that divine trust in mind, my life has pressed on until this day.

Brothers and sisters, I appreciate your constant prayers. Your prayers give me the strength to live on. Though God has gifted to me new and challenging tasks each day, He encourages me by such a great cloud of prayers from countless saints. With your prayer support, I obtain the strength to complete these daily assignments.

"... but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40.31 NIV)


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The Cactus

Rev. Kelvin Li
May 6, 2008