Today I had a special meeting. The meeting was at the request of the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia. I first met the Deputy PM in June at the dedication of our new children’s center. The meeting with him the other day was very good and I enjoyed our casual conversation. During the time I avoided talking about an issue which I knew the DPM had the power to help with. I almost felt the issue was “beneath” him; I also suspected he would not help me. At the end of our meeting, as he was walking to his car, I got up the nerve to ask him about my problem. It was an issue with shipping which has slowed our children’s center development for two years. In less than a minute I explained the problem to him and his answer came in less than one second.
I spoke to him in Cambodian, but he answered me in English. He replied immediately to me saying, “This is only a small problem.” With a slight smile he said to his secretary to, “Get Steve’s contact details and we will make sure that the tax burden concerning shipping is covered by the Government.”
Two years of struggle vanished in one second.
In this instant I knew God wanted me to learn lessons about his Kingdom. The Deputy PM is a very powerful person over the Kingdom of Cambodia. Certainly he is in a top handful of people in the country. When he speaks, he does so on behalf of the Government of Cambodia. I thought my big problem was too small to bother the Deputy PM with. I have been struggling for more than two years to find a way to ship special equipment into Cambodia. It is not illegal, but the taxes are very high and I did not know how to get it in. The Deputy PM did, and with one simple phrase, he opened the way.
In that brief moment, I learned more about the how officials represent their nations. I also saw that the Deputy PM cannot do what he wants; he must act according to the laws of the Government of Cambodia. In countries like Cambodia with so much corruption, you assume people do what they want with impunity. I can assure you, in this situation that was not what I observed. They simply found a way to legally help me help more kids while using the influence of the office.
I knew instantly that God wanted me to learn something about him from this encounter. These are the lessons I learned about the Kingdom of God in one minute:
1) My problems, no matter how small, are not irrelevant to God.
2) I have to ask for help, in order to get help!
3) Christ can only act within the authority given to him and under God’s laws. We too can only act in the authority given to us and according to his commands.
4) My problems are not cancelled, but reassigned to Christ.
5) Immediately I was grateful because I realized a big debt was forgiven.
6) As an Ambassador of Christ, I have significant influence and responsibility to help others.
7) God loves to grant his favor to us!