“Do you really think God can change my life?”
I’m asked that question on a weekly basis. People dealing with addictions. People in failing marriages. People struggling with stale, lifeless careers. Men and women. Old and young. Healthy and unhealthy. People want to know if God truly has the power to change lives.
Yes, He does.
Take Kim Shin Jo for example. In 1968, Kim was an assassin from North Korea who was sent to South Korea with thirty other mercenaries to kill President Park Chun Hee. Kim carried a knife and the goal of slitting Hee’s throat.
The plot was discovered and a battle broke out. Thirty South Korean soldiers died, along with twenty-nine of the North Korean commandos. Kim was one of the survivors, and he was taken to jail and interrogated for several months.
A shocking thing happened during Kim’s captivity – he became friends with a South Korean army general. Talk about “shock and awe” – it stunned Kim that any South Korean would want to be his friend, let alone a general in the army he attacked. Kim’s heart melted. He reports:
I tried to kill the president. I was the enemy. But the South Korean people showed me sympathy and forgiveness. I was touched and moved.
God often works His life-changing power through people who are willing to show grace to their enemies. This happened to Kim, and it flipped his life around. He became a citizen of South Korea two years later, in 1970. He married and had a family. And then, get this, he became a pastor. (Sounds a bit familiar, huh?)
As Kim reflected on the day of his arrest, he said:
On that day, Kim Shin Jo died. I was reborn. I got my second chance. And I’m thankful for that.
So, does God truly have the power to change a life?
Through the power of the cross, it’s what He does best.
Initial source for this blog: “South Korean pastor is also a trained killer,” CNN Belief Blog (8.9.2010)