5 June 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
Caleb Lee came from a simple and ordinary family, nothing spectacular really but a life that was monotonous and empty…
Like a black hole, he tried to fill his emptiness to no avail by being a good child, excel in his studies, and building meaningful friendships. But none of them could fill up his gaping hole.
Exhausted with the ups and downs of emotions, he came up with a philosophy.
“I told myself, why whenever I felt happy each time; I would feel extremely lonely and empty after that? I do not want to go through this cycle,” said Caleb. He started to close his heart to everything around him and became totally numbed.
Like an emotionless zombie, he found himself not enjoying many things over his form five and form six years. In fact, he could hardly remember what he did during that period.
And when he entered college, he became even more introvert with only three friends. One of them was already a Christian, while another friend became a Christian during their friendship, in which he witnessed a great transformation.
“I saw her transforming from a struggling and quiet girl to a girl full of joy,” said Caleb.
That lady friend gave him the gospel of John in a small booklet. After reading it halfway, he began to feel a strong love saturating his heart. And being emotionless for so long, he knew that this was the thing he was searching for.
Without anyone’s guidance, he said to God ‘greedily’, “I want this love.” So, he completed the book by reading the sinner’s prayer but no one knew about his acceptance of Christ.
The second prayer he made was, “Lord, if you’re real, bring me to church.” One week later, a college acquaintance invited him to church. And in the second church event, a brother-in-Christ shared with him the gospel, unaware of his earlier acceptance of Christ.
“I was rebellious and I asked many difficult questions. But there was one thing I remember this brother saying.”
“He told me: Like knowing the temperature of water, you will never know whether it’s hot, cold or lukewarm until you taste it yourself. Likewise, I will never know Jesus until I experience Him myself,” said Caleb.
Together, Caleb was led to say the sinner’s prayer aloud with the brother-in-Christ, as a sign of his public declaration of him accepting Jesus.
“After I accepted Jesus, I experienced Him like a starving person finding food. I felt that I wanted to touch other people like me,” said Caleb.
He started attending the church and became interested in serving for worship. So, he would go for music lessons in the church auditorium. One day, after the music class, a group of church workers also came into the auditorium for their usual morning prayer.
“We were invited to join them. So, all of us would stand in different spots in the auditorium to personally pray to God. While I was praying, I felt His touch,” said Caleb. “While crying I told the Lord: Lord, I want to give my ten years to you.”
Since then, God has blessed Caleb with a boldness he didn’t know before and also the relentless strength to serve. Later, while Caleb was chatting with God in his favorite place, God gave him a vision.
“The Lord showed me two directions. One was a lighted path, while the other had only one tile visible with a black or vacuum path ahead of it.”
“God said that if I chose the lighted path, I would have my life easy at the beginning but harder at the end. If I chose the vacuum path, I would need to totally depend on Him and trust Him. At the end of this path, He would tell that I have fight the good fight and ran a good race,” said Caleb.
Caleb chose the latter path of faith and began to serve the church. So, after graduating with a double degree in Chemistry and Biology, Caleb started to serve his church immediately full-time without any pay for the first two years.
To earn income, he would also make tents like Paul in between those hours, such as entering data, selling bread, and also giving tuition. Not only that, he would need to wake up at 3 in the morning and sleep at 12 at midnight to juggle between working part-time and serving God full-time. By God’s provision, he was able to sustain himself and God was faithful in providing him all his needs.
Caleb also found it extremely exhausting to mingle and socialize with so many people at the beginning of his ministry work due to his past and introvert nature.
“That really took a toll on me emotionally, so much so I need to pray for more than an hour before I start serving to pass my mental barriers. This is because I enjoy spending time with myself. Even now I do that,” said Caleb whose ambition was to be a solitary chemist in the lab.
But even then, God fulfilled his little ambition.
After seven years of serving faithfully in church, Caleb was curious about working in the secular word. After consulting his pastor, he began a job search in the market.
He got his first interview with a renowned water plant who did not mind training him from scratch, although the company did not typically hire chemist with zero working experience.
“The manager had favor on me and I was very happy to accept the offer letter with a binding contract of two years. But upon thinking, I still wanted time to serve God, so I declined the job,” said Caleb.
The second interview was a sales job for a chemical product. The manager also had such high favor on Caleb that even the basic salary itself was very high. On top of that, the product was also highly reputable in the market, which make earning the sales commission very likely. But Caleb declined that job as well, and so did his third job!
Come to his fourth interview by a company, he finally accepted the job offer to work in an IT company due to its flexible hours. Although he could still find time to serve in the ministry, he only worked for few months before quitting the job and returning to ministry work.
“God let me go through this small phase to trust Him in providing me finances and positions. But what He really wanted me to do was to focus in serving Him in ministry,” said Caleb.
He continued to serve his church for another two years before God brought him to a new level of growth last year. Instead of serving one church, he was led to serve a larger community.
A friend told him that Alpha Malaysia was looking for an events coordinator. He heard about this ministry before from his pastors and friends. With no experience, he applied for the job and got hired in May 2012!
“I remember when I accepted Christ, the brother-in-Christ told me to take one step at a time in trusting God,” said Caleb. “I see God’s good hand in guiding and providing me even I do not know what is the next step”
He realized that God’s plan is perfect, where nothing is coincidental. The years he spent serving the church groomed him to better serve the support group for Alpha Malaysia because he understands people’s feelings and needs more.
Counting to the 11th year of serving in ministry now, Caleb is not tired of serving people because like the Father, everything became worthy when he witnessed people’s lives transforming after accepting Christ.
“This great joy is something that money cannot buy,” said Caleb. “And because I experienced many struggles and challenges since I was a young Christian till now, I could see how God answered my prayers. That is why I think putting our trust in God is so important.”
And indeed, Caleb never lacks anything and has all that he need. Despite having an unstable and unconventional means of income, Caleb now owns a car and a house. He is also blessed with a wife, children and good friends at 33 years old. Now, isn’t that a picture of a successful man in secular society?
“Like Paul, I learned to be contented when I abound and when I am in need. I truly believe in Proverbs 3:5-6 that says: trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,” said Caleb Lee.
Truly, with God, you will lack nothing in life but has everything to gain. You just need to trust in Him.
Dear Viewers in Christ, if you find this article edifying to you, please share with your friends or loved ones by using the social media plugs (Share, Email to this article). The Lord will surely bless you as you bless others. May the Lord’s peace and love be with you.
References for picture: