written by Jessica Lin
During winter break, I had the opportunity to visit Taiwan. From being squished on crowded subways to sitting in the bullet train, I was constantly whizzing by countless cities, buildings, and faces. And in moments of reflection, as I gazed at my surroundings, my heart sank. In a country with an estimated 4.5% Christian population, that means most of the people I pass by don’t know, and may never know, that God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die in our place. I was driven to pray, but I struggled to figure out what to say; I had a flurry of thoughts and emotions I couldn’t articulate.
When Jesus’ disciples asked him how to pray, He answered, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…”
“Your kingdom come, your will be done…”
But how do I reconcile waiting for Christ’s return with eager expectation, knowing that family, friends, and billions of people in this world are hell-bound? As joyous as I am when I think about being in perfect reunion with my heavenly Father, a part of my heart does not have rest. I imagine looking at the faces of lost loved ones once our time on Earth has passed- looks of pain, sadness, regret. If they looked at me, what would they say? Would they tell me that they wished I put more effort to sharing the Good News with them?
Even during normal conversations with my unbelieving friends, a part of me remains restless. I rely on my own abilities to present the Gospel in an attractive manner, beat myself over missed opportunities, or wait for the “perfect conditions” to have spiritual conversations. My sense of urgency to share the Gospel is often coupled with fear and anxiety.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done…” What does this even mean?
I’m praying that God’s kingdom come, which means that it’s built by His hands, not mine (Daniel 2:44). God does care about the earth- after all, it is His creation. I often view the lost nature of the world with a narrow lens and have my own idea of what ‘His kingdom come’ looks like—blinded to what God may be doing that I can’t see directly.
So what if I tried to see the world with a different lens? Whether I’m in Taiwan or walking down BruinWalk, there’s a chance that I might cross paths with a brother or sister in Christ. And isn’t one soul that has been reconciled with God worth rejoicing over? And who knows whose hearts God is working in at this moment?
And yes, there’s so much pain, suffering, injustice, and darkness in this world that I wish I could end. But of course, I cannot; I am utterly powerless and helpless. But we have a God that is not indifferent to our suffering. In fact, He took our suffering so seriously He took it on Himself when He died on the cross.
“Your kingdom come” is so much more than Christ’s second coming. It’s a reminder that He makes all things beautiful in His time. It’s a promise that He will call his sons and daughters to Him. It’s a cry that we would align our will with His. It’s an encouragement to more boldly and confidently share the Gospel, knowing that God will establish His kingdom here on earth.
When Jesus prayed for His disciples, He prayed, “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:14-19).
Brothers and sisters, this is what we look like in God’s picture of “let your kingdom come.” We are to live set apart, despite what discouragements or adversities we may face. We have the opportunity to take part in establishing God’s kingdom on Earth. We were made to go into the world and confront it with His truth. We must constantly seek God for His help and for His kingdom to expand. We’re not of the world; our citizenship is not here. We’re a part of a city whose builder and maker is God. So as we pray for and love our non-believing friends, UCLA, the world… God, may Your kingdom come and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.