We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place. (Heb. 10:19)
I decided to visit the Silver Pagoda, located in the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Silver Pagoda houses many gold and jeweled Buddha statues. The most famous is the life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha, which is decorated with 9,584 diamonds (the largest of which is twenty-five carats in weight). Accompanying me was a Cambodian moto-bike taxi driver who could speak a little English. As I got off the bike to enter the grounds of the royal palace, my taxi driver told me he had never gone in to see the Maitreya Buddha. When I asked him why, he shared, “I do not like the big Buddha!”
“What don’t you like about him?”
“Buddha is fickle!”
As he continued to talk, I discovered that he had faithfully followed Buddha when he was a small boy. He was drawn to the gentle smile that many Buddha statues and paintings are depicted with. However, he eventually realized that the smile was deceptive and that behind that smile was someone fickle. One day Buddha might like him and, for no apparent reason, the next day he could be upset with him.
I was able to share with him that the “Christian God” loves all the time, and for this reason one need not ever fear entering into His presence. God’s love is eternal!
Be thankful that we serve an unchanging God who is totally trustworthy and consistent.
Jim “Umfundisi” Lo is the author of Connect with God: The Purpose of Prayer (WPH) and the dean of chapel at Indiana Wesleyan University.