Sunday, 13 October 2013

Eye of the storm

The picture depicts a recent thunderstorm here. A more violent version of the drizzles we get in Melbourne and similar to the ones we have in Malaysia that causes roads (and homes) to flood and closes schools and offices for the day.

A fitting simile to the one plaguing my heart and mind, in other words. I'm officially unemployed for 2014 and I'm in a quandary regarding the right way forwards. It's definitely not the end of the road; there are many options available but I just don't know which is the correct one to pursue. I haven't had time or energy to properly seek God's will in this matter; poor excuses, I realise.

On one hand, sure, it's a blow to the ego, but I'll live. On the other hand, I don't want to take the path of least resistance for the sake of convenience. It's disrespectful to the other party and just plain lazy on my part. I could apply for a job elsewhere (which would most likely be overseas since most of the job openings in Australia have closed). I could undertake some postgrad courses, an option that has always been on my radar (specifically a Masters in Public Health or Diploma in Tropical Medicine which would involve travelling to either the USA or UK for a time). I could bum around (an option that would probably give my parents a heart attack!). And I could always stay here if Pioneers and Harvesters would have me, I suppose. Again, I just don't want to make any decision out of desperation and merely because I don't have any alternative choice.

I have strived to operate under the belief that God has placed a calling on my life; to medical missions long term but also to first complete my specialty training (whatever and wherever that may be). Have I been mistaken? I don't think so but there's always the danger that my desires have clouded my hearing from His Spirit regarding what He wants, as opposed to what I want. They may not be dissimilar but I doubt they're identical.

Acts 20:24 "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."

Philippians 3:8-14 "But indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

All three passages echo the sentiment that our journey through this earth is an ongoing process that would only find completion in the next life. But how to see clearly where the road leads? And what should we do when it branches? I don't do well with uncertainty but that's just too bad, I guess, since that's part of living in a fallen world. God help me, I just want to serve You. As Mary said to the angel Gabriel in reply to the Annunciation, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38). May my life ever reflect Your glory and Your goodness. May it be that at the end of days, when we finally meet face to face, I would have the passing joy of hearing You say, "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25:21,23)!

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