Reflections on how I learn to live life with faith.
Welcome to Part 3 of my four-part series on my reflection of how my 2014 went. If you haven’t been following my blog, before the year ended I have posted a reflection regarding how my 2014 was. For me, 2014 was a year full of hope. It was a year full of desires and expectations being met, particularly in terms of having my passion for mission work being fulfilled last year. Last year was a year filled with a feeling of trust in terms of the friendships that I have built, even trusting God in terms of having to let go of un-necessary and hurtful relationships. Now, I am up to Part 3, Hope as the feeling of what you want will turn out for the best.
3. Hope – a feeling of what you want will turn out for the best.
A few days ago, I was re-reading my old reflections since the day I started this blog. The first blog post I’ve made was about having plans that you hope would happen, but did not. This time around, 2014 for me was a year of Hope because this was the year when what I have wanted, in terms of materialism is concerned, have been fulfilled — even better than what I have ever expected nor imagined.
Proverbs 16:1-4 states, “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.”
Before I became a Christian, all my life plans and life goals were about my
previous long-term relationship, and other selfish ambitions. I wanted a car back then, and I demanded for a car from my parents as their graduation gift for me when I finished my undergraduate degree. I wanted a car so that I can go to different places and hang out with my friends. My expectations were so big in that there was no way that I will accept a no for an answer. I wasn’t able to get a car. I can’t even afford one, because I was not working at that time, as I was preparing to apply for a Masters degree. When I finished my first Masters degree, I also asked for a car as my graduation gift — I still did not get a car. I was really upset and frustrated, I remember sharing my frustration to one of my relatives about it when I was vacationing in America six months after I graduated on my Masters.
Fast forward, even though I did not have a car under my name, I shared a car with my siblings. It was a 2003 red Honda Civic, our very first car in Australia. It was passed down from my dad to my mom, to me, and my brothers. As I grew on my Christian faith, that red Honda civic was the car that I have been using. I used that car to go to bible study, to pick up and drop off people, to bring instruments to practices or to church, to go to church, to bring my brothers to church, to attend church meetings, to fellowship with others, and many more. During the peak and busiest days of my ministry life, that was the car that I was using.
Until such a time when sharing the car with my brothers has started to become a bit complicated. When I’ve decided to switch careers, doing rostered shift demands the need to have a reliable car to use particularly during evening rosters. Furthermore, my youngest brother has also started driving, and so the car is now being used by three owners.
Since, I have started to get more money than before, I was able to afford to have several vacations, shopping sprees, and restaurant dinners. My parents have noticed that I am well enough to be able to maintain regular payments for a car. When they have mentioned to me the possibility of getting a car for myself, and to start looking for one — I have also started praying about having my own car. Do I really need one? Can I afford to have one?
I have planned for a long time to get a car, but the answer is from the Lord (v.1). One thing is for sure, I will definitely use the car to pick up and drop off people who are in need, ministry-wise. In my eyes, the plan of getting a car is pure, but it depends on God since He knows my innermost intentions (v.2). I left the decision to God, He provides for my everyday needs, and so it depends on God if He will provide me with a car that is suitable for me, and if not, it’s not really that big of a deal anymore if I don’t end up getting one.
It’s amazing when on v.4, the Lord has made everything for its purpose. And perhaps one of the reasons why I was not granted a car before is due to affordability and because I will use the car for selfish things. As I started car shopping, I started praying for what aspects of a car I would like to have — for me, it should be spacious and have leather seats. Others things like a satellite navigation, sensors, and reverse camera are more of my wants than a necessity. In every car I see, I ask the Lord to take this car away from me if this is not the car you want for me.
A week after searching for a car, I’ve decided to check out the Nissan Dualis. Upon coming on to Nissan, the company had a sale at the moment. What caught our eye was the Nissan Juke. When they asked how much my budget was and what was one of my requirements for a car is — they suggested the Nissan Pulsar. I held that car and prayed to God, if that’s the car for me… Guide me, and I will know.
Praise God, the car was on sale. But the price did not reflect the amount of features it had. It was around thousands of dollars less than what it should be, and my parents were willing to pay for thousands of dollars for downpayment. It has leather seats, a very spacious interior, satellite navigation, touch-screen MM system, push-start button, keyless entry, reverse camera, and many more….
I did not deserve to have that car but God made it possible for me. Hence, I named the car, Hans. Hans means, Gift from God, God’s gift, and God has been gracious. The Hebrew name for Hans is John which means, the grace or mercy of the Lord. God is so graceful — I really do not deserve it, but I got it. Just like having Jesus save me, I do not deserve it, I’m a sinner — yet He gave up His life for me and paid for my sins… so I can attain eternal life through Him and with Him.
I thank God for Hans. Hans definitely is the best thing that ever happened to me last year. And until now, I use Hans for ministry. God really has the best plans for each and everyone of us. And He weighs our hearts, particularly if what we want is something that will further glorify Him! 🙂
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11