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God Makes the Impossible Possible

Written By Silvia Y, Indonesia

“So, what are you going to do now that you’re done with your Master’s?” That was a question I was repeatedly asked after completing my Master’s in International Relations in China.

I had just returned to Indonesia, and it seemed natural that I should apply to a big company or enterprise. After all, they would offer me the highest salary.

That decision could be assumed for most people. But somehow, I didn’t hanker after it. I’m not very sure why, but I signed up for the civil servant test in my country to become a diplomat. Although I was aware of the stigma—that an Indonesian Chinese like me would not be accepted for the job—I wanted to contribute directly to my country.

Of course, my friends and family members thought that my decision to take the test was very ridiculous and would not end well. They advised me against it and told me to change my mind before it was too late.

I understood their concerns—very few Chinese descendants in Indonesia are able to become civil servants. However, it was not out of sheer spontaneity that I decided to take the test.

I remember one Sunday after church service when I sat alone and prayed for God’s direction. I was worried about taking the test, and had asked God if taking the civil servant test was the right thing to do.

Immediately, I felt a sense of peace within me—I knew that God had said yes. In Colossians 3:15, we are commanded to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”  God may not have answered my prayers audibly. However, I knew it was His Spirit giving me peace, comforting me and assuring me to go on.

God affirmed my decision to listen to Him. After four consecutive tests that I took over a period of three months, I was chosen from the thousands of people who applied. Others would say that I was accepted because of my ability, but I am certain that it was because God had guided me through each phase.

 

Learning French

Recently, I was reminded again that God is always in control. After praying earnestly, I decided to take on a Master’s program offered by my office. This time, I hit a seemingly insurmountable problem: the lessons would be taught in French and I would need to master the language first.

The last time I attended classes, I could barely pass the elementary A2 level. To take a Master’s that was offered in French, I had to obtain a French language certificate at B2 level.

Fortunately for me, there was a two-month-long preparation class I could take prior to  taking the official B2 level language test. The class was a very intensive one; it lasted from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for six days a week—our only break being Saturday.

Each day, I would go back home after class and pray that God would give me the necessary wisdom to understand all the French readings. Compared to my three other classmates, I was behind and I struggled to catch up.

My colleagues—who were of another faith—jokingly said that they wished I would fail the language test so that I could continue organizing the big forum we were planning for next year. I shared this with another friend at office—who belonged to the same faith as them—and she said: “Let’s see whose prayer would be answered—yours or theirs.”

It was probably a nonchalant remark but it impacted me. I felt like failing the French test would show that I was worshipping the “wrong” God in their eyes. I poured out my worries to God and again, God gave me peace and assurance that I could do it.

This time, God used other believers to speak to me. My supportive parents kept reminding me that I would be able to do it because God was with me. Each time I prayed, I became more convinced that God was in control.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul reminds us that God can use our weaknesses for His glory: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

 

The Power of Prayer

Since then, I’ve learned to ask God what He wants to do with my life before considering the most appealing option in my limited human eyes. Even though God’s answer may seem impossible when we look at it with our own finite wisdom, I have faith and peace in Christ. If God tells me to go ahead and pursue it, I know everything will be fine and I just have to obey.

We really should not underestimate the power and importance of prayer. Our prayers may not be answered immediately or in the way we hope they would be, but we can trust that our faithful Father hears and answers them.

Thanks to the Lord Jesus, I am flying to the southwest part of France this September for my Master’s in French Art, Language and Culture at the University of La Rochelle. I am sharing my story because I cannot keep the goodness of God for myself. I hope my story will encourage you and serve as a reminder that God never fails in His promises to take care of you.

Let us strive to live a life in which we make decisions that align to God’s truth and divine will. Taste and see how good our God is, for He provides more than what our heart desires.  All glory goes to God above!

The Journey

Title: The Journey
Materials: Watercolour
Description: Life is a journey all of us are on. Along the way, we may get lost or experience loss. In these moments, we can’t help but ask: What do we do? Which way do we go? How do we navigate life’s maze? Finding the way starts with knowing who can show us the way. We hope God’s truth will encourage you today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ODB: Mysterious Detours

Before my wife and I embarked on a 400-mile road trip, I set up the GPS with our daughter’s home in Missouri as the destination. As we traveled through Illinois, the GPS instructed us to get off the Interstate, resulting in a detour through the city of Harvey. After the GPS directed us back to
I-80, I was baffled by this mysterious detour. Why were we directed off a perfectly good highway?

I’ll never know the answer. We continued on our way, and we trusted the GPS to get us there and home again.

That got me to thinking about detours in life. We may seem to be traveling on a smooth pathway. Then for some reason, God redirects us into an unfamiliar area. Perhaps it is an illness, or a crisis at work or school, or an unexpected tragedy occurs. We don’t understand what God is doing.

Abraham faced a mysterious detour when God told him, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house” (Gen. 12:1). Surely Abraham must have wondered why God was routing him to the Negev desert. But he trusted God and His good purposes.

A GPS may make mistakes, but we can trust our unfailing God (Ps. 22:4). He will guide us through all our mysterious detours and lead us where He wants us to go.

— Dave Branon

October 16, 2014 

READ: Genesis 12:1-10; 13:1 

Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You delivered them. —Psalm 22:4 

Before my wife and I embarked on a 400-mile road trip, I set up the GPS with our daughter’s home in Missouri as the destination. As we traveled through Illinois, the GPS instructed us to get off the Interstate, resulting in a detour through the city of Harvey. After the GPS directed us back to
I-80, I was baffled by this mysterious detour. Why were we directed off a perfectly good highway?

I’ll never know the answer. We continued on our way, and we trusted the GPS to get us there and home again.

That got me to thinking about detours in life. We may seem to be traveling on a smooth pathway. Then for some reason, God redirects us into an unfamiliar area. Perhaps it is an illness, or a crisis at work or school, or an unexpected tragedy occurs. We don’t understand what God is doing.

Abraham faced a mysterious detour when God told him, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house” (Gen. 12:1). Surely Abraham must have wondered why God was routing him to the Negev desert. But he trusted God and His good purposes.

A GPS may make mistakes, but we can trust our unfailing God (Ps. 22:4). He will guide us through all our mysterious detours and lead us where He wants us to go.

— Dave Branon

We seek Your guidance, Lord, but we understand
that our path won’t always be without challenges.
Help us to trust You through the detours—knowing
that You have our best interests and Your honor at heart.

We don’t need to see the way when we stay close to the One who does. 

Breaking Up with Breakups

Breakups are painful experiences that many of us, myself included, may have gone through—some more painfully than others. It hurts to see our friends experience one, let alone ourselves.

Leading up to the event, we are often consumed by doubt and apprehension. A whirlpool of emotions causes great confusion in our heads. One minute we tell ourselves we are fine, and the next our minds start to play tricks on us again.

When it finally happens, the stages we go through are mostly similar—denial leading to anger, then bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

I can’t believe it happened!
It’s entirely his fault; he left me high and dry.
I promise things will be different. Shall we give our relationship another chance?
Why did he leave me, was I not good enough for him?
I think it’s time to move on. I can find someone better.

In recovering, some of us choose to harbor anger and give our exes a piece of our minds. But there is no use pointing fingers; it gets us nowhere and we end up hurting those involved, including ourselves. Some of us confide in a friend. Some of us listen to songs about breaking up like the recent “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift. Some of us eat a lot, while others feel ill at the sight of food. Some of us look up quotes that make us feel a little bit better.

Though many of the above methods help, nothing works better than going back to God and seeking His guidance for the next chapter of our lives. Proverbs 3:5-6 offers good counsel, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Even when we think we’ve got things under control, we can easily trip up and make the situation more problematic without God’s guidance.

God has His reasons for everything that happens, although we may not understand them now. He is firmly in control and we should know that we have nothing to worry about. Though we sometimes feel like we are breaking, let God do the mending. He knows full well what we need.

I hope this has encouraged those of you who might be feeling down and out. You are allowed to feel down but don’t let it torment you forever. There’s a better way out—God’s healing and guidance.

Photo credit: Guilherme Yagui / Foter / CC BY

Written by VT for YMI