The Great Unknown

Title: The Great Unknown
Materials: Illustration
Artwork by: Veronica Corre
Description: What comes to mind when you think of “the great unknown”? Do you picture something adventurous and exciting or something scary and uncomfortable? Oftentimes the phrase “the great unknown” is used to describe a place between the start and the end of a journey. It is the middle ground, the open space between destinations, and often, the home of obstacles and challenges.

It is not uncommon to feel slightly uneasy when thinking about “the great unknown”. It is undefined and unsettled. It is an arena where we have the choice of turning back to where we came from or leaning forward in the understanding that we are never traveling this space alone. From first to last step, God is walking right there beside us — guiding us and leading us — to move through “the great unknown” to a place where He makes all things known.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)





Help! I Can’t Find A Job

When I first started college, I happily charted out four years’ worth of classes. I was excited about what life would bring. Sure, I had to tweak my plans every semester or so, but I always had a plan, and things always worked out.

Then I graduated, and suddenly, I had no plan. Studying history was a wonderful experience, but the fact remains that there isn’t much of a market for history majors who do not want to teach. Week after week, I sent out job applications to organizations which had little to do with my field of study. And week after week, I received letters politely informing me that another candidate had been found. It was a tiring process.

After receiving one too many polite rejection letters, I finally realized that finding a job was simply beyond my ability. If it was not in line with God’s will, all my qualifications and charismatic personality (or so I would like to think) were not going to do the trick. As James 4:15 advises, “you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” (NIV). Ultimately, I realized, God is in control, and He works for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Some days, it was hard to hold on to this promise. After all, I didn’t have a plan, and it wasn’t easy to rely fully on God. “If only I could get a job,” I thought, “then life would surely be settled!”

As the days turned into weeks and then months, however, I realized that I was putting life on hold until I got a job. Of course, I needed to keep sending out the applications, but I also had to recognize that there was more to life than waiting for the replies. I had this time in between school and job which I could learn to make use of. I needed to learn to live—now. After all, life does not start with a job.

I gradually learned to see every day as a gift from God (Psalm 118:24). I needed to trust that God had the best in store for me, job or no job. And in the meantime, I would learn to make full use of each day He blesses me with. To wake up each morning and draw my first breath, is a testimony to God’s goodness.

I have slowly woken up to the fact that I now have time to sit down and read, write, or just delve into the Bible. It is a luxury few people can afford. I have no classes to rush to. No job to be late for. No children demanding my attention. I am in a unique position of being able to lead life with few distractions. It is a gift that I have finally learned to recognize.

Perhaps it will be another six months before I land a job, or perhaps it will be a mere six days. I don’t know. What I do know is that I am alive today, and can experience the laughter or tears this day might bring. It is God’s gift to me, for which I am thankful.

Photo credit: flazingo_photos / Foter / CC BY-SA

Why are there giants in our lives?

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Life is not just Dungeons and Dragons

Written By Shawn Quah

There is a game I play called Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). It is one of the oldest role-playing games, and according to Wikipedia, “the best-known and best-selling role-playing game” as of 2006. It was created to be played using defined rules, pen, paper, dices and of course, one’s imagination. While some of the rules have evolved over time, it is still a classic favorite to this day.

The success of the game could be due to the exhilaration one gets from pitting his skills and wits against a “Dungeon Master”—the person who creates the challenges. There is nothing like winning the challenge by a nose, especially when it all boils down to a dice roll to critically strike an enemy, or making a “savings throw” to overcome the dreaded “hold person” spell.

However the reverse is also true. Rolling a bad dice and causing your character to “wipe” (die) can be devastating especially when you roll a “1” (a dice roll of “1” in all situations is considered an automatic fail).

Similarly, in life, there are risk and chances we take every day, but unlike D&D, we don’t get a chance to re-play or re-form a character once we “wipe.” As such, whatever decisions we make now is crucial. What are we living for? What happens to us once we pass on? These are questions we ought to ask ourselves now and not later.

While life is mostly unpredictable, there is one thing that is guaranteed. One thing is assured to us forever, one thing that takes away that “savings throw” dice roll, where we never need fear that we would end up with a “1” and automatically fail.

It is salvation in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Regardless of our state in this life and the mistakes that we’ve made, belief in Jesus takes away that dice roll—the uncertainty of whether we have won or not. In Him, there would no longer be any doubt in the afterlife as our salvation through Him is secure. We no longer have to worry about the off chance of making a mistake that costs us everything, for our Lord is sovereign over all and we can place all our cares and concerns on Him.

I am reminded of John 14:2 where Jesus states, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (ESV)

Jesus promises that our place in Heaven is assured. Even in our everyday life, we need not worry about that “dice roll” for every situation and in any decision we make. By bringing our worries to the Lord in prayer and seeking what He has for us in life, we can walk confident knowing that we have placed our cares in His hands. Here’s a verse from the Bible, one that gives me assurance in life, and I pray that it will be too for you.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” —Psalm 145:18