Growing up in a Christian family, I was always reminded that God works all things out for our good and His glory. However, in recent years, I really had to grapple with this seemingly common truth and ask myself if I truly believed it with my whole heart. It is definitely not a comfortable place to be but God does not call us to live comfortable lives, instead, He calls us to live a life that is continuously transformed into His likeness. It is indeed a high calling to respond to… I guess that is precisely why we need God dearly to live it out.

2019 was supposed to be my last year in Brisbane, but God clearly had other plans for me. I was not able to graduate on time as I failed my placement and hence could not advance further to take on most courses. This was a huge blow to my confidence and it instilled a lot of fears in me as I had to answer to my scholarship provider even though I felt like I had already done my best. Not long after, I received news from my family in Singapore about a loved one being diagnosed with breast cancer. My honest thought then was, “God, how much and how long does it have to hurt for you to intervene?” For months, my prayers were just silent tears. God did not answer my question directly, instead, He gave me more opportunities to serve others. Another honest thought was, “God do you not see how much pain I am in? How can I tell others about you when I’m struggling to convince myself that you are still God?” I continued to serve with a heavy heart and was set on going back to Singapore to support my family physically. However, I had no peace to do it and it was really conflicting!

Finally, God answered me directly. He said, “See how much you care for your loved one? In the same way, I also care for the lost. Would you consider bringing one more soul to me by staying longer in Brisbane?” I was confronted knowing how hardened my heart was towards God’s purpose for me and yet He was still willing to partner with me.

God has certainly accomplished His purpose through my reluctance, doubt and pain. He has done exceedingly more than I can imagine! So far, He has brought two souls into His kingdom and I am expectant for more! Through this journey, God assured me that He is able to comfort and provide for my family more than I could ever do. A verse that gave me strength was Hebrews 11:8, “By faith Abraham when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Abraham was also like us, broken and uncertain about how the future would look like. Yet, Abraham did not allow the uncertainties to stop him, he still chased after God and responded with faith and obedience. Let us take heart and do the same!

Shannon Tiang
Bachelor in Physiotherapy