“Should we not see that our Root is right, before expecting flowers and fruit?” – Scraps, Amy Carmichael
The night before I left for Macau, I had a quiet, almost desperate plea to God: closure and proper [eternal] perspective. My ‘future plans’ weren’t going to happen as I had hoped they would, and more than the disappointments, I didn’t want to linger on the questions anymore. What now, Lord? Where to, next? Why? Clearly, they were referring to a loss of vision, of not seeing beyond the present. But the words of Amy Carmichael rang loud and clear in my heart. “We are not asked to SEE,” said Amy. “Why need we when we KNOW?” We know–not the answer to the inevitable Why, but the incontestable fact that it is for the best. “It is an irreparable loss, but is it faith at all if it is ‘hard to trust’ when things are entirely bewildering?” She said it best, and my heart was at peace.
Emotionally, I think I was already settled for this outcome even before it came. There were many hints that I clearly tried to avoid and I was probably too impassioned to see differently. Once I’ve set my mind on something–a dream, I’m like a ship that’s pretty much just waiting to dock. The danger of drifting away from His plan with this somewhat careless mindset was all too real. But something changed throughout the weeks that I labored waiting for an answer. Where I used to fret endlessly over not getting a single email, now I’m hardly unsettled and in fact, thankful. I had the opportunity to develop faith when needed, to ask, to wait, to persevere —aren’t all these things necessary in our walk with the Lord? I no longer wake up in the middle of the night with the urge to write and vent my frustations. I have peace, something the Bible calls as “surpassing understanding.” (Philippians 4:7) Why am I at peace now?
Mentally, I’m getting there. It cannot be avoided that I would ask some very practical things, such as, “what next?” We are given intellectual faculties after all and it is for this reason that we use them. Discerning directions. Weighing options. Considering possibilities. Yes, as of writing, I’m not sure what I would do after August. Will I go back to school? Will I take on a new job? Should I pursue an old dream? A friend told me, “the possibilities are endless.” May I also just tweak that a little. Possibilities are endless, but they can also be direction-less. We can venture into all sorts of things and still end up in no clear direction, unless divinely directed. “The only expenditure, and all its outworkings, for which God can be held to be responsible is that which He directs.” Again, Amy.
This dream would always be in my heart and I know in all stubbornness that I will still get there at one point or another. The whole point I think of having persevered for it for a whole year was to know exactly if I had the right roots, the right motives, the right heart.
How connected am I to the Vine? I wanted fruits right away —how deep were my roots for desiring them? That should have been first and foremost.