December 14, 2011

Hard Choice

To choose good things over bad sometimes seems hard. For bad things often offer you momentary pleasure. Would you choose fruits or ice cream for your dessert? Would you choose to sleep more on weekend or still wake up early to do some exercise? Good things are often being wrapped in a plain paper with no ribbon. We consider them as unattractive. Hence, we tend to postpone or even not willing at all to do that. The word, "Someday I will ..." could be our theme song. Yet whether we realize it or not, that phrase has a very close meaning to "I will never ..." Once we choose the bad over the good, we tend to be trapped in a downward spiral. We can find ourselves wanting so bad to get out of that 'habit' but end up in frustation for the cost can be already too high to bear.

I think that the one thing that distracts us to decide good things over the bad is because we lose the
long-term sight of our lives. Purpose makes decision-making much easier. It gives us direction where to go and where not to. If we want to go to A, never take the route that will go to B and hoping that there will be a way to arrive at A destination eventually. Our appreciation of marriage should determine the way we do our relationship at the moment. We cannot build healthy marriage in an unhealty relationship. We cannot expect purity in marriage when we do not guard purity in relationship. Keep sacred things sacred. The more you keep for now, the more you can give later on.

Although it is hard to choose the good over the bad, but to choose the best thing over the good ones is much harder. If the choice comes to choose between your future spouse (read: we have not married yet) and your parents, what would you do? Will you honor your parents' opinion at the cost of your relationship with your beloved? Or will you save your relationship with your beloved at the cost of cracking relationship with your parents? I have seen that many couple face this dilema over the years. We want to get marry but our parents say the most shocking word ever, "NO!" To avoid this case, I always consider that ask permission before begin a relationship should be done first. I mean it is not to be asked back then when we want to get marry, but upfront before we even begin a romantic relationship. It saves a lot
of tears, honors your parents, and gives you a blue print where it can lead you to. The order should be done properly.

Why is parents' permission is so important here? Although parents are not always right, we cannot deny that they are 'probably right' and they are given authority over our lives by God to protect and nurture us. It takes a great humility to obey parents when we reach a 'mature' age. Does the fact that you are over 17 years old makes you become independent absolutely for your life? Legally, yes. Godly, no. We often hear the Lord's command, "Honor your parents" but we can never know what it truly means until we are brought to one path that needs us to make hard choice. God never gives us a command that will harm us. He knows what's best. I've been witnessed that a couple that does not get parents' permission and keep going hardly have happy marriage. So what should we do when our parents say 'NO'? Should we just obey them half-heartedly?

Here we come to a place where we will never hope to be before ... a
place of surrender. Not the kind of
surrender that makes you lose in a battle, but surrender to your will and exchange it with God's will. As you believe that God is good and God loves you, you will know that His path will not lead you to the 'unhappy ending'. Isn't God all-powerful? He can move the hearts of parents as He wishes. If it is God's will, He can open the closed-door. But He's teaching us a lesson for us to wait until His timing. Why doesn't He just open it right now? For if He does, your faith and trust will not grow. You do not need more faith when you know God grants anything you wish right here right now. But it takes a 'bleeding' faith to wait and walk to where you even cannot see. He is telling you, "You may do not understand, you may cannot see where it is going to, but I am with you. Do not fear." Only at the place of surrender, His presence appears the most.

I realize that I do not give an ear-pleasing solution regarding this matter, for God's way sometimes takes a form of desert. It took 40 years for Israelites to wander on the desert so that God could teach them what it truly means to trust and rely on Him alone. But never forget, for each day in the desert, God kept providing them with manna. A bread came down from the heaven each day, a miracle. He may lead you to walk on a desert, but He never stops providing you with miracle. And sometimes His presence, the knowledge of His overwhelming love, is your everyday miracle. It is something that we do not think of, beyond our imagination.

"Though the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, therefore I hope in Him!" -Lamentations 3:22-24

"The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD" -Lamentations 3:25-26

If our love story is based upon our effort, we lose the beauty of God's version of love story. It is not because of our goodness that the Lord may approve and open the way, it is because our faith and trust in Him that will move His heart. He is teaching you this lesson, and once you have 'passed' this, He will open the way. Yet our doubt in God's promise sometimes delays its deliverance. When we doubt, God cannot bring His plan to pass fully. Our faith increases His mighty work, for He is delight in the one who has faith as big as a child. A faith that trusts His Daddy can do anything including the impossible thing!

A relationship is not something that we can'repair' someday. The neglect of its importance today will only make it 'worse' someday. Once we neglect to honor our parents now for the sake of our 'love', there will be a huge debt that might cannot be paid forever. The cost is too high, far more exceeding the cost of years of relationships, the money has been spent on wedding day, and so on. I believe a heart which honor parents first, will open the way ... in God's way.

Our decision to obey Jabrik's mom who kind of forbid us to communicate anymore may seem strange to some people. Most of us tend to think that we have to fight for our love which leads to endless convincing actions to the opposed parent or rebellion. That is how they define as 'fight for love'. Yet is that God's version of fighting? God says, "I will fight for you." He is our ultimate defender. The battle does not belong to us, it belongs to Him. If it is all about our efforts, it is merely us who will be glorified. "Wow, you are so cool! That's the way it should be!" said our friend probably. But what if it is God and merely God who fights? The glory will completely belongs to Him alone. Waiting seems passive isn't it? But only through waiting God can only develops perseverance, hope, character, and most importantly our trust in Him. Would you endure this hard choice?

Our greatest fear often is an uncertainty which lies ahead. How long should we wait? Maybe that is why many people turn to the crystal balls to 'find out' the unknown future. But again, is it God's way? He answers simply, "Trust Me." If we really want to receive the best from God, do it in His way. Trust in His leading. A hard choice can be so much easier when we follow the one who knows the beginning and the end. It takes courage to decide what will cost us greatly, but it takes furthermore persistent faith to believe that it will end in a Godly version of happy ending.

"Why are you so weary, oh my soul? Don't I, the Prince of Peace, dwell in you? Everything is under my control. All is well. Just like Mary, all you have to do is to sit and delight in Me. Do not fear. Do not doubt. My promise is never too late and never too soon. All things are beautiful in its time. Wait patiently, My precious children. Know that I am your God, your defender, who knows and gives the best only for you. Rest in Me."

Keep waiting in faith upon Him. For He is more than able to fulfill His promises ... in His time.

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