RiverLife Weekly #23: A Man’s Steps are from The Lord
As I was looking through a report that documented the 50-year economic cycle of Singapore, it reminded me of the uncertain years in the mid-80s when Singapore experienced its first deep recession with negative growth, CPF rate cuts and job losses. I was then a final-year undergraduate, facing uncertain job prospects. Seniors who graduated joined the workforce with reduced salaries. Most of us did not expect such a daunting downturn as employment prospects had been great for years.
I committed more time to seek the Lord in prayer and for assurance that He would provide a job so I could remain here. Otherwise, the sensible route would be to return to my hometown in Penang.
After sending numerous applications, I landed some interviews during my final academic term. Thankfully, I was offered an entry-level role with a fast-moving consumer goods company. I accepted this offer though I would have preferred a finance-banking job. However, things took an unusual twist. The company had to reduce headcount due to restructuring, which meant I had to look for alternative employment. It was disappointing.
Immediately, I began applying for jobs again as there were bills and rental to pay. The timely counsel and support from friends and my cell group helped me to weather this period of uncertainty. I spent even more time to seek the Lord as my desperation and anxiety grew.
Eventually, I was offered a traineeship at a financial services firm. Till today, I am thankful for God’s providence and the manager who hired me. After a year, I managed to join the banking sector as the economy recovered. I have remained in banking for the past 3 decades.
Through this, I learned that God is faithful; He will make a way out for His beloved and not allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear.
Shortly after the Global Financial Crisis of 2009, my banking career was disrupted due to another organisational restructure. After much contemplation and seeking God, I decided to part ways with the bank that I had served in for 15 years to spend time with my family. On my last day, I remember feeling a deep sense of relief as I realised that responsible stewardship meant to do well in what I can influence; and submit what I cannot control to God.
Reflecting on my journey, I believe we are not fully in control of our lives, though we may like to think and behave as if we are. Man can plan, but God decides the steps to be taken.
“A man's steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?” Proverbs 20:24 (ESV)
Elder Loo Hin Chong