My friend exclaimed.
“That’s not a lot. The government takes away 20% off that immediately.”
We were having lunch over Mr Prata today. I was sharing with him my journey of Ironman back in 2006. It was definitely a different time. I just got started in triathlon. It was my first job after University.
To be honest, it wasn’t a lot. To make matter worst, during a commute bike ride, I fell over and broke my teeth. During that summer, for a few months, I was missing a front tooth and a half tooth. Because of the missing teeth, I can’t pronounce properly.
I had no dental plan and everything have to pay from my own pocket. I remembered crying to the Lord because I don’t know whether they could fix my teeth. On top of that, the medication I took for my liver transplant made my gums swelled, making things more complicated to fix my teeth. All of these happened two months after my baptism. I joked to my Pastor whether this was God’s way of punishing me. He said NO, don’t think like that.
My friend had a background in business. He is now studying MBA and Law together. He is going to do an Ironman. Over prata and curry, he spent the conversation picking my brain. He knows money inside out. To hear someone making 36,000, after graduation is like a joke. There are times when I am ashamed of how little I make.
The more I reflect, the more I realize it is actually good for me to make so little. This tragedy of the missing teeth, in a way, is a blessing. It has taught me that I have a Heavenly Father that provides.
I continued to share that despite the circumstances; God provided the fund whenever a dental bill was due. I learnt how to cut back and live simply. Not over indulge or spent on un-important things. I learnt how to live simply. A prerequisite for a missionary. But the most important lesson of all, it is to live by faith.
I looked someone like Abraham. He obeyed God and left everything at an ripe age of 75 (Genesis 12:4). God told him to go and he became a stranger in a foreign land. He left his families, his land, his identity, simply he has the faith that the Lord will provide a better identity, better land, better inheritance for him (Hebrews 11:8-11).
My friend then shared one of his colleagues is flustered over life because the windows on his Mercedes won’t close at the same rate. Compare to them, my life is just weird. As I am in Singapore, one of the riches city state in the world, I cling to this lesson of faith daily.
I am sure at that time of Abraham, all his friends and his relatives think he is nuts. Or Noah building an ark. A life following Jesus, living by faith, should be nuts and weird. I remembered one of Francis Chan’s sermons where he preached that someone who looks at your life should be so different from the world that they either say you are crazy or think, wow, there must be a God.
The funny thing about faith is that it is not one time event. Just as Abraham’s faith in God grow from one faith to another. From leaving his land to willing to sacrifice Issac, his beloved and only son, Abraham experienced His Faith and he grew.
Faith begets faith.
I shared with my friend that my teeth incident helped me grow my faith to sell everything and come to Singapore. I know God provided me in the past, He would provide me in the future. As my fiancée and I discuss about going to the mission field, there will be a time in the future, when once again we will have to give up everything and follow Him. At that time, it will be this growing faith we cling on to.