Earlier today I was with a group in a study on Christ in the Synoptic Gospels with the family I've been attending since I'm back home. I heard a friend asking the class, what made God decide that Israel is His chosen nation.
Well, I've been taking this online course on Behavioral Science and getting this insight on how our mind is not as 'deep' as we thought -- the behavioral science calls it a "flat mind". The scientists back it up with years of extensive research obviously, but it's a thought-provoking to hear the impact that they propose: we make our choices based on experience and from how we see other people make theirs and behave.
If someone asks me why I like a particular brand of coffee, for example, all the answer I could come up with, according to behavioral science, is all made up. Because my mind would not have the 'depth' of knowing exactly why I like that brand. In a nutshell.
So, not only Israel as a nation, but all the way back to why He chose Jacob over Esau, I'm thinking, I could probably ask Him when I see Him, but for now I could 'only' trust His sovereignty -- because He's all-knowing, His choices and decision-making process must be perfect and way beyond my level of understanding.
The "God-given" I've never wanted
Similarly with the choices God made, I thought it applies to His "gifts" too. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "God-given" as "received as a gift from God".
Funnily, the situations and people I believe He chose to bestow on me -- things we had no chance of choosing, hence as believers we believe they are "God-given" -- sometimes I find it harder to see His sovereignty in them: the family I was born into, my hair color and other physical traits, my nationality, my gender (if I were a boy!)... Or, what I'm most envious of as I often compare mine over others': the godly parents I never had.
The "God-given" I wish I had
I was leaving Singapore for the UK three years ago when my pastor's wife -- who is a PK (pastor's kid) -- said one thing that struck me; that she couldn't imagine how it feels to make important decisions in life as a young woman without the figure of a father.
My earthly father was far from a God-fearing person to give a godly counsel, but ever since he died in 2006 I practically received no guidance from a father.
I was talking about this to another PK friend of mine in Berlin last year. She points out, how it's of a different blessing to be in my position, as God "compensates" godly parents I do not have with godly people He places around me. My spiritual gift, too, of how Scriptures talk in my face and I use them as guidance in my decision-making is not something that everyone has.
But if there's such thing called replacement or compensating gifts that God would ever give, I thought, it's always a means to take me back to Him, the Source of every good gift and perfect gift (James 1: 17), the Sustainer and the Provider.
... with My eye upon you.
Psalm 32:8 was given to me through a vision December past, on my last Sunday in Berlin when a pastor's wife was praying over me.
As a fatherless daughter I recently realized how I long for and often times intentionally seek godly father-figure, and godly couple whom I could look up to -- maybe because that's what I've been trying to fulfill all my life -- like now when I am deciding which home-group, or the family I'm now attending calls it a Life Group, to be part of.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
But this verse reminds me again, that my heavenly Father will instruct me and teach me Himself and that's what I should seek and treasure above all.