When you choose Him, you can never go wrong
While staring down the peaceful waters of the Davao Gulf two nights ago, one important year flashed back in my memory. It was on March 16, 1980 when I got my second chance at life after a tragic incident at sea.
I was gripped by fear and trauma for months until in the same year, I met our Beloved Pastor, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy for the very first time. He took me out from the dungeon of despair and encouraged me to overcome my fear of the sea. My water baptism on the 5th of September of the same year was symbolic of two important things: my healing and recovery from trauma, and the beginning of a new chapter in my life.
At the time of my water baptism, I was already working for a big firm and was the breadwinner of my family. Going abroad was just a part of my lofty dreams and ambitions. I thought America was too impossible to reach. I was just an ordinary small-town girl. I had no idea what the future had in store for me.
Just like the rip tide that almost took my life, the year 1980 had some violent twists and turns that had altered my life. It began to brew beneath my calm and peaceful waters of contentment, just when I thought all my dreams were just within my reach. It churned rapidly beneath the surface until one day, Pastor Apollo talked to me, “Ingrid, find a different work. Transfer to Davao City so you can be near to the ministry.”
I just said “yes” but I had no plans to obey. In my mind, I will never, for the life of me, leave my job. Much more so, become a full-time worker!
I ignored Pastor’s instruction. I was so full of myself.
But the churning of the rip tide started to become obvious. It began swirling rapidly in an unstoppable speed. I was caught in the middle of it.
For five consecutive nights, while I was staying at my dorm, the same unusual thing took place – there was a disturbing sound of book pages being turned. It did not happen once, or twice or thrice. It happened for five nights in a row! It was as if somebody was inside my room turning the pages of a book so loudly until 2 a.m. that I could not sleep.
I had lost my peace of mind. I did not know fully well the things of the spirit at the time. I had to ask my closest sibling to accompany me in my room. On his first night in my dorm room, the same paranormal thing took place. Somebody started scanning the pages of a book! He frenetically ran away from the room and left me.
Deep inside my heart, I knew I had to do what I had to do. I resigned from work and followed Pastor Apollo’s instruction to transfer to Davao City. I entered the full-time ministry and lived with the full-time workers in Villamor (Agdao, Davao City).
The unusual experiences stopped. All along, it was the Almighty Father training His spotlight upon my life. He called and chose me to be one of His own. He took me out from where I was in a whirlwind of events since the summertime of such an unforgettable year of my life.
I was Jonah who first refused to go to Nineveh. But when the Almighty Father has plans for your life, you may tarry in your decision, you may deny His calling, but you cannot run away from it. It is either you will live and grow spiritually, or remain stunted in your spiritual growth and eventually die.
Our Beloved Pastor also faced the crossroads of his young life when he had to choose: stay in his denomination where he was treated like a prince, promised the glorious American life, build a family of his own, OR answer the Father’s calling in his life?
He said, “Take it all. What the world can offer me, take it all.” He turned his back on every opportunity when the world was his oyster. He “weighed everything in the balance of eternity.” Eternity weighed heavier in his heart. That is the very reason why we are all here today.
Who are you today? Are you Jonah refusing to go to Nineveh? Are you in the middle of your raging sea trying to jettison all the extra baggage off board in your denial to answer His call? Or are you Jonah already preaching to the people of Nineveh in obedience to His instruction?
Be the repented version of Jonah in a world full of people playing deaf ears to the call of the Father Almighty.
Be like the Appointed Son of God, who, when faced with the difficult choice between what he wants vs. what the Father wants, he took the bitter pill and left everything behind.
Thirty-nine years since 1980, I can say to all of you, when you choose the Almighty Father, you can never go wrong.