When I was still driving how can I blame Him?
Studying in Hong Kong University I stayed in May Hall. Wednesday nights our hostel mates had our Bible study. This group was the highlight of my week. Doubtful friends asked, ” You enjoy attending a Bible study?”
Yes, every week I sat for almost an hour with these 6-7 hostel mates, thoroughly enjoying the lively discussion around a Bible passage. I had also grown to love my mates. They were highly intelligent guys, showing sharp observation and insights of the verses. As we shared, the Bible became so practical and relevantly applicable to our daily lives.
A bump along the journey
That particular night I cheerfully stepped into the room of our senior man Chan. As a 5th year medical student Chan was allotted the biggest room in the hostel. Good-naturedly he let his room be a drop-in-hang out for the “May Hall Christian bunch”.
That night inexplicably I felt all eyes were on me. Innocently I returned their looks with a smile. Loudly CC bluntly bluBy the end of a term rted, “Chong Kwong Tek how can you still be so cheerful? Aren’t you worried?” I looked blank. Then Watt, my classmate came beside me. Softly he said, “Our exam result is out…and…you failed.”
Wong the leader said quietly, “Let’s begin. Shall we pray. First let us pray for our brother who has bad result, then we will pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we open His Word.” I was in a blur. I did not hear what or how they prayed for me. I could not concentrate on the Bible verses studied that evening. I was asking, “Why? Why did God fail me?” Suddenly harsh reality hit me.
Hong Kong University Medical School had a kind of special system in my days. First year students sailed into the 2nd year – no exams. First year was all honeymoon. However at the end of 2nd year came the First Professional Examination. There were three subjects: anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. You must pass all three. If you fail one subject, a “Re’ was arranged after the holiday. On passing that you rejoin the class and continue into the 3rd year. If you fail two subjects you will remain in second year. For the poor guys who fail all three subjects, the school bade you farewell and you go home.
So in my first year I blissfully thought I was to enjoy my medical study in peace – no exam worry for at least one year. Then I found out there was a small obstacle. The school decided there was another subject medical students were required to master: organic chemistry. Once a week we had to leave the medical school building, go to a crammed lecture room in the chemistry block and listen to a frail small-sized lady telling us about the long and complicated chemistry formula chain of the humble Vitamin C and other mysterious distressful matters. . With her machine-gun speed, she rattled out the complex and convoluted formula of the organic reactions that take place in our stomach of what our digestive juices did to the various foods we consumed. By the end of the first term she sweetly declared, “Next week I will give you all a little test.” We took the little test and out of a class of 50, three failed. I was one of the three. It meant that I could not go back to Malaysia for a holiday. I had to study for a re-examination. What was more alarming was the previous year a guy was dismissed by the school when he failed his Organic re examination. I suddenly realized I was in deep water. This was serious. No wonder my friend asked why I did not appear worried.
That night I was worried. In fact I was petrified. I did not linger in the hang-out after the study, I went straight to my room. The fear of the possibility of being sent back to Malaysia and telling my parents I was expelled from the Medical School sent me into a spin.
“Why Lord.” I asked God. “I have started to become a good christian. I am now a regular member of a Bible study group. Faithfully I cross the Victoria Harbour to worship You in my Kowloon Emmanuel Church. I am reading Your Word every morning before going to lectures. I prayed hard before exam, and now You failed me. Why? Why?” Fear drove me to my knees in front of my bed as I questioned God… blaming Him.
Who is in control?
Alone in my dark room, suddenly inside me I heard my own voice, “Wait a minute how dare you blame God. You have never given Him permission to take over your life so how can you blame Him when things go wrong. Your hands are still firmly gripping the steering wheel of your life. You are still in control and you question Him when you mess up your own life. You treat God like a slot machine – you give Him a command and then you expect Him to obey. No, He is your Master, not your servant. How can you blame Him for messing up your life, when you are steering your own life?”
So that night I made a bargain with God. “God I now surrender my life to You. You take over – I am completely Yours. I will let You guide me and I will obey and serve You.”
God took my prayer seriously. He took over the controls. Since that night in the tiny dark room of May Hall in Hong Kong University I let God become the Pilot. Many times I tried to resist but He did not let me go. Now half a century has gone by since He took over. He has kept His side of the bargain. He has looked after me all these years and I can happily declare with the famous hymn writer Fanny Crosby:
“All the way my Saviour leads me, what have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy, who through life has been my Guide.
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in Him to dwell.
For I know whate’er befalls me, Jesus doeth all things well.” END