Faith Story by Antrick Cheong
I was once involved in the motorcycle-selling industry which operated from a shop lot located at Jalan Gaya. One day, due to the business downtown, I visited a brother and divulged my intention to close down my business. This helpful brother immediately picked up the phone and arranged a job interview for me.
The next day, I went for the interview. There, the interviewer, a lady in her early thirties, informed me that her company was only looking to employ people under the age of 35. As I left her office, I felt devastated and humiliated. Deep down in my heart I thought, “I’ve eaten more salt than you have eaten rice! Who are you to deprive me of a chance at employment just because of my age?”. I realised that during the past 20 years of my life spent in the motorcycle industry, I’d personally interviewed more than 100 candidates for positions in my business but this was the first time being in the opposite position. The experience was surreal and awakening.
Feeling defeated from my rejection, as I stumbled to my car, my shoe broke! That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. In my anguish, it felt that the distance of a few feet between the office and my car felt was like a thousand miles. Once inside my car, I questioned the Lord as to why these “bad” things were overwhelming my life. I prayed hard for an answer, and God replied. He enlightened me that my self-ego and pride shadowed me from seeing the truth He was trying to make me see.
From that day forward, I decided to fully surrender myself to the Lord, believing that He will lift me out of my misery with His righteous hands. Alone, I would inevitably be reduced to destitution. To cut a long story short, that was how I was eventually led by the Lord to enter the real estate industry, despite having zero knowledge or connections in the trade.
In this new industry, I found favour with the Lord on multiple occasions. Once, a businessman was interested in purchasing a property under me as his agent. Everything was progressing smoothly until he suddenly went against procedural guidelines and chose to directly close the deal with the owner of the property. This effectively cut me from receiving a commission for the sale. I felt cheated, as if I had been robbed straight out of my pocket. Quantified, I lost an RM800,000 deal, which could have gone towards the betterment of my livelihood. This experience instilled disappointment and anxiety in me – I feared more reoccurrence of such an event, which is not uncommon in my new trade. Once again, I prayed and cried out to the Lord, seeking vindication, and questioning His absence in my defence. I was naïve, caught up in my humanly perspective of a benevolent God. In that moment, I could not see the blessings which my faithful God was to bestow upon me. Fast forward two years, the same businessman and I entered into another agreement. However, this time the transaction involved the purchase of a property worth a staggering RM7 million! God, being faithful to His promise, turned my misfortune into a blessing multiple folds. All praise and glory be to Him.
Throughout these years of walking with the Lord, the words “grace, love and faithfulness” have been constant reminders of what the Lord stood for. No longer were these just words I read in the Bible, but actual experiences I lived through, in awe of Him. For those who believe and trust in Him, He is able to bless and provide for, surpassing all that we can possibly ask for, exceedingly and abundantly.
Not long later, my faith was tested once again. This time, a prominent businesswoman expressed her interest of purchasing a property worth multi-millions. After surveying the property and negotiating the selling price, she informed me to pick up the cheque for the property’s booking fee of the subsequent day. However, when I arrived to pick up the cheque, she suddenly said that she had changed her mind and was having doubts about the purchase. Having gained some experience of such “cold feet” occurrences, I had my speculations as to why she had a sudden change of mind. True enough, I soon discovered that another agent was trying to undercut me by offering a commission rebate to the businesswoman. However, in my heart, I knew my God, His capabilities, and His promises. I told God that I had performed my duties with integrity and competence. I asked that my efforts and faith will be rewarded by the Lord. Thus, I full-heartedly surrendered myself and everything to Him. As I did so, I felt an overwhelming calmness overcome me.
This calmness did not go unnoticed. My wife, Catherine, sprang into action thinking of ways to overturn this predicament. She was bewildered by my tranquillity and questioned why I was so calm and collected during such a turbulent situation. I told her about my faith in the Lord, and how I had surrendered my all onto him. Sharing the same faith, we chose to leave the matter and travelled to Johor to meet our youngest son. Upon arriving in Johor, I received a text message from the purchaser saying that she preferred to purchase the property from me. All glory to God and His power of vindication for me. When God is for you, who can come against you? When the devil seeks to shake your life, God will turn that evil into good.
As an additional insight to share, when my younger son left home to study in Johor, he wrote me a letter. A line read “Dad, thank you for pressing through for our family. When business went down, you climbed back up and adapted to this new industry just to support us and pamper us with the luxury of comfort. You may not know this, but you are my hero for being able to do that. To not give up and press through such hardships silently, I thank you for that.” I was overwhelmingly touched by this letter; I was encapsulated with such a great feeling. As we ride through the storms of life, let nothing shake our spirit of perseverance in the Lord because at the end of the day, we will rise as heroes to those who love, and create an everlasting legacy which impacts their lives.
We may not know what challenges we will be dealt; insufferable ailments, financial hardships, relationship issues, loneliness, or just being in a position where you are hesitant of your next move. Nevertheless, put your trust in the Lord. God knows of your problems and struggles. God cares for your worries and torments. God provides for your needs beyond necessity. God is faithful with his promise “come under Me, he who is heavily loaded, and I will give you rest”.
I declare His goodness and mercy will follow everyone who believes in Him. For those who choose to follow Him all the days of their lives and surrender their everything into His welcoming hands will be blessed beyond the comprehension of their earthy minds. All Glory to Jesus, our Saviour!