How could he face his father if he failed the family?
It was not the question of his career, which disturbed Nat. It was his vocation. The question was not what he, as a man wanted to do, but what God was telling him to do. As a Chinese he felt a sense of deep loyalty to his parents, yet as a Christian he felt also a binding obligation to God. Could he not please both the Father above and the father below? For the first time in his young life he faced a conflict of loyalties that seemed impossible to resolve.
His father wanted him to go back to Singapore and help his young brother. How could he be a traitor to his family? Did he not owe everything to them? Yet how could he betray his Redeemer and the destiny to which he was called? In the last analysis did he not owe everything rather to Him who died and rose again?
Writing to his friend again Nat said, “I have prayed hard . . . and I am convinced that I should continue here in Borneo. I want to struggle on. In His strength I want to glorify His Name in North Borneo. My lot is with the natives who have not heard the glorious Good News! … I am persuaded that ‘God shall direct my paths’. The following month Nat reached a new peak of dedication. He wrote, “I know He is leading me step by step. The proverb declares, ‘as thou goest, step by step I will open up the way before thee’. He promises to lead, so I commit my life into His Hand. I yield my life a living sacrifice unto God, for this is my reasonable service. Pray brother, that I should not disobey Him and should not count my life precious to myself.”
At the particular juncture at which he now stood he felt to make arrangements for a permanent return to Singapore would be a betrayal of a God appointed mission, yet to write to his father and tell him the facts was almost more than he could do. The more he pondered the matter, the greater the sense of impasse. How could he face his father if he failed the family? How could he face his God if he failed to obey the call?
So he knocked on the door of a local missionary and as he sat in the study he found himself on the verge of tears. What Nat had not yet understood but was soon to learn was this, that where there is the Will of God there is always the Way of God. He had a long conversation with the missionary and a time of quiet waiting upon the Lord. His heart was stilled. He would write now to his father and put all before him, not over-riding his wishes but confiding in him as a son.
Naturally speaking, it was not feasible to expect that his father would change his mind. There was everything to militate against this, but Nat must know that God can never use us in self-will. We must be still and let God do the impossible in answer to our prayer of faith. To write such a letter to his father, who hardly shared his Christian beliefs, seemed only to invite an even more adamant insistence that he should return to Singapore, but God is able to work all things after the counsel of His own will. Nat was now prepared to trust to God alone in this. His Father on high would not fail him.
A few weeks later Nat came to the missionary’s house again. This time there were no tears in his eyes. The unbelievable had happened. A letter from his father revealed a complete reversal of his previous outlook. Nat had been given full liberty to complete his studies in Borneo. As to the more distant future, the God, who had led thus far could be wholly relied upon to complete His purpose.