Living as an instrument in the hands of God

There are countless ways to be an instrument in the hands of God. As I grew up, I came across many people who were great examples of ‘instruments of God’.

Dec 03, 2021

By Amanda  Pumala
There are countless ways to be an instrument in the hands of God. As I grew up, I came across many people who were great examples of ‘instruments of God’. You may ask, how does this impact me? Well, here's how it goes; I grew up in a very ordinary family but a very happy home with my parents, siblings, and my grandmother.

My grandma was the most peaceful and joyful person that I have known, to the very end. Whenever she shared her gift of faith in Jesus, she instilled this devotion in me. Grandma’s greatest gift of faith to me was the foundation of spiritual growth, though I rarely lived up to the example she set. It was through her that I desired to know more about Jesus.

I remember vividly the days when my mother would take my sisters and I for Mass at the Cathedral of St John, especially every Sunday. My siblings and I weren’t fortunate enough to attend catechism. Therefore, my aunt would voluntarily come on weekends to teach us prayers, bible stories and hymns. Her kind gesture brought joy to my soul as she shared what it’s like to be Christ-like. It was then that I wanted to find out what it’s like to do His work – to be in an image of Jesus, His reflection.

Approximately 13 years ago, a friend recommended my sisters and I join the Alpha programme at the Cathedral of St John. The sessions gave us a glimpse of God’s unconditional love for us as His children. We came across people from various backgrounds, all with one purpose – coming closer to God. At the end of the programme, I gave a testimony; That God loves me and if God is for us then who can be against us? Instantly, I claimed Him as mine and I am His.

I was baptised in 2009 at the Church of St Joseph, Sentul, together with my siblings. It was then that I understood what it was like when we always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord. I am grateful for all the God-sent angels who have been instruments in my life – my parents, siblings, sponsors, godparents, parish priest and faith facilitators. I felt as though my prayers were answered in His time.

Ever since, I have always submitted to God’s will. I let Him use me as an instrument in His hands, and trusting Him was the best decision I ever made. I was stationed in the Youth ministry and later in the Catechetical ministry in my parish, and I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed serving my Lord. I also experienced more peace and confidence from God. I discovered meaningful formations for Catechists which nourished my knowledge and faith. It was truly an enriching journey altogether.

My plans took a new turn when I took up employment at the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur in August 2017. I got engrossed with my work and ministry that I realised I was looking for something more than just serving Him in work and church.

After eight years serving in the catechetical ministry, I stepped out, to recharge and to reflect on my journey to see how it moulded and brought me to the place I am today. I am sure that I will strive to do God’s work in the way He wants me to do.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).

I could relate to Psalm 32:8 when I found myself in this journey which has shaped me through my professional and social direction. In 2019, when I was asked to look after the homebound for an Advent service, something beautiful struck me. It was an eye-opener, and I became aware of wanting to reach out to the homebound and go all out to get them the help they needed.

The pandemic took a toll on me, as on all of us, but it did not break my faith in reaching out to some of the homebound who were seeking help. I wasn’t sure how to do it, but again, remembering I was just an instrument in His hands, I submitted to His will.

Above all, I find myself in the hands of God. This is something I have prayed for from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. It is indeed a profound spiritual experience to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands. Thus, it is when we become an instrument in the hands of God that we are used by Him to do His work.

--Amanda Pumala is a former catechist and parish writer for the Church of St Joseph, Sentul. Though no longer in the catechetical ministry, she continues to volunteer at camp formations organised by the parish. She is currently employed by the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur as Assistant to the Chancellor and is also in charge of the Archdiocesan archives.

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