“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness” This is the famous opening sentence of A Tale of Two Cities, a well-loved novel by Charles Dickens.
Does this sentence describe the present situation? During this period of COViD-19, there are some who have gained much wealth through the sale of medical necessities like masks and sanitiser. There are also some businesses that have shut down, resulting in unemployment for many people. The pandemic has channelled many to adopt technology and change their mode of operating. Zoom, Internet banking, cashless payments and online purchases have become part of our “normal life”. At the same time, the number of scams and fraud cases has increased.
Many people are waiting eagerly for the reopening of more vaccinated travel lanes, not to mention hoping that gathering group sizes will increase — all in anticipation of life going back to normal. Will life go back to the “good old days”? The hard facts of life indicate that life has changed. It will not be the same as two years ago, even with the pandemic under control. More people will work from home, daily public commuting figures will drop and demand for office space will be reduced. The world is moving on. Are we adjusting and adapting well to the new mode of living?
The Bible records the event of the Israelites crossing the Jordan River (Josh 3-4). It says that the water of Jordan was cut off far upstream when the feet of the priests were dipped into the water. There was no danger of the priests getting wet crossing the Jordan. I can imagine the many priests who wondered how they would be able to cross the overflowing Jordan before God created the miracle.
In 1986, my infantry section was moving through the Mandai area. It had just rained and the ground was wet and muddy. We followed a small stream since it showed on the map that it would lead us out of the forest. We chose to walk in the mud rather than risk getting our feet wet. The mud became deeper as we moved along. Then it got too difficult to walk as the mud grew more than three inches thick and seemed to be sucking our boots in. In frustration, two of us decided to go into the stream. It would be easier to move in the water than in the mud, even if we had to get our feet wet. What a surprise we had! The water in the stream was only about an inch deep! We realised how foolish we had been. We thought that we had chosen the easier path. We had wasted so much effort moving through the mud for the last half an hour.
Humanly speaking, we do not like change. Research has shown that human beings are habitual creatures. You just need to recall what time you usually go to bed, and the time you get up in the morning. This is also the reason why it is not easy to make changes. God has a plan for Mount Hermon and He decided to move us to Henderson. It is totally understandable that not all members will continue to worship with Mount Hermon in Henderson. As for myself, I will continue to worship with Mount Hermon. As I look back, I see how God has allowed me to grow in Hermon. He “pushed” me to visit Thailand for missions trips, providing the opportunity to see how our fellow believers in a foreign land worship and serve Him. It is true that they have less resources than us, but such great love and effort they have. In villages, they travel hours to attend services. They opened their homes to us. They served us their best food and did all they could to ensure that we were comfortable. This is only possible because we serve the same God. We are one family in Christ!
Yes, I will not be afraid of getting my feet wet. The challenges in Henderson may be many but God will provide the strength, resources and grace for us to continue our service to Him. I would urge you to join me. We can serve joyfully together in the new field that He opens to us. May the Lord grant us protection and drive as we look eagerly towards Henderson.
– Dn Richard Yew