Blessed Lunar New Year! As we exited a year wringed with undeniable pain and suffering, especially in the Middle East, we enter a new year of uneasy uncertainties with changes in world powers. I think about Abraham and how by faith, he obeyed and went out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11: 9-10 tell us “By faith, he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob…He waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Abraham left a space of familiarity where his feet were on earth. He leapt into a realm of promise, choosing to dwell in tents, as in a foreign country. From generation to generation, they declared God’s faithfulness in this realm of promise. Is this physical space we call earth a foreign country to us? Are we living as tent-dwellers? How strongly are we holding onto our comforts, security and sense of control? If faith fills our sojourns, the boundaries of our journeys will not be determined by our fears and comfort.
I am challenged by the missiology I seem to encounter in Singapore. Are we wrongly confining our servant trails to familiar and ‘safer’ places in Asia, short trips, holy land tours, and monetary pragmatism? Is the middle east and strange lands in Central Asia truly too far, detached from our daily business and dangerous? For one, can anyone truly ignore a centre of power such as the Middle East, whose influence extend right into our familiar grounds?
Someone said “where there is no fear, there is no need for courage”. Abraham braced himself and his family and even livestock to follow the God who called. He still calls today. Will an uncertain 2017 be the very year we will go out? Go out to spy out what Father God is already doing in the strange and unfamiliar region? When we go, we will realise that His image-bearers are our brothers and sisters and He co-suffers with them and waits for us to join Him there. So, one day, we may co-reign with Him on the other side of eternity.