The Haze & Our Greener Pastures! (23 Jun 2013)

We are all affected by the current atmospheric air issue in Singapore and our neighbouring cities.  We call this the annual HAZE! The haze problem will continue for some time.  The local authority has stated that it might last for the next few months because of the drier weather. How will the people respond if it is really going to go on for a “few months”?  When Noah and his family were in the ark for forty days and nights, I sometimes wonder what were the people outside doing, given the gloom and doom that they were facing?

 There are many reasons why the annual haze occurs in Singapore. But we will leave it for the experts to discuss and analyse the reasons and the methods that farmers use to burn the plantations annually. However, farming and cattle raising were done differently in ancient biblical time.  The farmers then respected the ancient Hima system, which protects common fields from overgrazing. The shepherds will move from place to place in search of greener pastures. When pastures flourish somewhere else, the news will spread quickly to other desperate shepherds.

 Reflecting on Psalm 65 which was shared recently at our corporate prayer service, verse 13 says “The pastures are clothed with flocks; The valleys are also covered with grain. They shout for joy, they also sing”.  The land that God promised to our forefathers, this “land flowing with milk and honey” was a paradise for shepherds and farmers. The nation of Israel was instructed that she could trust God to lead them to green pastures to satisfy their hunger.

 Which seasons of our lives and ministry were as dry as a desert drought?  When was the last time you have completed reading one of the 66 books in the Bible? Is coming to church on Sunday mornings, another drudge routine? Have we missed our daily quiet time with God? Let’s be honest with ourselves and with God! There seems to be too many problems that seem to beset our daily living and affect our relationship with God.

 Has God led us out of our helplessness and hopelessness to greener pastures? Is our God, faithful enough for us, to claim on His aged old promises?  Is there a breakthrough, for greener pastures?

 Jesus came to give life and life abundantly (John 10:10). Have we forsaken and forgotten our true pasture?  If you are feeling a missing element in the longing for “greener pastures” in ministry, be it personal, or corporate, it is time we take time to wait upon God and do some good reflections.

 Let’s not be dismayed. Perhaps God has brought us into a wilderness to teach us that only God can satisfy our deepest longings?  The current haze will stay for a while, and it will go away some days later.  The “haze” of life will not deter you from seeing what God wants you to see beyond. There is a greener pasture ahead of us promised by God to His people. We do well to trust and obey Him and remain faithful to Him and His will in our lives and ministry.

Elder Andrew Lim