Taxi Rank Tribulations and the God Who Restores Time

In my post The Year of His Restoration, I said that this year, God will restore time that we have lost. And when God restores, He does so in quantity, quality or both.

This afternoon, Ling and I ended up in the Singapore CBD to buy dinner for her parents. Getting stuck in the CBD at peak hour however is no laughing matter.

We debated about the best way to get back home. I thought that we should take the train closer to home and then catch a bus. My male logic said that trains didn’t have to compete in the traffic jam and the schedule was certain. Ling wanted to take a taxi.

We ended up at a taxi rank with only four other people in the queue. It looked promising. But as time passed, it became apparent that this wasn’t a popular pick up point amongst taxi drivers.

After waiting about 40 minutes, I said to Ling that we should cut our losses and take the train. She prayed and looked expectantly down the road.

By this time, we were at the front of the line.

She said, “We are already at the front of the queue. We are first in line.”

“We might be first in line, but we are first in a line of nothing! Come on, let’s go to the subway,” I muttered tersely.

“But what if the next taxi comes just as we leave?”

“It’s fine. Just go and don’t look back.” (I thought I could demonstrate my biblical prowess and therefore the correctness of my position with an allusion to Lot’s wife).

“Here’s a taxi coming!”

“That one is on call. None of the taxis are stopping here.”

“You pray!”

(I stayed silent. I was too annoyed to pray).

“There’s another taxi turning into our street.”

“This is the last one. If it doesn’t stop, we are leaving and catching the train.”

The taxi immediately picked up someone further up the street.

“Okay, that’s it! Let’s go!”

Ling stood still, obstinately fixing her gaze to the start of the street.

And just as I was ready to turn around and walk away in frustration, a taxi with a green light on the roof miraculously cruised up to the rank.

Ling opened the door, I looked down and humbly climbed into the taxi and we were on the way home. She managed a smile as to say “aren’t you glad I stuck to my guns”, whilst resisting the impulse to gloat.

Even though we lost a good 45 minutes or so, the Lord redeemed our time. We got home in the same amount of time we would have taken had we caught the train. We didn’t need to walk, change train lines, transfer to a bus, and get caught in the rain. Instead, we sat down and rested in air-conditioned comfort.

And in an ironic twist, as we got onto the freeway, we noticed a decal on the taxi drivers’s windshield – the New Creation Church logo!

I’m sure the Lord had a bit of a chuckle over this episode. It took a woman of faith to persevere in prayer. And I was blessed despite my lack of faith!

A Relaunch

As a new season has begun and this is the Year of His Restoration, I have decided to give my blog a new look.

I began writing this blog on 4 December 2011. Click here to read my first post. At the time, I had been in a transition phase, having left a church in which I was serving for 21 years. It felt like I was crossing the Rubicon. And I had no idea what was ahead of me.

Over the last three years, I have tried to share the things I have learnt in worship ministry as well as my own personal journey in my walk of faith. I have written nearly 250 posts, had 45,000 views and around 900 followers. My posts have been shared over 1,350 times. I hope they have reached a wide readership.

If you have been following this blog for a while, I hope that it has helped you somehow. If you have just recently gotten on board, I encourage you to read through some of the older posts too as a lot of what I said then is still relevant today.

Looking back, I am so grateful to God for the journey He has taken me on and for planting me in a beautiful church with an awesome bunch of people. In particular, I am so glad to be part of an amazing worship ministry which continues to press on to the next level. I’m surrounded by some of the best leaders around!

I have updated the look of the blog so it reads more like a blog than a ministry webpage. I think that this will make it easier to engage and follow. All my other resources such as my audio messages will continue to feature in other parts of the site, but the main emphasis will be the blog posts.

Please bear with me over the next few days as the site makes its transition!

I will be trying to post more regularly as the Year of His Restoration unfolds and also revisit some of my old posts.

I hope that you will be blessed as you read! Let me know what you think of the new look!

The Year of His Restoration

Every year when I’m in Singapore, one of the things that has now become a bit of a custom is for me to attend New Creation Church’s Vision Sunday which is held on the first Sunday of the year.

It’s not that I’m not into my own church’s vision, because I am. (In Faith Community Church this year, we are moving into the phases of Mentor and Release and I’m definitely positioning myself for that). I have noticed however that most church pastors cast a vision which is intended to set the course of the church’s activities, programs and culture. Joseph Prince’s visioneering is actually quite different. He sets a course which, for me, is almost always personal.

So I quite like the idea of tracking with my church’s corporate vision, but also seeing how the prophetic course announced by Ps Prince plays out in my life.

In my previous post, I declared that God was unfolding a new season. In the song “New Season”, the lyrics say this: “All that was stolen is returned to you a hundred fold / Tried in the fire but you’re coming out gold / Cling to His hand, to every promise take a hold / It’s a new season!”

In this post, I want to elaborate on what that new season looks like in light of Joseph’s Prince’s vision for 2015: the Year of His Restoration!

The underpinning verse is Isaiah 42:22:

For this is a people robbed and plundered;
All of them are snared in holes,
And they are hidden in prison houses;
They are for prey, and no one delivers;
For plunder, and no one says, “Restore!”

This is the year we say “Restore!” where we have suffered loss! It is not man who restores, but God! And when God restores, it is always greater in quality or quantity or both!

Things that God will Restore

Here are the things that God will restore:

1. God will Restore the Years that the Locusts Have Eaten

Joel 2:25-27 says:

So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts has eaten…

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel;
I am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

I don’t know about you, but I have lost time. There have been times over the years when I have not walked closely to God. I have wasted time being idle instead of fulfilling His purposes; I have wasted time in sin, being angry, or insubmissive, or being disobedient to God.

In the natural economy, time can never be got back. But God can and He will restore the years that were lost!

2. God will Restore our Souls and Minds

In Psalm 23, David says of the Good Shepherd that “He restores my soul”.

God will restore us emotionally where we have felt drained. He will restore our minds so that even though we grow older, our minds will function just as well as in the days of our youth!

I have often felt that my memory isn’t as good as it used to be – for example, I used to remember song lyrics really easily and now it’s a lot harder. I look at my worship director, Dave, for example and wish that I could be as sharp as him in memorising lyrics. Well now, instead of lamenting my fading powers of remembrance, I say “restore!!!”

3. God will Restore Our Health

Jeremiah 30:17 says “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord.”

The word for “wounds” refers to long term conditions, which means that God will restore us from sicknesses we’ve carried for a long time.

The past year has been a testing ground in the area of health! This year, I declare “restore!” and believe for restoration of the membranes around my eyes, that they will strengthen and thicken! I declare “restore” for my physical health and the health of my family members!

The Way God Restores

Now, here’s the clincher. In the Bible, God’s restoration always exceeds that which was taken.

Pastor Prince exposited from the law of Moses in Exodus 22:1 which states that when a man steals an ox, he must restore five oxen for an ox. In Leviticus 5:14, when a person sins agains the holy things of the Lord, he must make full restitution and add one-fifth (or 20 per cent).

So the party that is injured ultimately gains in the time of restoration.

And Prince made this really interesting point. Because of the fall of man, God gained more through redemption than He ever lost through the Fall. Whereas before He had one begotten Son and man with whom He fellowshipped, through redemption, many more were adopted into God’s family!

And because of the Fall and God’s redemption, mankind gained more than it ever lost:

  • In the Garden of Eden, there was long physical life, but now we have eternal life.
  • Everything in the Garden depended on obedience, so man’s tenure was insecure. The Tree of Knowledge was always there and sin would always be a possibility. Through redemption, our security is based on Christ’s perfect obedience!
  • Adam was a steward. But through redemption, we are more than stewards – we are joint heirs with Christ.
  • Adam had the earth. But we have both heaven and earth!

What an amazing thought! I’m so grateful for God’s restorative purposes in my life!

The key to God’s restoration? It’s in resting in Him. When we rest in Him, He works. As in Psalm 23, God leads us to still waters and feeds us in green pastures. And when we rest in Him, the Psalmist says, He restores us!

I’m so excited for the things that God will do in my life this year. Even though the past year had met with its challenges, I believe that this year, God will restore the things that were stolen, in my time, in my health, in my soul, and in every other aspect of my life.

This year, in 2015, I am declaring “Restore!”