For years, I’ve been praying for a particular red-light district in a large city in India. Inside the brothels, there are women who are free to leave and others held against their will in physical and spiritual darkness.
A group of Christian women faithfully visit these brothels every week to talk with the sex workers who will speak with them. They show them kindness, let them know they are not forgotten, and offer them new, abundant life outside the brothel.
One precious soul—I’ll call her *Vidya—responded to their outreach and made a decision to follow Jesus. Ultimately, she also decided to leave the brothel. Her best friend *Karishma followed her out sometime later. When she did, they shared a tiny apartment together. Eventually, Karishma found work as a caretaker for a family in another part of India which meant these friends could not easily see each other or very often.
Just last week, most Indian states went into lockdown, which would have meant Vidya would have been alone in her apartment during this scary time except that *Karishma had made plans to visit *Vidya long before anyone knew about the coming pandemic. Her boss had even given her a month-long holiday. Karishma ‘happened’ to arrive to Vidya’s apartment just a week before the country-wide lockdown.
Oh, the kindness and goodness of God to give these best friends one another to weather this storm with! God attends to the tiniest details and his tender lovingkindness extends even to former prostitutes.
As I rejoiced to hear this report, I also remembered my prayer to shut down this evil business by drying up the demand. Could God be answering?
The ministry team leader, a long-time friend, said indeed, that is exactly what has happened. Even BEFORE the lockdown, the pandemic had scared the customers away, so terrified were they of getting coronavirus.
Recently, I studied again the plagues God brought down on Egypt (in Nancy Guthrie’s ’The Lamb of God’ study) after Moses had delivered God’s message to Pharoah, “Let my people go,” and he had refused. I began to see the plagues in a new way, not just as twelve judgments, but as twelve chances…
Twelve chances to repent.
Twelve chances to change course.
Twelve chances to align with God’s will, and to switch sides—to become God’s friend, instead of His enemy.
I’m not suggesting this worldwide pandemic is a plague or judgment. I am suggesting it presents us with a chance to:
- Examine our lives, repent, start afresh,
- Realign our priorities with Heaven’s—Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, on earth as it is in Heaven—
- Heal broken relationships,
- Show people dear to us how much we love them,
- Take inventory of our gifts and release them into the world for the benefit of others,
- Practice, minute by minute, receiving the otherworldly peace that is our birthright, even when the ground is quaking beneath us.
Even though the Enemy of our souls comes to steal, kill, and destroy, we can rest knowing that what the Enemy means for evil, for harm, God means for good. In fact, ALL things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
God’s purposes swallow whole even a pandemic. That is what God’s Sovereignty means.
God is all powerful.
He reigns over all.
He is God above every other god.
We can take comfort in knowing His purposes will ultimately prevail; He is good and just; nothing escapes His notice; and He is well able to number the hairs on every head and attend to every prayer on a planet of 7.5 billion people.
Believers, I challenge you to pray big prayers, to make big asks of God, during this strange season.
He has not forgotten even one of us, not the fast-food worker, not the widow, not the refugee, not even the prostitute in the now quiet brothel.
He has not lost count of the number of hairs on your head. And somehow, He can attend to the tiniest details of each one of our lives, all at the same time. For that alone, He deserves our praise.
Let’s watch expectantly for the ways He will attend to our own prayers and concerns as well as those of others with creativity and tender-loving kindness. Then, let’s tell the world about it.