What God Is Doing Through COVID, Here & In Africa
By Mommy Emily
I receive a prayer request in the middle of a fall day when the air smells like tomato soup and the crisp crunch of leaf is underfoot. “Please pray our trees don’t fall on our house,” a board member writes. “The soil is so dry and there are hurricane winds. The tree is rocking back and forth.”
Then another board member writes that in her State, too, there is a drought and they are facing the same problems with the wind and the dry ground. “We all need a good drenching,” she writes, and I think — YES! We need to be drenched in the Holy Spirit.
For isn’t this our world right now? With all the uncertainty about COVID, the political unrest, the riots — as my friend puts it, “ideas and philosophies bouncing off of each other chaotically without a firm foundation to land on” — it feels as though the land is so very dry, the wind so vicious, and the dangers, so close to home.
I recall Ephesians 4:14. “We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching…”
And Jeremiah 17:7-8. “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
In spite of churches being closed in Uganda and across Africa; in spite of the deadly allure of witchcraft for those looking for answers in the villages; in spite of schools being shut down and some people being prevented even from traveling to their farms, God’s Word CANNOT be chained Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:9. And we know that the gates of hell will NOT prevail against God’s church. (Matthew 16:18)
In fact, friends, while this might sound harsh in the face of so much suffering, COVID is God’s kindness. How can I say that with so many dying, with so many starving, with so many being masked and forced online for school, and so many lonely, shut up in nursing homes, and imprisoned in their own apartments?
It is His kindness because He wants no one to perish and everyone to come to everlasting life. (2 Peter 3:9)
It is His kindness because, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
It is His kindness because this kindness leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4)
“For this reason,” writes Paul, “I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.…” (2 Tim. 2:10)
This kindness is creating in us a desperate need to know what is true, to know who we are, to know if God is real. It is causing a great sifting, a tremendous uprooting, and the trees which are left standing are the ones you can trust. The ones whose roots run deep, past the dry levels, into the unending river that flows from the throne-room of heaven.
And so, we’re training up pastors and missionaries and our precious teen mamas in the Word of God. Because it remains unchained, it is alive and active, and its time is now. We’re putting Church in a Box — that is, putting the audio Bible and the Harvestime training curriculum on audio recorders — and we’re giving them out to pastors who can then share them with surrounding villagers.
Because this is God’s kindness — making space for His Word, and His Word alone will reap an eternal harvest.