Every day, new COVID-19 patients are being added in Bangladesh, my home country. Family members and close friends are suffering from the illness. Many patients live next to my building. People diagnosed with coronavirus are facing social ostracism; many people are losing their jobs. People cannot earn enough money to meet their daily needs.
We are learning that people in Bangladesh are dying not only from COVID-19, but from additional mental and physical issues. It makes me cry when I hear and see a mother cannot provide food and medical supplies for her child. I just cry out to the Lord, “Give me Your provision to stand beside them in a tangible way.” But I am not afraid. I fix my eyes to the Lord who is the author of our life.
I am privileged to be part of the Asian Access family. As such, I am part of virtual meetings held for the larger Asian Access community led by President Joe Handley. These virtual gatherings keep us connected as we navigate together the unprecedented waters of the coronavirus pandemic. We share updates on our situations, pray for one another, and receive words of encouragement from Joe and from one another.
At a recent virtual gathering, Joe posed two questions to us:
- What is my learning in the midst of this pandemic?
- How am I “Living in a Love relationship with God”?
These questions sparked significant reflection for me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to present the answers I believe God gave me to these questions and share them with you.
1. What is my learning in the midst of this pandemic?
First, even in the chaos and suffering, I am reminded that God is in control! He is the Lord of history and Creator of everything which exists. There is nothing that escapes Him. This is God’s season. So my learning in the midst of this global pandemic includes:
- Resetting my relationship with God
- Resettling my relationships with family
- Resettling Global Nature
- Repenting for my sin and re-focusing on God as the true source of my blessings.
2. How am I “Living in a Love relationship with God”?
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul declared that nothing can separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8: 38 – 39). Absolutely nothing. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, they are new every morning. His love for me is not dependent on my surrounding situation. In this pandemic time, I am just obeying His commands. His will be done as it is in Heaven and in every aspect in my life.
The Prophet Habakkuk declared in the very crucial time of his life:
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to tread on the heights
—Habakkuk 3:18 – 19
COVID’s Impact on us Personally
My husband and I have experienced both the suffering of the current pandemic and God’s grace and healing. For fifteen days, we were both sick. Praise to God that we have both recovered; but we now know how scary the experience is to suffer from this virus.
My husband Philip was affected by fever with cold cough. He also suffers from diabetes and hypertension. At the second day of his fever, his blood sugar rate become high and I was very much worried. He was taking medicine as per the doctor’s suggestion, but his health condition was not improving and I was also feeling sick. We tried to get tested for the virus, but in our country, but it is very difficult to get. It takes seven to ten days to get tested, and another 10 to 15 days to get the test results. I was praying to God, “Please show me what to do.”
One day, as I took rest after the midday meal, the Holy Spirit put a word in my heart: “Those who believe in Jesus will pick up snakes with their hands, and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all (cf. Mark 16:18).” I started to declare His victory over our situation. I told my husband we would not do a coronavirus test; we would just declare His victorious promises over our all situation.
Suddenly, our situation changed. I started to rejoicing in worship and all my fear departed from my heart. My husband gradually healed. What a mighty God we are serving!
At another Asian Access virtual prayer meeting, Lori Snuggs encouraged us to ask ourselves what new wineskins the Lord might be preparing for us at this time. I started to find how I could prepare my new wineskins for God’s new era. The very next day, while I was doing my morning devotion, God put a new worship song in my heart.
That day, I was studying Acts Chapter Seven—Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin. My song is based on verse 49. The English meaning of this song is,
Heaven is your Throne
Earth is your footstool
Where I can keep you
Oh the King of the world.
I prepare my heart
Oh lord come in this temple
I worship you with all of my heart
Hallelujah He who was in and is today
Hallelujah His reigns forevermore.
You are the father of Abraham
You are the Lord of Jacob
You are the Lord of all nations
Oh the king of the world.
The statistics indicate that the situation in Bangladesh will worsen. Many more people will lose their lives from this contagious scourge. But I believe that God hears the prayer of His children. Our petition to the Lord can change the world, by His grace and mercy. He is our way maker and miracle worker. Only we need to keep our faith on His promises and wait for His timing! As David said, Oh Lord send your word and heal us rescue us from the grave. I am crying out these words and waiting upon the Lord.
Aporna, a believer from Bangladesh and A2 alumnus