Dear Women’s Ministry Leader,
As an eighty-year-old widow of a pastor (my precious husband died five months ago) and a former women’s ministry leader, I have reflected on your present reality of serving in the context of COVID-19.
For decades, on Wednesday mornings I have prayed for women who teach and train other women, sharing the gospel and their lives (Titus 2:3–5, 1 Thess. 2:7–8). I may not know your name, but you have become very dear to me. In recent days, my prayers for you have intensified.
I’m grateful for your heroic and creative efforts in staying connected to the women the Lord has entrusted to your care. I learned on mission trips how exhausting it was to minister in unfamiliar contexts, but at least there were others who had been where I was going. They could advise and prepare me for what was to come.
This pandemic is unprecedented—but wait—maybe it’s not. If I could hold your hand and cheer you on, I would say to you what Paul, also speaking from a place of forced isolation, said to his spiritual son, Timothy:
Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead . . . for which I am suffering, bound with chains . . . But the word of God is not bound! (2 Tim. 2:8–9)
No prison, quarantine, or social-distancing can limit the ministry of the Spirit of the living Savior within His people. Nor can those things limit the Word of God.
Every day since my husband’s funeral, one of our pastor-friends sends me a Scripture he is praying for me. Each day it is exactly what I need. The Spirit guides him in his selection and then guides me in how to apply God’s Word to my heart. I am awestruck with wonder and joy, and as a result, I’m inspired to do the same for others.
Often, I send a promise or a prayer from Scripture to another woman. Having tended to my own soul by reading the Scripture several times and praying it into my own life, I pray it, next, for the woman who will receive it. Sometimes I wonder, in these days, if the Lord is pulling us back from our many activities to remind us of what is most important and most powerful: sharing the gospel with and caring for others.
Here is the verse I received from my pastor today:
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols (Isa. 42:5–8).
The Sovereign Creator and Redeemer who called me to be His own holds my hand and keeps me; I am safe. Though I am old and quarantined, He allows me to be a light to others as I share the light of His Word and pray for them.
It is profoundly simple, exquisitely beautiful, and gloriously eternal.
It is what I prayed for you today.
Love in Christ,