I was in Singapore when the Covid 19 virus began to gain pandemic momentum. One Sunday, Pastor Wei-en prayed this prayer with his congregation:
My dear child,
I remember the day you were born. You came into this world naked, empty and vulnerable. I looked on you with love and saw how beautiful you were even then, for you were and are made in my image. I gave you parents and caregivers who took care of your physical needs, teachers and mentors to guide you. I provided for your every need according to my riches in glory. And with each passing day, you grew.
Somewhere along the way, when I knew you were ready, I revealed myself to you and called you to myself. Remember that moment when you first understood the depth of my love and forgiveness for you through the death of my Son Jesus? Remember the relief you felt when you realized you did not have to bear your guilt any longer? Remember the joy you had when you gave your life to me? Remember that feeling of stepping out of darkness into my wonderful light? Remember the freedom you found when you decided you would let me lead you and you could stop depending on yourself to make it through life? Remember the hunger you had for me – how excited you were to listen to me through my Word, and entrust every decision, big or small, to me through prayer?
Yes, I remember those times very well too, my dear child.
What has happened since then? Have the gifts I have given you – your education, your work, your home, your money, your possessions, your gadgets, your family, your children, your friends, your health, your ministry, your leisure – brought you closer to me or led you further away from me? Have the difficulties I have allowed you to experience drawn you deeper into my grace that is always sufficient for you, or have they hardened your heart towards me? Am I still in the centre of your plans, your passions and your pain?
Come back to me, my dear child. I am waiting for you. Come and experience the joy of my salvation anew. Come and enjoy your first love once again.
Your Heavenly Father
In times like these, we need perspective. Pastor Wei-en of Bible Church wrote that these are “words from God to us loosely adapted from Ezekiel 16.”