Sun Halo

Last Wednesday it was our team's turn to prayer walk.

I felt more exhausted and attacked than I have this entire trip.  Despair came over me, so I prayed out of a spirit of desperation for the Lord to work.  I wanted to pray BIG prayers, but I didn't even have the strength.  I longed to pray with power, yet I felt powerless.  It was the work of the enemy.  I had to keep reminding myself that God would take all that I could offer in those two hours–walking step by step and uttering whispered, feeble prayers–to move mountains.

"For when I am weak, then I am strong…" The Word is living.

As we finally reached the end of Bangla Road, my heart felt immense relief and comfort.  This was my favorite part.  After walking past hundreds of filthy, demonic bars, there is nothing like getting to the end…getting to the end and seeing the vast and overwhelming beauty of the ocean.  If you think a Thai turquoise beach is beautiful, try seeing one after walking down Bangla Road.  There is nothing that shows the contrast between the darkness of the world and the brilliant light of the Lord more than this.  Splendor and majesty just 20 feet from perversion and addiction.

I was filled with a surge of hope and joy.  The overwhelming beauty of where we are is a constant reminder of God's intended beauty amidst twisted and false longing and love.  

All of a sudden, we saw people pointing to the sky.  I looked up to see a huge, circular rainbow around the sun! I had never seen anything like it in my life! It was God's promise.  His promise that Patong was not forgotten, that His covenant endures forever.
(look up "Sun Halo" on google images and you will see what we saw)

Just as creation longs for His coming, the bar girls, the dancers, the tourists, the men, the dancers, the ladyboys long for Him.  They just don't know what they are longing for, so they chase after the world.  I am clinging to the promise that the Lord is restoring and redeeming His people and His nation back to how He created them to be, to how He intended.  His purposes are flawless, prevailing.  "Nothing will be able to separate them from the love that is in Christ Jesus my Lord."  Romans 8:39  

As we walked down the beach praying, I was drawn to a couple laying on a chair.  I could not rip my eyes away from them, I could not stop staring.  They were European, very tan, the man was sitting next to his wife.  Their legs were interlocked, their arms and hands were intertwined.  He was gazing into her eyes.  He was gently stroking her leg, allured by her beauty.  The look on his face screamed: "your beauty overwhelms me.  How am I lucky enough to look at you, let alone be with you??"  I walked away overflowing with joy.  I had no idea why that made me so overjoyed.  They were just in love.  They were just being romantic.  They were simply obsessed with each other. 

It hit me.  Oh my gosh! They were in LOVE.  All of a sudden I realized how long it had been since I'd seen that!  The past month of bar ministry, I have been surrounded and disgusted by lust and the obsession of sex and money in public.  It awed me to see true, deep, pure love…to see two people consumed by one another out of genuine care and passion.

Lord, keep showing me the kind of deep love and joy that you created us to feel, even as we are constantly exposed to the lust of the world, the temporary satisfaction, the pursuit of false idols.  Thank you for this darkness, for the way it has opened my eyes to the gift of love and beauty as you intended.  I want nothing to do with Satan's twisted schemes, I want everything to do with the light I have in you in this fallen world.  I am running to your everlasting arms…covered by your love.  This love I feel is deep, it is true, it is pure.

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