Recently finishing up the coordination of an amazing training called Hands that Heal left me meditating on a fact about sex trafficking and exploitation…it cannot be done without Him. Ok, so before I alienate or peeve non-christian abolitionists, I am referring to myself. I have no desire to do this without Christ. He gives me what I need to hear the stories, push through the set backs and to see the “unlovely” as they really are in His eyes…lovely.
Sometimes watching endless documentaries, listening to all the stories, reviewing statistics, listening to the dollar signs add up as to the financial cost of recovery and restoration can let the winds of discouragement and hopelessness settle in. I view the winds of discouragement that whisper, “it is too much,” “she’ll just trigger and go back,” “the problem is too large,” like that of a quiet tornado. It sneaks up, whirls around you and leaves a path of destruction and general feeling of hopelessness.
Yet, there is a greater wind that brings a refreshing, courage to go on, restores hope, and dismisses the discouragement…it is the wind of the Holy Spirit and the presence of God.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
I even liken the work of restoring brokenness as what Nehemiah went through when trying to restore the wall of Jerusalem. God gave him everything he needed. People, supplies and courage.
Nehemiah 4 says starting in verse 10…
“…Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall. Also our enemies said, ‘Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.’ ”
Let’s stop and see the similarities… “there are so many obstacles to reaching and restoring these women and children, including people becoming weary and enemies all around.”
Back to Nehemiah and the answer to all of this, vs. 20
“Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
God is the one who fights the fight. He is the one who rescues, saves, and restores. We are just hands, feet and mouth pieces…it is a partnership with The Healer. The battle is won. We must gain our direction, wisdom and strength from Him. Evil can be too big for human hands alone, BUT because of who we are and who lives within us with can do all things through Christ.
God brings hope and love into the deep places of despair, it is who He is. There is no place that God cannot reach, that God cannot pull people out from and there is no evil that God has not already conquered. We must remember that God’s love never comes up short (for the victims of exploitation or for us), it always shows up and certainly never fails. Worship and get into the presence of God for a refreshing wind…He’ll show up, He always does.
**All scripture references come from NIV