Isolation or Realization?
If you have been checking in with our website and read one of the Easter messages you will know that we had hoped to have been able to gather today on the May long weekend Sunday. If you are reading this you will know it did not come to pass as we are still following government and health official guidelines for safe practices of isolation and social distancing.
What have we learned in the 66 days since all of this began? There have been talks about rights and freedoms being challenged with the protocols in place, and yet if they weren’t we might not even be thinking of opening at all. There are scriptures that have rattled around my brain during these unusual times which have encouraged me and given me strength to face the challenges that Covid-19 has presented. Romans 8 remind us that: “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
There are unprecedented numbers of people tuning in to online services and God is doing wonderful and amazing things through the new technologies. We have for this period gone from buildings to streams and screens in order to continue worshiping and encountering God. We personally know of a young woman who just last Sunday made a decision to begin a personal relationship with Jesus as a result of an online service she watched and then participated for the first time in communion. Praise the Lord! Isn’t it just like God to show up in the midst of a shutdown?
These are uncertain times for us but no surprise to God. Think of the apostle Paul, who turned a prison into a pulpit. And if Paul can do it so can we. Let’s share the positives with those we are communicating with. What are the positives? For me, one is a less harried pace of life, more family time, and a sharpened focus on whom and what really matters; another is a greater appreciation for God’s amazing creation and the time and opportunity to actually enjoy it; a third is the reality that even in the few months that all this has been going on our physical earth has benefited; and finally, a greater understanding of who real heroes are, not overpaid sports or movie stars but those who are on the front line giving of themselves for the benefit of others, modeling what Jesus did for all of us.
Many of our homes have become places of worship, as they should, and we are experiencing God in new and exciting ways because “God inhabits the praises of His people” Psalm 22:3. In the simple and the sublime look to see what God is doing in your life and the lives of those around you. Psalm 34:38 “taste and see that the Lord is good”
Is this just a period of isolation, or is it a realization of what is really important and how much God truly does love each of us? Be encouraged that the steadfast love of the Lord never changes; his mercies are new every morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fails. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.