Social Distancing. The struggle is real and is getting harder every day.
I never was good at following rules and I am also not a respecter of people’s personal space, so social distancing for me is pure torture. I like hugging and I am a big believer in “when two or more are gathered” God is in our midst. It’s biblical. Point made.
However, it is also biblical that we pray for and submit to governmental authority (see 1 Timothy 2:1-2) and it’s also common sense that the less we come into contact with each other, the less that this awful virus will spread.
It sounds simple and logical enough, yet what is happening today is anything but that. It feels more like a strange dream that has already lasted too long. It’s odd to say it, but there is a sense of grieving that is taking place. We’re grieving the loss of our routines. The loss of sharing a meal together. The loss of cheering in the stands for a baseball game. The loss of gathering to worship our resurrected King together this Easter.
Even as hard as that is, we mustn’t forget that lives are being lost to the Coronavirus and many are grieving the actual death of a loved one. It is also difficult comprehend the impact that social distancing is having on the small business owners, nursing home patients, and high school and college seniors. Their losses are ones of livelihood and special moments. Yet, God is still in control and He plans to see us through to the other side where there are once again business transactions, and face-to-face visits with loved ones, and parties to celebrate graduations.
Here’s what we must remember through this time of social distancing: there is a very real enemy that would love nothing more than to make us feel isolated, and I must say that he’s doing a mighty good job of it. But the victory does not belong to him. The victory always belongs the Lord and He is a God of community. Just because we are confined for a short season to physically distance ourselves from each other, that does not mean that our spirits are distanced. If we are in Christ, then we walk in the light as He is in the light and we have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7). Isolation happens when we distance our hearts from the Lord, but we can guard against that by using this time to really dig into His Word, by praying to One who gives us hope, and by finding ways to fellowship with each other. Sure, this fellowship looks differently today than it did a few weeks ago, but we are still connected, heart and soul.
So let’s connect with each other! Host your Bible study via smart technology calls such as Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype. Write an old-fashioned letter and send it to an elderly relative. Wave to your neighbors while taking a long bike ride. Create a social media post with your favorite word of encouragement or worship song. And don’t neglect to love on the ones who are right there with you day in and day out.
Friends, just because we are distancing ourselves physically for a season, we are not alone in this. Hold on to hope. Don’t isolate. Find community. Use your gifts to encourage others. Walk in the Light!