COVID-19 How to live in uncertain times (3 - Isolation)
See part 1 of this series here.
Isolation is a strange concept for a Christian. Indeed the government are very aware of the strain on mental health and wellbeing, by asking people to spend a long time isolated. Although we understand well why they have to do this!
Firstly, it is an unfamiliar concept because the believer is never on their own. 'You (God) hem me in- behind and before' writes the psalmist in Psalm 139:5. 'Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths you are there.' Ps 139:7-8 This undoubtedly influenced the Apostle Paul when he wrote, nothing 'will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.' Romans 8:39 Part of not fearing, which I wrote about yesterday, is realising intensely that the Lord is with us even when others are not. His Holy Spirit makes God present to us.
Secondly, isolation is not an entirely true concept, because we are part of the body of Christ. '...if one part suffers, every part suffers with it...' 1 Corinthians 12:26 'Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is part of it...'1 Corinthians 12:27 We have a spiritual attachment with the people of God, and Christ is the head of this body, filling us as the members with his strength and power! Colossians 1:18 'And he is the head of the body, the church...' So even if we are, humanly speaking, self-isolating, we are not truly alone for this reason.
Thirdly, we are brought before the very throne of God by Christ. He stands as our representative, so that Paul can say we are seated with him (Ephesians 2:6). This means we are in God's presence as believers when we can be with no one else.
Fourthly, we are united in prayer and able to intercede for one another, making prayers and requests to God for one another. So I can pray for you and you can pray for me. And countless of us have experienced the blessing of this in our lives. It is not merely a sentimental idea; it changes things so that they are bearable and opens doors. As I said in my first post, let's pray seriously at this time.
Fifthly, bearing all safety guidance and hygiene precautions in mind, we can serve one another (and indeed all people). As Christians we have the opportunity to demonstrate the love that we have for ALL people, because of the love Christ has shared for us. We must not just look out for 'number one' as people often say. It begins with things like, not stockpiling food, and it includes serving people sacrificially and seeing how they are doing, as well as safely giving them help if they need it. There are great examples, Christian and non-Christian, of this that should challenge us as we watch the news and see some inspiring people in action.
So, I loved the news report of Italian citizens singing together from their balconies as an expression of togetherness. We have even greater privileges, assurances and responsibilities, if we are followers of Christ. Brothers and sisters, we are NEVER alone!
If you are not yet a believer in the Lord Jesus, will you hear his invitation to be with you at this time and always, and reach out to him? He will come and comfort and help you. We would love to explain more how this is possible.
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See part 4 of this series here.