Isolation (COVID-19 mandate)

Isolation

    One of the great American treasures, which I have never seen, is the great Redwoods of California. Some grow to a height of 300 feet with a circumference of 40 feet. The average age is around 500 years but some are estimated to have been around for 2,000 years! Needless to say, they have weathered an enormous number of storms. The key to their strength, longevity and growth is the fact they only grow in groves. Beneath the surface, hidden from human sight, their roots intertwine. Intertwining is the key to their growth and crucial to their strength that enables them to withstand the howling winds of a storm. (Tony Evans, Called for a Purpose)

    Currently because of the threat of Covid19 our President has asked that we isolate ourselves, avoid large crowds, in order to reduce the spread of this very contagious virus. For those of us who are obeying this important mandate of isolation, we are experiencing peculiar feelings that cause inner conflict. So, let’s talk about these feelings that many of us are experiencing right now. These feelings are much deeper that anxiety over a diminishing supply of toilet paper!

     "Social distancing” creates a conundrum within our spirit. Just like your body craves food, thirsts for water, so your soul craves, in fact, was created for community. Without community we are conflicted because deep within our DNA, our root system there is the need to intertwine with the roots of others. Like the Redwoods in California we draw strength from others to withstand the storms of life. When the Creator declared “it is not good for man to live alone,” (Genesis 2:18) He revealed an integral part of the human blueprint. We, the apex of God’s creation, were designed for companionship and relationships. Therefore, “social” and “distancing” do not belong in the same sentence structure. The phrase is an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp, parking in a driveway, or deafening silence. We are not created for “social distancing” but designed for relational connectedness. It was coded within our DNA from creation! Thus, during this period of isolation we feel conflicted like Buck in Jack London’s “Call of the Wild” who was torn between loyal companionship and the yearning to be free and run with his ancestors. Social distancing requires that our inner yearning must be quieted.

    For those of us who walk in The Way, these paradoxical feelings are more complex than just our DNA because, in the spiritual dimension, we have been placed and fitted as members into the Body of Christ. (Romans 12:4-5) We are complete in Him but we are incomplete without one another. You are much more than a church member who misses attending church! You are an indispensable member of the Body of Christ and according to Paul everybody is somebody in the Body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12-20) The feeling you are experiencing now is that of an arm desiring to be connected to a shoulder, an ear yearning to be attached to a head. The analogy could go on but you get the idea. In isolation we are like a soldier longing for an army; a sheep looking for the companionship of a sheepfold and the guidance of a Shepherd. Isolated we feel vulnerable, exposed and uneasy in our aloneness.

    Christ follower, be encouraged because the Father always provides blessings and His presence in the place of trust and obedience. By faith and through obedience Abraham counted the stars on a dark night; Elijah smelled rain in a drought filled land because God had promised; Paul boldly stood before kings and governors even though he was physically alone because the Lord Himself stood with him; David defeated a giant because he discovered what the Apostle John later described as “greater is He in me than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4); Peter’s failure brought a deeper level of commitment and prepared him to be used on the Day of Pentecost. We are encouraged as we learn from Hebrews 11 about the exploits of faith and obedience from named and unnamed men and women who were blessed by God because they chose the place of obedience and the path of faith, even in times of isolation.

    Obviously, we do not know how long this mandate to isolate will last and that adds winkles to our worries. We must stand fast in the place of obedience and trust our fears of the unknown to the hands of an all knowing God. Simply, we need to practice what we have sung for years, “Trust and obey, there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

    Remember, TRUST Jesus and wash your hands!                                                                                   (written 1April2020  Ldw)