I am not sure when the term social distancing was created but the first time I heard it was March 2020. It has been a recommendation and now it is moving into a necessity. The world has been upended by the need for quarantine and our hearts are reeling from the effects of social distancing.
While I realize that these things are necessary, it doesn't lighten the mood knowing that we are separated from our church friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even parts of our family. Yet in the midst of it all, we can find the good in all of these things.
The old adage reminds us, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." A true statement because, I believe, absence makes us recognize the things that we have taken for granted. As Americans, especially, we take for granted the conveniences that we have. We often take for granted the relationships we are engaged in. There are many people who have a hard time with certain people at work but they might be to see them again when they get back to the office.
Social distancing helps us to realize that God created man to walk through life together. In the book of Genesis, God said, "It is not good that man should be alone." Of course, this was speaking of marriage, but it also holds true that we definitely need relationships. Thus, we see the importance of having a church family and valuing the family you have at home.
In these trying days where we feel disconnected, why not utilize the technology we have and reach out to others. Call, text, email, Facetime or video call someone that you are missing. Most of us are longing to see our friends again and we can whine and groan about the situation that we have found ourselves in. But our response should be that of gratefulness. At least you have some good relationships that you value. At least there are those you love and those who love you.
The Apostle Paul was very candid with his words of longing for his dear friend Timothy. He said, "I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again." (2 Timothy 1:4 NLT) I long to see you again...I will be filled with joy when we are together again. Indeed, absence makes the heart grow fonder. When you think of others, reach out and let them know you are thinking of them. It is easy to sink into introversion in a time of social distancing. In 2020, however, when we are distant in person, we still have means to connect, though we are not face to face.
Trust is a difficult thing because it leaves your life in the hands of someone else. Many people have been disappointed by others or perhaps even found themselves in tough situations because someone let you down. Our mistrust of others sometimes translates into our relationship with God.
We often have difficulty giving God everything, in fear of being let down again. Yet, the only thing we can do in life’s challenges is to let God have control. Fear keeps us from trusting. When we give way to the fears of our life, we will find it difficult trusting God.
The enemy of our souls exploits our fears and causes us to keep our hands on things that we really can’t control in the first place. Our hearts are gripped with fear and it usually is seen in the many questions that begin with “What If…?” Since, we cannot answer most of the what-ifs, we fear the outcomes.
This causes us to lack trust in God, because it is hard to leave him in charge of the what-ifs. He is, however, the only one that knows the future and God can always see the unseen.
This morning, I was reading through the first chapters of the book of Psalms. Honestly, the book of Psalms is my go-to when life seems to be challenging. I never grow tired of the words of the Psalmist, because it always lifts my spirit and gives me hope.
Listen to these words:
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” (Psalm 9:10 NLT)
David writes that if we know God’s name, we will trust in Him.
There is so much that is promised in God’s different names. You can trust Him because He is Jehovah-Rapha, God our Healer. He is Jehovah-Jireh, God our Provider. Jehovah-Shammah, The God who is there. He is Jehovah-Shalom, God our Peace and Prosperity. He is Jehovah-Nissi, The Lord our Banner (protection). He is El-Shaddai, God the All Sufficient One.
There are many more names that we can trust in. But notice what else David said. “For you, O Lord, DO NOT abandon those who search for you.” The promise here is that God does not leave us or forsake us. We can trust Him with our lives because He is an ever-present help in our time of need.
I understand the days that we are living in, right now, are challenging and uncertain. Yet, the only thing that is Certain is the God who is on the throne. You can trust Him with your life.
The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 10:17, “Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.” NLT
Friend, even when we feel helpless, God hears our prayers and He will always comfort us. The things that we are facing in our lives today, cannot always be in our control. I encourage you to leave them in the control of the only person who can make a way where there seems to be know way. Trust In Jesus!
Danny and his wife, Sonya, have been lead pastors at Rogers First Assembly in Rogers, Arkansas since 2008.