By Dawn Neely
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 (NASB)
Social distancing is a new word in the vocabulary of the world today. To the best of my understanding, it means we need to keep our distance from one another. It seems the general rule is six feet between you and me. Self-isolation is another new term. It means to hunker down in your safe place and keep the world at bay.
We have some examples in the scripture of self-isolation. This is not a "new thing." It appears that isolation has its benefits. Let me give you a few examples...
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. Genesis 32:24 (NASB)
So the king gave the order and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions' den. Daniel 6:16 (NASB)
Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1: 17 (NASB)
He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. Mark 4:34 (NASB)
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. Then he was transfigured before them. Mark 9:2 (NASB)
The Bible is replete with stories of people being alone for very specific reasons. During this time of social isolation, even if you have a house full of children, it is important to find time to be alone with God. Time with the Lord today equals strength for the days that follow.
Every relationship and friendship grows deeper and grows closer through spending time together. It is no different in your relationship with God. When we spend time with God, we experience a freedom to express ourselves to Him and we allow Him to speak with us directly through His Word and through prayer.
God desires a relationship with us. He created us and has redeemed us for this very purpose. Our relationship with God is intimate. Intimacy takes time to build. We spend time--daily if possible--with those we love. This time is meant to further our knowledge of one another as well as give us enjoyment.
God is our refuge. Life right now is chaotic and confusing. When it is, turn to God. If we desire to truly find rest and safety in God, it is helpful to know Him well. Sometimes the best way to use a refuge is to go there before things get too messy!
Spending time with God is a spiritual discipline that helps us to know Him. So may I suggest that while you have the time, get to know God in a deeper way during this social isolation period. To know God better is a way to know the truth, provide a place of worship, and function as a daily shelter in the midst of the storms of life.
Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we know in our heads that You are in control of everything. But when we see the chaos and confusion that now abounds, we can somehow forget to tell our hearts. Oh God, forgive us when we are small in our faith and help our unbelief. Remind us that time alone with You is a precious privilege. You seek to give us calm in the midst of this storm. Help us to rest in You. In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.
© 2020 by Dawn Neely. All rights reserved.
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