Can There Be Purpose in Our Isolation During COVID 19?
As I write this I am aware that this COVID 19 that has brought on the lockdown situation and isolation measures has meant difficulty for many people. There are difficulties for people with underlying conditions in particular.
There are difficulties with space and loneliness. Just recently I saw a post from a man who cried out in the loneliness of caring for an elderly mother who was infected with the Coronavirus asking – where is my son? Why doesn’t he phone me?!
So I am aware of the strain this has brought emotionally and also financially for people. There are difficulties facing people in countries where no work during lockdown means starvation.
I am aware that so many people won’t come out unscathed by this plague. I can’t bring solace in this post to those who have been hit hard. But that is not the intent of this article but to remind ourselves, yes we will get through this and some by God’s grace will get through with not much less than an inconvenience!
The question is how we will emerge from it at the end. For every trial, God turns into an opportunity, or we have no hope in all we go through.
What Can God Do with This?
I have had this on my heart and have had some reflection on our current situation with COVID 19. What could the benefit of isolation be? We make it a negative when we look at the loss of interaction with others as we are accustomed. There can be a purpose found during this time.
We most likely are apt to complain because we are under enforced solitude, but the truth is that believers have sought out solitude in many instances – from Elijah, through John the Baptist and Jesus to the early church fathers. They separated themselves for periods of time, to rest and to be refreshed in their faith stemming from a fresh encounter with God.
That is where I’m coming from about this time we find ourselves going through. It is a gift – to slow down, to evaluate what we value most and let this be a beneficial time for emerging at the end of it with new perspectives, new ways to do things, a new way to live and relate with others.
Jesus Took Three Disciples with Him – Up the Mountain and They Had a Shared Experience
This passage has come to mind during my time of Lockdown as very relevant to our situation as believers in Jesus. It speaks to me of the Father calling the Bride of Christ, the believers aside for an encounter – alone!.
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
- My observation is that the expectations of others within and from the World have kept believers busy – with their agendas.
- Others of you without realising are keeping yourselves busy because you are still under the impression that there must be something that can be added to His free gift! Salvation is really free, totally paid for by Jesus atonement. Children of God received it, believed it initially and then got themselves running around for years to add to it. No, sola Christus!
- I have observed the culture of the Conference-going and having to hear the latest speaker with the latest revelation so active in the Body of Christ. So much so that so many of us can’t encounter God anymore without these aids. The three disciples wanted to camp there with the “speakers” and Jesus that day!
- The question comes to us: What are we encamped around? His Glory? Conferences? Speakers? The latest revelation? Revival?
- I observe that many preachers security is in defending their doctrines “Which have been handed down to them” and will destroy anyone who dares suggest that they have discovered more beyond these sets of entrenched dogma. These are false securities for that are born in fear, which has its roots in lack of trust, which in turn is because of not learning or knowing the love of the Father intimately. Love for doctrine has become a first love.
- We will come down from this mountain as the disciples did, having unlearned some of what they thought they knew. We make the most of this time, I myself included to learn of our Father, to be loosened up, to let go of the pet foibles, fears and sacred cows, sorry I mean defensive dogmas in preparations for the new season. Why?
- The people! They have and are going through the shaking of their securities, their ideologies and their religion which they did not recognise, was, in fact, a religion – a belief system!. People are having their hearts and minds challenged. And it is going to take a different You and me to minister to those needs.
- I still hear prayers for revival that desire something that is a repeat of yesteryear! No that’s not what it will look like. We need to stop “doing church” – God is ushering in a new season. He did not send the virus, but will turn this around as the event of the Cross for the benefit of us all who are in His image.
The people down the mountain are going to need a Christ-like encounter.
“Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things” (Mark 6:34) My prayer: Lord, Holy Spirit, turn our hearts from stony indifference to hearts of compassion.
The secret?: While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown in terror.
Stripped of their concepts and expectations and partial vision – for this one thing, To hear Him and ONLY do as He directed is the other. So it was for Jesus! Likewise for us.
My prayer is that I and my fellow believers will desire to hear that voice more clearly, to do ONLY what He gives us to do above ALL else. We simply cannot come back and still work with our previous expectations, nor with the old methods. This is the time for getting accustomed to the voice of the Great Shepherd for the next season ahead.
Chris vs. 26-04-2020.