As a result of the coronavirus a new phrase has entered our vocabulary. We must ‘socially distance’ ourselves from others, which, in the UK, means keeping a physical distance of two metres from others if they don’t live in the same house as us. It doesn’t really mean social distancing but physical distancing, as we can still be on the internet, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and Microsoft team, keeping up with family and friends on a daily basis.
Isaiah 26:20 says, ‘Go my people enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you, hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by’. I believe this time of distancing ourselves from others can be an opportunity to draw near to God, and if we do, God promises to draw near to us. We worship a God who wants a personal and close relationship with us, a God who speaks. Someone has said, “When God is silent, He is not absent”. We need to hear from God in this time, to listen and draw near. We are usually very busy, but now we have time to spend quality time with God, to sense His presence as Immanuel, God with us.
We also have an opportunity to consider what is important to us, as for most of us our normal work and life has dramatically changed. Our diaries look empty for the first time, and our future 2020 plans for trips or holidays are gone. What is God saying? I personally feel that I have gone from the fast lane, not just to the slow lane, but that I’ve stopped on the hard shoulder awaiting rescue, which could be a long time coming.
The word from James is critically important for this time. We are being called to draw near to God, to feel His touch, His embrace, to know His unfailing love, care and provision, to hear His voice and to know Him in a deeper way. We are being prepared for what is to come, whatever that might be.
Prayer: Father, help me to trust You and to draw near to You in this time. Show me that You have plans to prosper me and give me hope and a future. Help me not to waste this opportunity of getting to know You in a deeper way. I am so thankful that You never socially distance Yourself from me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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