March 19, 2020
During this period when we are exercising social distancing in an effort to lessen the burden of sick persons on our health care ecosystem, it struck me odd that the one thing we normally depend on in times of crisis, each other, is the one thing that we’re challenged by. So many questions came to mind. But the main revelation is that I’ve taken relationships for granted.
We assume that we can always get in our cars, planes, trains, or whatever mode of transportation you use to be with friends, family, customers. Or I’ve put off being physically present with others because I was too busy, didn’t have the time, or would get around to it later. Do these excuses sound familiar to you? So now we have time, plenty of it, but we can’t do the things that we said we’d do when we had more time. Quite the oxymoron isn’t it?
What about the most important relationship, our relationship with God? Government leaders can issue all kinds of orders regarding social distance. First, it was gatherings of 100, then gatherings of 10, and possibly we’ll get to complete quarantine. Who knows? But you know what? There is no distance limit between us and God. We can choose to be as close or as far as we want to be from Him.
Those of you who have read my other writings know that I have shared that 4 a.m. is typically the time that God prompts me that we need to talk. Why? Because He knows me. He made me. He knows that my mind keeps multiple ideas bouncing around in my head from the time I get up until the time I go to bed. Could it be that God is architecting a time of God-distancing? As in narrowing the distance with Him that we’ve created by allowing our self-absorbed lives to create distance between us and Him.
While this experience we are going through with the COVID-19 disease is bad. I mean, come on, it just sucks. Am I the only one who wants my old comfortable life back? Not for one minute do I l believe that God is punishing us for sin. If I did, it would deny the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. However, I do believe that God will not tolerate sin, especially among believers.
Just last week in our BSF lesson based on 1 Corinthians 5-7 we studied Paul’s teachings to the Corinthian church. His admonitions were not punitive. His warning came from a place of love. He knew the potential and design God had for the church and wanted them to live up to the design. While Paul was preaching on a specific sin, don’t get it twisted folks, sin is sin and we all have it in our lives. We are reminded in John 10:10 that “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Our good Father wants us to experience the fullness of His glory. But make no mistake, He is holy, and holiness and sin cannot co-exist in the body of the believers.
So, during this period of social distancing, I think the lesson is that God is using this time when we have nowhere else we can turn but to Him as a gentle reminder. While we may be distant from people, we are not distant from Him. In fact, He has opened this expanse of time and space for us to draw near to Him and get clarity on our purpose and to do as the elders would say “get on the right side of right”. God is doing what every good father does and that is to discipline with love. Romans 8:15 tells us that we don’t have to be fearful because we have been adopted and have the right to call him “Abba Father”.
While we’re all praying for this period to pass (and pass soon), let’s also pray that we learn the lesson. Our loving God only has our best interest at heart. He is our good good Father.