Okay let’s start with the basics. I’m not actually isolated. I am here with my wife and my son and yet if I want to be vulnerable, and I do, there is something about being told you can’t really go anywhere, and seeing everything that is closing around you that makes one, or at least me, feel almost claustrophobic. It’s scarcely over a week since all this began, and today our governor added at least two more weeks to the “quarantine.” I know it’s all about flattening the curve, and I’m trying really hard to take everything our leaders are saying at face value, but I must confess it’s hard sometimes. On one hand, I’d like to rebel and try to get back to normal, but then I heard today about a young friend in Texas who’s been infected and a friend of a family member in another state, a health care worker who’s also been diagnosed and so I wait and I obey, and forgive me for handing out orders, but so should you.

Part of what makes this hard is I have a ministry that I love, and it seems as if most of that has been at least temporarily been stripped away. Oh I am still able to do my online services and zoom for now and for that I am grateful, but today I got two calls thanking me for writing my sermon in manuscript form and mailing it out to my congregants without online capabilities. Today our governor issues a shelter at home order for the county my church is in so now I have no access even to my own office to make the copies and mail them. Our district leadership said recently that it is unlikely that we will be able to meet for Easter, nursing home and hospital visits and pretty much visits in general are out of bounds now as well. I’m concerned for all the small business owners in our community and for loved ones whose jobs are affected, and even for my own status if weeks turn to months. I have to tell you it’s been tough inside this head of mine at times.

It’s about this time that I started to think of my friend Tom. Tom is one of the campers at a camp I do for adults with special needs each year. That camp is a highlight of my year and a highlight of the camp is always the talent show. In it that campers will sing or do a skit. Well Tom loves to sing, and he almost always picks the same song, Rend Collective’s song More than Conquerors. The chorus of the song repeats one word over and over again.

VICTORIOUS

Tom shouts that word so loudly that I assumed the recording did it as well. Well today I listened to the song and realized the band does not shout the word at all, but maybe I need to. The fact of the matter is Tom is extremely confident that God will be VICTORIOUS and he shouts it for all the world to see. That is Tom’s declaration and I want it to be mind. God can and will overcome this and everything else. My anxieties, fears and frustrations are pointless. I need to take a cue from Tom and remember, Jesus wins and I am one of His. We will be VICTORIOUS. Remember we are not really isolated. I am more blessed than many, my loving wife is here, my son is here and I have so many others as close as a phone call. Even in a season of “social distancing” I am surrounded by loved ones and I have the technology to be with them even when I can’t be with them. Even more than that I serve a God who has promised never to leave nor forsake me. We are not alone. We need to be in prayer first and foremost. Beyond that, we need to make the effort to connect. We need to give some of this time to the people with whom we can still be physically present and we need to creatively reach out to the rest. Maybe we need to disconnect from some the things that are dragging us into feelings of isolation, and make the effort to connect in whatever way we can, whether it seems ideal or not. Except for a few rare exceptions (and we should be seeking those people out), isolation is a choice. We serve a God who has promised to make all things work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Maybe instead of fear and stress and anxiety, we should spend our time seeking God’s purpose and living it out.

You’re not really isolated, and in Christ, you’re never alone. So the first step is to pray and then let’s follow Tom’s lead. Shout it from the rooftops. Let’s be VICTORIOUS!

Comments
  1. Jim Hardenbrook says:

    Thank you. “We are really not isolated.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.