Numerous locations have now suffered at least one COVID-19 lockdown period. Victoria has just entered a seven-day snap lockdown. These situations create challenging environments for many of us, not the least of which is loneliness. In these times, we need to keep our minds busy to offset the isolation.
More than that, it's far more profitable to look at the state of being satisfied or content. Philippians 4:11 shows us how the Apostle Paul dealt with the various states he found himself in. "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." In times of isolation, Paul reset his mind and heart to a state of contentment. We can learn from this.
Elijah was another who contented himself in isolation at a place called Cherith (keerith). Cherith is the isolated ravine and brook where Elijah spent time by himself during a drought, fed by ravens. He had peace of mind. (1 Kings 17:1-7). God was his only friend during his seclusion, and Elijah made sure he was content with that. Joseph was another who learned that whatever state he was in, he needed to find contentment for self-preservation, whether in prison or out of it. (Gen 39).
We have to address ourselves when we go through our times of loneliness. It's good to keep busy, but is it better to increase our spirit of satisfaction, working with God in the situation.
Many years ago, I named my house Cherith on purpose. The maroon and gold sign on the external front wall signifies to visitors that whatever is happening outside the house, we are constantly being fed by God inside it, and we are content with that.
None of us needs to remain stagnant during lockdown. We can set ourselves some new goals. Here are a few.
Memorise 10 new scriptures.
Read books of the Bible you know little about.
Study Bible subjects you know little about.
Read those books you've been putting off.
Commit to a new fitness regime.
Do some serious work on your deficiencies. We all have them!
Set prayer goals. Develop a good prayer list and begin praying for people.
Spend more profound time with the Lord
Make a long phone list, then ring others who are not as well-prepared, to help them through the time.
Neither Paul nor Elijah or Joseph were at a loose end, wondering what to do next. Even in aloneness, they absorbed themselves in the humbling work of ministry or preparing for ministry.
Christians don't have time to sit and worry about isolation. There is too much to do. As Jesus said in John 4:35, the fields of people are ready for the harvest. They are desperately needing the love of Jesus Christ. It is our role to be His arms, legs and heart, bringing that love, nurturing spirit and divine nature to them.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, please help me focus on others during isolation. I see there is such a great need. It is not a time to be self-focussed but of a broad heart giving myself to others.
Photo by Yasmina H