We’ve been “stuck at home/safer at home” for over a month now, and it feels a lot longer than that. And here are a few things I’ve learned:
1. People need people.
“God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:18). Sunshine and moonlight.
“God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:25). Sloths and cheetahs.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). All of creation.
“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good . . .’” (Genesis 2:18). Scrrrritch!! Cue record-scratching noise.
Everything God made was “very good” (one of the biggest understatements in the Bible, if you ask me). So what did God deem “not good”? Here’s the rest of the verse: “It is not good for man to be alone.”
From the very beginning, God showed us that people need people. Several times throughout the Bible, God reminds us of the importance of community (1 Corinthians 12, Galatians 6, Hebrews 10, James 5).
In his book Whiter Than Snow, author Paul Tripp says, “We weren’t created to be independent, autonomous, or self-sufficient. We were made to live in a humble, worshipful, and loving dependency upon God and in a loving and humble interdependency with others. Our lives were designed to be community projects” (p. 147).
Isolation is hard. We were made for community and fellowship. Introvert or extrovert, people still need people. God created community, and it was very good.
2. People need purpose.
I saw a meme going around on Facebook that said this: “Your grandparents went to war to protect your generation . . . you can stay home on your couch to protect theirs.” Easy peasy—crash on your couch, watch Disney Plus—do nothing. So why is that so hard? Because people were created for purpose. As nice as it is to take a lazy day once in a while (even the Lord rested on the seventh day and gave us the Sabbath for a reason), God created us as creatures of work and purpose. Each of us has been given a calling by God and different abilities and gifts that we are to use to God’s glory.
Though we are currently at war against a virus, the people whom I see thriving are those who’ve found their purpose during this crisis: people diligently sewing face masks, delivering groceries to those in need, doctors and nurses on the front lines, people creating entertainment for others. Feeling essential, fulfilled, and like we are contributing to a cause greater than ourselves . . . this is a gift from God.
This quarantine gives us an even greater sense of purpose as believers: to share the reason for the hope that we have in Christ Jesus, to share our big God with others during this scary and overwhelming time. If you’re feeling “nonessential,” please know that you do have a purpose. You can be a light in the darkness and point to Jesus as the ultimate purpose giver.
3. People need a promise.
One of the things I find the hardest about this whole ordeal is the unknown end date. We all like to plan and have goals. When we see the end goal, we can take the proper steps and work toward something, look forward to something. Instead, our 2020 planners have been thrown out the window; everything is in flux. As small business owners, my husband and I are slogging our way through tough decisions of when to bring back employees and what our next steps should be. There has been no promise of a “reopening” date or a “go back to normal” time. We feel adrift and lost. People need a promise.
In Eden after Adam and Eve fell into sin, God gave them the promise of a Savior, and that promise guided God’s people to the first Christmas morning. In the upper room, Jesus comforted his disciples and gave them another promise: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going” (John 14:1-4).
Our earthly leaders make and break promises all the time; they are limited by faults and greed and humanness.
But not our God. We know he keeps his promises, and he gives us something to look forward to—we can cling to the promise of heaven, a place without face masks and germs and doubt and fear and social isolation. Imagine the joy you will feel when you gather with your friends and family again for the first time after this whole mess is over. Now double and triple and quadruple that; multiply it to the nth degree, and you might get a glimpse of what heaven will be like.
Exponential contagious joy; now that’s a curve that can’t be flattened.