My phone dings. I walk past the dining room table, where I last laid it, to scoop it into the hand, as I meander to the porch swing, where I enjoy moments of respite between soap batches.
I look at the screen. It’s my uncle! “You know, this social distancing makes you a little lonely, but gives you more time with God”.
My soul does a backflip! Oh, how I know this is true! I am almost embarrassed by how much I am enjoying this quiet, forced solitude. I know there are folks suffering and people are even dying from this virus, as it rushes like a tsunami across the globe. There are people who were already lonely, whose loneliness is compounded to an near-unbearable level. Their quarantine feels more like isolation than solitude. I am trying to remember to pray for them. To have mercy ever filling the heart.
Still, for me, personally, I agree with my uncle. I knew, entering into this quarantine, that I had every excuse to just enjoy the Presence of God, with fewer distractions. Sure, there’s still stuff to do, and I still live with two other people, but this time feels more like a gift than something I must endure.
But what would it be like if I wasn’t enjoying God? What if I didn’t believe in Him, or didn’t love Him? That’s where my heart feels like it may snap right down the middle. I have a lot of friends who can only resonate with the first part of his sentiment. The part about feeling lonely. And unless they lay aside whatever grudge they are holding against the Most High, or are given victory over their unbelief, they will stay lonely. These have it harder than those who are dying (at least the ones who love Him and are dying).
Folks, if you are in the camp of those who are only experiencing loneliness and do not believe that God is with you, let’s talk. Call me, if you want. Or just write a comment (on the blog, not facebook, unless you want me to wait a little while to respond).
Better yet, talk to God. He is right with you, wherever you are. Maybe it’s time to make amends. Maybe it’s just time to believe He is who He says He is. When Moses had his face tucked in a crevice and God allowed Him to glimpse His backside, here is what He said about Himself: “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and truth” (Exodus 34:6). The first time He showed Himself to Moses, He simply called Himself “I am”. The Bible speaks of God being omnipresent. That means He’s everywhere, all at the same time (even in your living room as you’re reading this). He is the God who hears. Who inclines His ear (Psalm 40:1). If you’d rather have peace than struggle, fulfilling solitude instead of lonely isolation, maybe it’s time to embrace what my uncle and I both know… this is a perfect time to enjoy the Presence of God!