Matthew 10:29 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. (ESV)
In the present gridlock, we are coping well-ish as a family in the comfort of home. Together, we allocate time to work through chores, exercise, and education. I had not valued our privileges as much before the lockdown as I do now, looking forward to the end.
I miss church; I miss the joy of communal worship and praise. Even as a senior wallflower, I miss the melee of after-church, as the young socially active rush about connecting and networking, oblivious to the need to set down church before lunch to be ready for the week ahead.
God has shown me that our church is my community's spiritual home — a place where I know that I can soak up God's presence to get through the week ahead. I can rest in His presence for a moment. Possibly unwittingly, I have been content to turn up and be reliant upon the preparation of others, those who have previously pressed into God to hear from Him for our congregation for the day. Now that that has been taken away, I feel spiritually diminished and exposed for being negligent. Yes, we have online sermons and prayer groups, but it is just not quite the same to connect with God.
So, I ask God: what is going on? This new normal is not normality for me. Like a mobile device, I need to be refilled, recharged, and reconnected.
Life in family lockdown does not give one much alone space. I have to time-share the office. Cast out, I make myself busy during the day with garden chores, do-it-yourself projects, cooking, shopping, house chores, and assisting in the education of the children.
Yesterday, I steeled myself to free a fledgling great tit trapped in the netting that is positioned to keep the pigeons off our growing cherry tree. As a boy, I would have been upset. Praise God for once for my age, experience, and wisdom as I held this small body warm in my hands and untangled its head and beak. Then, gently, I cut its feet and body free. I gave it some water as I held it safe and sound, and eventually having rested, it flew away.
Maybe, just maybe, in the busyness of my family's doing, this was God's way of getting my attention as a call to focus on Him. He alone can set me free from the snares and concerns of this world and the impasse of meeting at the present time.
Connecting with God's love is irrespective of place, time, or circumstance, because our God holds us in the palm of His hand. He cares for us whether we are alone or together, so that we can be assured of His ability to set us free because we are all one in Him.
Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that You are our guardian in times of anxiety or trouble. You are our place of safety away from the wiles and snares of this world. Lord, during this time of being away from loved ones, our communities, and our support networks, remind us that we are safe in the palm of Your hand. We pray through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Bids Us Shine" (Lyrics)