As millions around the world have spent weeks in isolation, sheltering in place for the good of their vulnerable neighbors and society as a whole, many of us have undoubtedly battled feelings of loneliness and isolation. We feel cut off from those we love and the normal life-giving daily rhythms that we once took for granted. And as true as this may be, the Lord wants us to remember that we are never alone.
Now, some of you reading this will say, “Trust me, I know that I’m not alone! In fact, all I want is 5 minutes to myself without a child climbing on me, or attacking their siblings, or telling me they can’t get their school lessons to work on the computer.” For many, this pandemic has forced us into close proximity with those we love, learning to honor and respect one another in close quarters and with increased anxiety. Yet others of you feel the exact opposite, desperate for human touch and connection. Whatever your reality is right now, in the truest and deepest sense of the word, we must cling to the truth that we are never alone because our Lord is always with us, driving out fear and giving us courage.
In Romans 8:14, Paul reminds us, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” This verse is both a statement of identity and direction. We are beloved children of God, yet we are also led by the Holy Spirit, especially in times of great need. This is good news for us today! The Holy Spirit is with you in your exhaustion and isolation. And not only is he with you, but he is leading you and will continue to lead you in the days and weeks to come.
In fact, we must remember that the entire movement of salvation is a journey from isolation into community, community with God and with one another. If God in Jesus can heal the ultimate isolation that results from our self-imposed exile, he can and will lead us faithfully through this present storm. With great confidence we cling to Joshua’s words, “The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”