I read a daily devotional The Upper Room, which I’ve shared with you before, and I came across two stories recently which spoke to me.
The first story was written before social distancing and isolation began:
“Ellis Anne, our six-year-old granddaughter, was being taught by her parents that playdates are by invitation and require parental approval. When Grand and I made our 259-mile trip to visit, Ellis Anne greeted us with the question, ‘Were you guys invited?’ Grand explained that we were invited, and we are family.” (Contributor from South Carolina, USA)
The second story was yesterday’s reflection March 31, 2020 (Contributor from Georgia, USA). It began with this Bible verse:
“Trust in God at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8.
“My wife and I have two large dogs that sleep at the foot of our bed. Twice a week, they wake up with my wife at 4:30 a.m. as she gets ready for work. After she leaves, instead of coming back to bed, the dogs become restless. Seemingly unaware that I’m still lying in bed, they become frantic – searching the closets, scratching at doors, and whining loudly. Finally, I whisper their names and invite them to join me. They leap into bed, nestle into place, and drift back to sleep.
“As children of God, we often react the same way. Countless events may cause us to feel forgotten or abandoned… During times of loneliness, we may forget God’s presence and search for comfort in all the wrong places. When we’re unable to find solace, our feelings intensify, making it increasingly difficult to hear God’s voice… God offers the ultimate place of refuge.”
Both these stories were printed well before COVID-19 became prevalent in our world. And don’t they speak a good message to this crisis in which we find ourselves?
In the first story, you don’t need a special invitation to come into the presence of God! ALL are invited! God seeks our company at all times, regardless of what circumstances, or events, or crisis or pandemic in which we find ourselves. God never turns His children away. We are truly part of God’s family – all peoples on earth. God loves us and seeks our company. We can pray and ask God for help, for guidance, for the world’s assistance, and for its healing.
In the second story, we can see ourselves getting frantic like the dogs – where is our safety? When does this virus end? When will we get a cure? Our security seems to have gone. We aren’t at peace. We are worried, and searching, and wanting answers, but confused, and we’re getting frantic. But we hear a voice. It is a reassuring voice. It is God with us!! God says – come to me, I’m here, I’m right here with you, snuggle in, I will comfort you and put my blanket around you like a mother hen covering her chicks with her feathers, like a bird covering you with its wing, like the palm of my hand stroking you and assuring you that I am here with you. Rest in my peace. Rest in my comfort. I will care for you. You are with Me.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls,” Matthew 11: 28, 29.
Let’s rest in the comfort of the Presence of God, and leave our worries there.