“God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.”
Psalm 68:6 NLT
It was agonizing!
Both of our sons and families were in the same place at the same time … and we were many states away from them. The quarantine, though wise when the information was just coming in, was now becoming unbearable with family so far away.
So we loaded up the car, took food for the trip, and took off at 1:15 in the morning. Twenty hours later (and 1365 miles) we arrived at our family’s home to take up quarantine with them. We soon broke the 10 person limit and both families joined for a birthday party.
We have a picture of all thirteen of us plus three grand dogs at one place, and at one time.
The pull of family is God-initiated. He places the lonely in family units by design. And as the Scripture above continues … “he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.” Joanie and I can attest to the joyful freedom that their closeness brought.
The harshest form of punishment in prison is solitary confinement. We’re not built for that. It’s one of the worst things we can impose on a human being.
So when I hear a Christian lament “ I miss going to church!” I recognize the same pressure we felt with family out of touch physically with miles of separation. We aren’t missing the sermons or the music … we’re still getting those streamed to our homes.
It’s the loss of close friends. It’s the loss of ‘family’. It’s the loss of someone recognizing pain or joy in our life. It’s the loss of sharing life with people who care… to glance around and see people who have become part of our life … who would miss us if we weren’t there.
These are the things missing in this era of isolation and fear. Fear of catching a virus is strong, but fear of losing family is much stronger! The tide is turning, and God may be telling us that He has provision for our protection but not a substitute for ‘brothers (and sisters) dwelling together in unity.’
I’m not advocating civil disobedience, but cautioning you to not allow anyone to put you into solitary confinement during this difficult time.
“Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work
for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us
in the community of faith.” Galatians 6:10 MSG