In the interest of positivity, I present a list of the Benefits of Social Distancing for your edification. Some are serious. Some are satirical. I’ll let you sort them out. If you can think of anything else, add your thoughts in the comment section.
It’s that last one I want to zero in on for a moment. I don’t presume to know the myriad of purposes the Lord might have in this chapter of our lives. But I do know this. He has our attention.
Dr. Tony Evans likens our current situation to an alarm clock. He says, “When your alarm clock goes off and wakes you up it brings you out of one reality of slumber and sleep into a new reality of alertness. The further you remove God from a life, a family, and a culture, the more chaotic things will become. And so, oftentimes, in the Bible and in the world, God will shake things… Shaking means when God allows disruption in the normal order of things. Life is going along like you prefer it, like you want it, like you desire it, like you love it. And all of a sudden there is an interruption in the affairs of normalcy. That’s what God does all through the Bible, He would shake things up when He wanted to get our undivided attention.”
So, what is your responsibility when God’s alarm clock goes off? Well, you could hit the snooze button and return to your slumber. That might feel good until the alarm sounds even louder. You could unplug the alarm clock and sleep indefinitely. But what kind of life is that? When God’s alarm clock shakes you from your slumber, ready or not, it’s time to wake up and face a new day.
Most of us know the story of Jacob’s dream. How he dreamed of a ladder extending to heaven, with angels ascending and descending. The Lord used that dream to renew His covenant with His people, Israel. The Lord used that dream to awaken Jacob from his slumber. Can I draw your attention to the words spoken by Jacob after waking up from that life-shattering dream?
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." (Genesis 28:16-17 NIV)
There are times in life when God’s presence seems nearer. There are times when God peels back the corner of the sky and gives us a glimpse of heaven. Times when we are suddenly aware that God is with us. He never left, He just feels closer. This is one of those times. Jacob called that place “Bethel,” which means, “The house of God.” I am praying for you. For our church family. For our nation. When we look back on this strange chapter in our lives, I pray that it will be our Bethel – the place and time where God shakes us up and wakes us up to a whole new reality… a reality where His presence is more fully known.