During these weeks and months of the COVID-19 epidemic, so many people have been forced to endure a crisis within a crisis. The epidemic itself is crisis enough. But during the same, there is no shortage of those who have experienced additional sicknesses, hospitalizations, funerals, family emergencies, job losses and other personal crises all in isolation, largely cut off from their support networks. For them it is crisis times two.
Humans are not intended for relational disconnect. They are created for mutual support and encouragement. God Himself decreed the same when He said regarding Adam in Eden, “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). And then there was Eve. Whatever diminishes real-time, real-place relationship is a great obstacle to well-being. So the “social distancing” situation at hand begs for the Psalm 46:1 reminder: “God is our refuge and strength; a VERY PRESENT HELP in times of trouble.” That is a blessing that goes far beyond online virtual help; it is the blessing of God’s real-time, real-place, up-close and personal proximity.
What a comfort to know we serve a God whose presence is 24-7-365. We are never truly isolated, cut off or alone. God is ever near. He is as close as our next thought, our next word, our next breath or our outstretched hand. Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him.”
Let us call with conviction that God’s help is not just from a distance or soon to arrive. By faith in Jesus Christ, it is available here and now, wherever we are, in our present moment crisis. His presence in the present is a promise by which we can all be comforted.
Ed Clevinger is minister of Grace Christian Church in Kingsport.