The text hit my mobile phone giving me a quiet jolt. “Hey pastor, are you able to meet people during these times? We miss seeing everyone in person. It’s straining my relationship with God. I think I need other Christians surrounding me.”
We met two days later, and strengthened each other’s faith for about an hour. I needed to see him, and he needed to see me. It was great.
But it set me too, wondering. How are YOU navigating these days?
Here are some steps to take to combat personal isolation and spiritual discouragement.
First, ASK THE SPIRIT OF GOD what He may want to do through you during this time, in these days.
Paul reminds the Galatians to “walk by (or keep in step with) the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (5:16). Simple translation – ask the Spirit to use you to make a difference with someone else rather than merely thinking about yourself.
Second, TAKE A SPECIFIC STEP TO ENCOURAGE someone in your network.
Don’t just sit there. Evaporate the isolation. Ask the Spirit to prompt. Take a step to encourage. Identify a need.
In other words, do something to be a Barnabas (his name in Hebrew meant “son of encouragement,” Acts 4:36). Barnabas sold property to give to others in need. Barnabas went and found Saul, who was in isolation after his conversion, and brought him to Antioch and got him engaged. Barnabas didn’t give up on Mark after he failed in his first missions attempt, offering Mark a 2nd chance at doing ministry with him.
In our context? Don’t just sit there thinking, “I wish someone would call.” Pick up your phone and call someone. Ask him or her genuinely, “Tell me how you’re doing. Let’s talk!” Follow that up with, “Can I serve you in some way? (and) What can I be praying for?” Be a Barnabas.
Third, IF YOU SEE A NEED IN OUR COMMUNITY (or with an individual family) our Christ Community Church Body could meet, LET US KNOW.
Yes, this is an invitation for you to make us (i.e., Pastor David, Pastor Mark, Pastor Kip and our Servant Team) aware of some way we can make a helpful, timely difference in Story County. We have some initial ideas, but are also open to yours. We may not be able to do all of the incoming suggestions, but we’ll sort through them and if possible, call the Christ Community Church Body to action.
We can put feet under Galatians 6:10, “So then as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those of the household of faith.”
A few simple steps. Take ‘em on. Evaporate the isolation with prayer, initiation, awareness and communication. Let Jesus Himself shine through us.