Devotional: April 13, 2020

Relationships, Part I

When life is difficult, God empowers his people to live boldly with faith to overcome all kinds of challenges and obstacles. Today’s situation is no different.The Coronavirus is a threat, not only to our physical health, but also to our spiritual and mental health as well. In particular, this illness threatens to separate us from those we love for months.

We know that for the common good we need to be practicing this time of social distancing, but we are no less in need of social relationships during this time. In fact, we need our loved ones now more than ever. This is the way we were created- to be in relationship.

Scripture: Genesis 2:8, 18-22 (NLT)

8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made.
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man[a] to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs[b] and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.

Devotional Time
We often think of this story as a reference to marriage, and it is certainly about that, in part. But it’s also bigger than marriage; notice how the Lord characterizes the situation: “It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper for him.” The problem is not singleness; the problem is isolation.

Do you feel the weight of this right now? Many of us do. Our reality feels cruel, that during a time when we need people we love around us, we are expected to keep our distance from them.

But there are ways to cope, and ways to thrive in this situation. What if our social distancing became distant socializing?

In what ways can you stay connected to people this week? Emails and texts are good, but hearing their voice through phone calls and video conferences are even better (you’re welcome to use the church’s Zoom account, if you’d like to set up a video conference with more than one other person). Make reaching out to family and friends a priority, as few things are more important right now than our human relationships.

We are invited to live out this calling, by God, who has made us helpers for one another.

Relational God, who is at once Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you have invited us into the life-giving relationship that you share with us through the 3-in-1 Godhead we call the Trinity. Grant us the grace to enter into your presence with thanksgiving. Grant us humility to remember that we need one another, and grant us joy to celebrate that we are not alone, even if we may find ourselves physically alone during these trying days. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen