30 Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the Israelites, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord. (Ezekiel 34:30)
Sam heard his doorbell ring and answered the door. A lady stood there with a package from Amazon Prime. Sam received his package and did something unusual: he gave the delivery lady a big, prolonged bear hug! Yes, a big, prolonged hug to a total stranger, thanking her for delivering his package! The lady was taken aback and asked Sam why he was so emotional about his package. Sam responded, “Oh, it’s not the package; it’s you!” “Me?” the surprised delivery lady asked. “Yes you,” Sam replied. Sam—who lived alone—told the lady that he lived alone, worked from home, and had not had a visitor since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. So he was just elated to have someone on his doorsteps, even if a total stranger!
Limited movements, isolation, and loneliness due to the pandemic, can take its toll. Many are depressed and feeling trapped in a mental and emotional wilderness. A wilderness is a place with three main challenges: scarcity (not enough food there), security (wild animals roam about), and the lack of community (people usually don’t live there). We were made for community as life was never meant to be lived alone. You need people and people need you.
If you are feeling lonely, isolated, or depressed, you need to be a part of a healthy community. If you are sad, connect with a joyful community. If you are mad, find a jovial community. Get connected to a good community of people: a neighborship group, parent/teacher’s association, a professional group, or a civic or political organization. Find friends with common interests: fishing, golfing, shopping, playing board games, etc. Be a part of a community.
The Church is a great place to encounter community. Weekly worship, whether onsite or online, provides opportunity for community. Small groups are good places for friendship and healthy relationships. Working together in missions, feeding the homeless, serving children in orphanages, and other acts of service, help you feel a part of a vital community. And God will be present with you at all times. (Ezekiel 34:30).
You can win in your wilderness of loneliness, isolation, and depression. God is with you and will show you others with whom to create community. Even when you feel lonely, you are not alone (Hebrews 13:5). God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is your community.
Wisdom for this Week
Alone, you can do somethings. With God, you can do anything.