As I’ve been watching the news, speaking to people on the phone, seeing comments and feeds on Facebook, there is a common thread I’ve seen. People are missing interaction with others. Even though we have this technology and have so many ways of keeping in contact with friends and family, we are still feeling very lonely.  

Students and young children are realising that as much as social media and technology is great, catching up with friends can’t be taken for granted and is missed. Parents who used to have time to meet with colleagues at work and friends on weekends are battling to find new ways to entertain little ones! People who are single, elderly, or live in more remote areas are missing the interaction they used to be able to have when going out and about or catching up with others. For many, going to the supermarket or to get supplies is the most exciting thing they do in the week!  

People are made for community, for supporting each other, for some form of companionship. You can see why in the Scriptures the church is so often called to be not just a community or club, but family of believers, caring for one another. In his letter to the church in Rome, the Apostle Paul encourages the Church family to look after one another: 

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans 12:10-13) 

At the present moment, it is hard because we cannot gather together. Just like everyone, the Church cannot gather and at times can feel very lonely being disconnected from brothers and sisters in Christ. But we are not alone. We are not alone because we believe in a God who is always with us and never leaves us. God is there with us and for us in the times when all is well and we are prospering, but he is especially there in the times of our need and struggle. In Psalm 139, the writer says this: 

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139: 7-10) 

The days and weeks that have gone by have been a struggle for many. Many have struggled not only by missing others, but with the loss of jobs and the things they have worked very hard to achieve. God is with us though; he has not abandoned us. This is not to say that things are going to be easy, it looks as though the reality and restrictions from the Coronavirus are going to be with us for a long time. Changes will keep happening and the future may be uncertain. But what is not uncertain is God’s constant love for us and his listening ear to our prayers. We know that we can come to him whenever we want, and he will hear us.  

So I encourage you to take heart as you continue to battle through what life throws at you, knowing that God of eternity is by your side, he has your back, and is always there for you. 

Mr Patrick Fabian

Director of Faith & Ministry