1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Separated, alone, isolated is not how God made us. Created in God’s image, we are made to be with God and others. Being separated, alone, isolated is against our very nature. Being alone takes its toll. Yet, in the COVID 19 pandemic world, we can feel very isolated, separated and alone. We miss the smallest contact, the smile of a stranger, conversation with a clerk, the presence of others in a store or waiting room. A piece of who we are is missing or neglected.
My dad’s cousin was a prisoner in the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War. He has often said that the harshest punishment was the isolation. So desperate were the prisoners, they would draw in their own blood to write messages to one another. So desperate for God’s presence in their world, they used their own blood to create a Bible from each other’s memorized scripture verses. All this bore witness to the fact that they were never alone. They found the truth of God’s words to Joshua, “I will never forsake you.” They found the truth of Christ’s promise to all of us, “Low, I am with you always.” Mark 28:20
So during this time of COVID 19, we need never be alone, but we need to claim this promise for our own. Practice the presence, especially in times such as these. God is with us. God knows us intimately. Nothing can separate us from our Holy Comforter and Prince of Peace. Have you sought God’s presence today? Have you practiced God’s presence? Have you looked for God in your heart, creation and the world?
Dear God, make your presence known to me! Speak that I may hear. Listen that I may know you hear my pain as I pour out my heart to you during this time of isolation
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.