26/3/2020 – Coping with Isolation


Coping with Isolation

Humanity is designed by God to be with each other, united in community, in family, in friendship and love. The Bible says it’s not good for man to be alone. So how will we cope when circumstances force us to be apart and not see each other?
Here are 6 tips for coping with isolation in the coming weeks and months.

1. Remember, you are not on your own
As Christians we live by faith and not by sight, by God’s word and not bread alone. The Bible says that God will never leave us or abandon us (Hebrews 13.5) and the resurrected Jesus says “remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28.20)
So we can always remind ourselves of this and spend time in prayer, talking to God who is always with us, reading his word and hearing the message about Christ who died for us.

2. Think about others
The Bible’s cure for loneliness is not to have people at our beck and call serving our every need, but to be servant hearted and selflessly there for others. We need to keep thinking about how we can serve others with an encouraging phone call or text, be praying for others and their needs, and remember to keep asking the simple but important question of “how are you?”
So don’t stop connecting with others even when you don’t really feel like it.

3. Find a new routine
Part of what is so disorienting and even distressing for many of us is that our normal routine has been completely abandoned. In place of our busy lives and many interactions we now have nothing.

It’s important to have a sense of routine and purpose, so thoughtfully consider mapping out what a day might look like, with set times to read the Bible and pray, contact others, do whatever physical exercise is possible, get things done around the house, as well as down time.

It’ll be tempting to spend the whole time bingeing ‘When Calls the Heart’ like JJ does, or ‘Nailed It’, like Mark, but incorporating variety into the routine will be better in the long term.

4. Use the Northmead resources page ‘Daily Courage’
Our website now has a page that will see new resources added daily to keep God’s word front and centre. There’ll be videos, articles, Bible studies and more to keep you growing as you feed on God’s living and active word. It’s easy to feel swamped by all the announcements, and become anxious looking at social media, so we need to take the time to listen and study what God has to say to us.
Soon there will also be resources and material for Kids and for Youth that might be helpful for your family.
You’ll also have less excuses now not to read that Christian book you were thinking about, or catch up on sermons you may have missed.

5. Live with hope
Being a Christian is in many ways about focusing on the future. We are people of hope, we serve God now while we wait for Christ to return and rescue us from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1.10). We can endure because we know that what we are going through does not compare to the glory of what will be revealed.

So we should always keep our hope of Christ’s return at the forefront of our minds, even in these difficult times. But we also know in the meantime God loves to give good gifts to his children, God loves to produce fruit in his church, God loves to grow people more and more into the likeness of his son. So we may not know the full details of what is coming, but we know there are blessings in store. And we can look forward to that day when we all get to gather together once more and see each other face to face.

6. Ask for help
Sometimes it’s hard to admit we’re struggling, we’re doing it tough, or we are just plain lonely. At this time we need to be humble enough to acknowledge to God and each other that we are struggling, and to reach out for help and friendship.

Author: Adrian Russell

Prayer of the Day

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the health care system we have in Australia. Today we pray for all those who work in health and hospitals at this time. We ask that you protect all the doctors, nurses, allied health, social works, admin staff, cleaners, security and more in this time of anxiety, uncertainty and stress. Give them great wisdom and peace in crisis and supply them with what they need as they care for those who are unwell and vulnerable. Please we ask, look after their families and help their love ones know how to best support them as they face such a difficult situation. And help those who trust in you, to look to Jesus, the great physician of our souls and the anchor of our faith.

In Jesus’ name we pray,