A Time Not To Embrace?

It’s Valentine’s Day – but “social distancing”, because of the Corona virus, keeps us from embracing the ones we love.

As Scripture says: “There’s a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing!” Ecclesiastes 3:5.

We are in our third lockdown, and most people are upset over the things they can’t do. No travel. No visiting. No shopping. No haircuts. No gym.  There’s a very short list of DOs and a very long long list of DON’Ts!

We are told that this isolation is affecting people’s mental health. That is because we are gregarious.

A police force in Sussex has a new member of staff. They have bought a dog.

So what’s interesting about that?

Well, it’s a “therapy” dog. The police are so sad when they come off the streets they are allowed time to cuddle the dog to make them feel better!

In my doctor’s surgery there’s a poster that reads: “If you are feeling low, you may need to get out more!” Adding “insult to injury!” As Aesop said.

And in the face of all this, the human response usually is: O how I wish I could do something, just anything.

Well I’m glad to tell you that we CAN do something!

This situation gives us the opportunity to do the things that really matter.

Three things we usually have little time for. Just three things of which there is no limit…

The first one is ADORATION!

The thing we miss most is the warm embrace. And as Christians we feel especially vulnerable. Governments have closed our churches, and thus many feel cut off from fellowship.

BUT NO!  They can’t stop our worship.

We may miss each other, but we are not alone. The Apostle John tells us that our fellowship is with the Father and the Son. (1 John 4:3).

The Early churches had no church buildings – but they did have the presence of the Lord.

God is looking for people to worship Him. (John 4:23).

ADORATION is even more possible in lockdown! No limits!

Then the second thing I would suggest we can do is MEDITATION.

The world has stolen the concept of meditation. Many people equate meditation to eastern religions. But it is a biblical word.

David – whose psalms lead us into ADORATION – are based on his MEDITATIONS.

His words speak for themselves. They need no comment:-

Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Psalm 49:3 “My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.”

Psalm 104:34 “My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.”

Psalm119:97 “O how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Notice that phrase: ALL THE DAY!

We don’t usually have the whole day to do what we want. But lockdowns give us that luxury!

The third opportunity open to us during this time is MEDIATION.

That’s another word for Intercession.

Our weapons are not carnal. Our weapons are spiritual. So we can do battle when we are not even allowed to go outdoors.

The Roman centurion recognized the power of spiritual weapons when He said to Jesus: “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed!” He saw that walls and miles, or any physical barrier, is no obstruction to the power of the Word and prayer!

Thank God for His precious promises.

Now is a great time for us to use the weapons God has given us. To intercede for world crises.

I went to Samuel Howells Bible college, where the staff brought newspapers as well as Bibles to the prayer meetings! And they laid the needs of the world before the Lord, like Hezekiah did when he laid before the Lord the letter he had received from his enemies. And the next morning his enemies were obliterated.

Talk about the POWER of spiritual weapons!

Is this a time not to embrace?

By no means. This is a time to EMBRACE THE PROMISES!

In the days of old God’s people saw the promises – AND EMBRACED THEM! (Hebrews 11:13).