Oil and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the sweetness of a friend is better than self-counsel.
Proverbs 27:9 (HCSB)
Series Focus: “Coffee Talk”
Who of you struggled through isolation during the Covid shelter-in season? I know many who did…including myself. It surprised me! I am a high-functioning introvert, and looked forward to some “alone time.” Of course, I did not want the approved work-from-home-time at the expense of the horrible suffering so many experienced. Our hearts and prayers go out to all who have lost loved ones and endured hardship throughout the pandemic.
As the shut-down waned on, I found myself exhausted from zoom calls. I longed to sit across the table from someone in actual face-to-face interaction. Regardless of electronic communication, I missed connecting with others in the flesh.
Why did so many—even introverts—suffer during the lockdowns? Simply put: God made us for relationships! When God created Adam, He recognized Adam was lonely. Genesis 2:18 (HCSB) says:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.”
Connections and relationships mattered to God from the very beginning. In fact, He created us for His glory (Isaiah 43:7) and to be in fellowship with Him (1 Corinthians 1:9).
All of us are connected to others—family, neighbors, co-workers, church members, community members, etc. In addition, we each can be in a relationship with God. He gave His only Son, Jesus, so we could spend eternity with Him (John 3:16-17). He has made His dwelling place in all who receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior (Ephesians 2:2).
Some thrive in relationships with others but avoid connecting intimately with our Creator. Some struggle in building connections with others but flourish in their relationship with God. But God created us to nurture and grow in both. Investing in our vertical relationship with God will help us operate in our horizontal connections with others.
Building intimacy with anyone, including God, requires time, commitment, sacrifice, communication, and more. We must spend time with others to get to know them and to build and earn trust. Do you have a favorite way to nurture your friendships? We may meet for coffee or a meal. Families host gatherings to strengthen the ties that bind them together. Churches often plan community-building events. And God desires us to sit a spell with Him, too.
As we intentionally spend intimate time with God, we become one with Him. We grow in our knowledge of Him, better understand who we are, and learn who He has created us to be. Then we are able to nurture our relationships with others because we have learned all God has done for us, and understand we are to operate in the same manner toward others. Colossians 3:12-14 (HCSB) says:
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity.
We encourage you to spend time with your Creator. Grow in your knowledge of Him—His character, His compassion, His truth, His love. Become one with Him. Then carry all of that into your relationships with others. Make time to sit a spell—face to face—with your loved ones. Invest in them, nurture those relationships, and share the perfect bond of unity with them.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scriptures: Proverbs 27:9; Genesis 2:18; Isiah 43:7; 1 Corinthinas 1:9; John 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 3:12-14