This week I saw a sign that said:
Social Distancing does not apply to God: Draw near to Him.
Wow. Love that! And especially since we are a community of people seeking to draw near to God, it definitely spoke to me. Jesus was clear that in order to produce fruit, we must be united to Him as a branch to the Vine. He is the vine and access to the vine is critical to the life of the branch. It’s very existence is dependent on the vine. This past year we have been social distancing due to COVID virus. We missed our friends, family and our co-workers. Social distancing reminded us that we are social creatures, made in God’s image, and designed for relationship with Him and others.
Our cars are equipped with warning signals that light up when we need to have our oil checked, our tire pressure, etc. As Jesus followers, what are the warning signs that we are in trouble; that we have distanced ourselves from God? To be frank, I am seeing more people these days who have flashing signs of burnout, stress, and anxiety and in each case where I have been involved, I have seen some markers that led to these symptoms.
I suggest that the following signs are indicators that we may be in trouble.
- We have found ourselves increasingly too busy to spend time in God’s Word
- Our prayer life consists of lists and lists of “I need or want” and less on connecting to Jesus
- Hearts hardened by the lies we have believed
- Pulling away from church or fellowship with other believers (COVID certainly aided that)
Friends, we all have warning signals. God will begin to light up our lives with His warning lights some of which are indicated above: Stress, anxiety, hopelessness will rise up daily within us; creating a hamster wheel of loose thoughts strung together that are not coherent. You may feel adrift on the sea of overload and overwhelming feelings.
Jesus IS the answer. He is the solution to hardened hearts, anxiety, stress. Distancing ourselves from Him takes our lifeline to freedom away. Today I want you to sit with this song/video. It has helped several of my family members and friends to reconnect to Jesus the Vine. Sometimes we simply need to know that “God sees, He knows and He has this.”
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)