The new norm these days is being house-bound and most people are starting to crawl up the walls in frustration. For many people the struggle centres around being in isolation with their families.
Frustrated husbands and wives are taking to twitter to vent their irritation. Other families in a desperate attempt to retain their sanity have taken to sharing on facebook, Zoom and tik-tok, a short form video sharing platform. Anything to keep from a lockdown induced nervous breakdown.
As amusing as all this is, the more sombre aspect of being in lockdown is being locked down alone. For many people lockdown isolation is a real thing and is now the new reality many people live with every day.
But even if you are in lockdown with your loved ones you may find yourself feeling isolated from your friends, peers, work colleagues or classmates. This sense of isolation can weigh heavily on us and have an adverse effect on our mental and emotional health. We have been created as social beings. We were not designed to be alone.
So, does the Bible give us any tips for dealing with isolation? Are there stories in the Bible where people face moments of isolation, either by themselves or with a handful of other people? And if so, then how did they manage to survive?
Let’s look at three short stories from the Bible and three simple tips that these stories provide for us about dealing with isolation.
The first story is of Jesus in the wilderness. Matthew 4 describes how Jesus went into the wilderness where He fasted for 40 days. After this period of fasting Satan came to Him to tempt Him.
While Satan’s temptations were varied Jesus’ response to them all was the same. Alone in the wilderness, cut off from everyone He knew and loved, pressed down by temptation, Jesus clung to the word of God.
If you’re struggling in isolation turn to the word of God. In it you will find promises to encourage you. Like in Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) where Jesus says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. The Bible can help you keep your sanity when everything else seems to be falling apart.
The second story is of the apostle Paul who was imprisoned in Rome, under house arrest. Paul was an itinerant preacher and had travelled extensively. Staying in once place under house arrest would have been the perfect formula to drive him crazy but he didn’t go crazy.
Paul wrote letter after letter to friends and believers all around the world. His prison epistles, as they are called, are filled with encouragement, counsel and love. If you’re stuck in isolation take a minute to reach out to someone else.
It could be a phone call, text message or a simple email but reaching out to encourage someone else will do you a world of good, especially if you’re feeling discouraged and tempted to despair.
Proverbs 11:25 tells us that, “The generous soul will be made rich: and he who waters will also be watered himself”. When we reach out and bless someone else, we will find that we reap the greatest blessing.
Finally let’s look at King David. In David’s case he wasn’t really alone. King Saul was hunting for him and he was living in the wilderness, always on the run.
It was a type of lockdown where he couldn’t venture out into society and he always had to watch his back for fear of being caught. During his time in the wilderness, running for his life, David composed some of the most beautiful Psalms in the Bible.
Many of David’s Psalms were written out in the form of prayer to God. This can be another helpful way to deal with isolation. Praying and journaling. For some of us writing out our thoughts and feelings can help us work through them more effectively.
Like David, our journaling can take the form of conversations to God. On the other hand, for some of us, talking might be more helpful than writing.
In that case, talking to God through prayer can give us a tremendous amount of peace and certainty. In Jeremiah 33:3 God says, “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know”.
During this time of uncertainty and change remember to reach out to Jesus. He is there waiting to connect with you through prayer, waiting to talk to you through His word and waiting to engage you in service to others.
If you’d like to know more about prayer and Bible Study as well as how you can connect with an online prayer group in your area click below: