When I think about the last several months, seeking a new normal and engaging more in-person, there have been a lot of awkward moments on my part. Do I wear a mask in this situation? Are people thinking I’m one of those weirdos who is overly cautious? Why do I care so much about what others think? Insert anxious thoughts of your own choosing here.
I’ve mostly been alone during daylight hours, now that my kids have been back to in-person school (thank you, Lord!). It went from not being able to think to swimming in my thoughts, leading to all sorts of conclusions that are not necessarily true.
Any other overthinkers out there? Who are my friends now? We haven’t hung out with that family during the whole pandemic. Do we hang out inside now that most of us are vaccinated? What about the kids? Is it safe for my kids to go to church? How do we re-engage with the church community as a family?
I’m starting to realize that over-analyzing everything isn’t helpful. I need to tend to my thoughts carefully, observing what I know to be true, listening to the One True Voice. I can take the next step, even if I feel totally awkward and wobbly. I can find the courage to get back into in-person community and church life, which is so vital.
We need people. We need church people around us to support us, encourage us and help us step into all we can be in Christ. Sometimes we need to be reminded of who we are (and whose we are), because we’ve lost the plot. Other times, we are the ones to do the reminding for others.
Bottom line, we aren’t meant to go it alone, figuratively and literally. We also have a Father who is drawing us close, giving us exactly what we need, including each other.
Ezekiel 34:11-16a says
“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel.
I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak...”
The Lord seeks us out, draws us together, binds up our wounds, feeds us spiritually, gives us a good view and gives us rest. May we lean on the Lord and lean on each other, as we walk out the days of our lives.