I will be doing a personal bible study in September reading through all of the Psalms. It will involve not just reading the Psalms(all 150), but also a daily devotional and verses from all over the bible that pertain to the subjects and topics in the Psalms read that day. I am also looking forward to doing this bible study along with some other people online. I have to do the reading myself, and then answer the prompts that everyone else in the group is answering too. Even if we are in different time zones, I will be able to read what they wrote and have a discussion over the same biblical content that I had read. It is not a perfect system, but I want to make it work for all of us involved.
I miss getting together in a small group regularly to discuss the same reading. It is not so much the readings that I miss, but the fellowship. Although our community never truly quarantined, many people took their precautions by doing it anyways. There are some people I have not been able to see in person that I used to see every week. There were people I wanted to invite to the next study or group activity, but we put a hold on every plan that we had. I was hoping to see more of my relatives this summer, but everything was all put on hold.
Now, several things have been opening back up, and even new businesses and activities have emerged. Yet, some people I know are still in quarantine, even if they have been given permission to move about their own communities. I know several people who have been told by their doctors that they had to continue to stay at home, but I wonder what is stopping everyone else? Have they just grown accustomed in a short amount of time to missing out on people? Have they accepted that lifestyle? Were they secretly introverts who were relieved when they were told to socially distance themselves?
I am not trying to make fun of people. I really am concerned, especially for my Christian brothers and sisters, who have been living in fear for so long. It is like they have no hope, even though hope is preached throughout Scripture. They have decided keeping themselves locked away from everyone else is more important than living for the Lord. Here is a verse that I have highlighted in my online Bible and underlined in my physical Bible:
Psalm 118:4-6 Holman Christian Standard Bible 4 Let those who fear the Lord say, “His faithful love endures forever.”
5 I called to the Lord in distress; the Lord answered me and put me in a spacious place.[a] 6 The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 7 The Lord is my helper, Therefore, I will look in triumph on those who hate me.
Don't get me wrong. I am not a care-free person by any means. I almost never throw caution to the wind. I wear sunblock every day. Our pantry is full of canned and dried goods, and we have an abundance of food in our freezers. If I wear a jacket, the pockets probably contain a pair of warm gloves. But, I still stand on the promise that I must only fear the Lord. He is for me, not against me. I will not be afraid. Although bad things could happen to me (from my own doing, even), I know that I am a child of God and He is for me. I must live, rejoicing in every day that He allows me, and let other people know that they can rejoice too. Is it time for you to step out and rejoice in His love too?