Thought for the month – April 2020

Come to me

Lockdown. Social distancing. 2m apart. Self-isolation. Pandemic. Stay at home. And above all, Coronavirus. These are the words and phrases that seem to dominate our lives now, and there is literally nothing else on the news at all! In the space of only a few months, what started as an outbreak in a distant land (China), in a city most of us had never heard of (Wuhan), has spread rapidly throughout much of the world’s population, taking thousands of lives in the process.

Although it is sad for those who have lost loved ones to the virus, what has affected all of us is the dramatic changes to our daily lives, whether we are working; in education; or retirement. ‘Stay at home’ is the new mantra and for good reason, but even if we are virus free, we are all surely affected by the need to keep our distance from each other. Even if we do venture out for our daily dose of fresh air; exercise; or shopping, we can’t get close; or share the same air; and must abide by one-way systems in the supermarkets (Ikea had it right all along!).

We surely feel it – our intrinsic need for human contact – and that which we’ve taken for granted is missed by all of us to some degree. These social restrictions have reached the YPBC Camp Family too, and sadly we had to cancel the Camp rally a few weeks ago. We miss each other, but many are finding innovative ways of keeping in touch, and a wave of appreciation (whether for the NHS, key workers, the natural environment etc.) is spreading almost as quickly as the virus itself.

The Christian can draw some comfort from the fact that their life is not limited to human contact (as important as that is), but has responded to their intrinsic need for spiritual contact – contact with God. Thankfully we don’t have to stay 2m away from God, and we don’t have to limit our time with Him to only once a day! His gracious invitation to all of us surely resonates powerfully in our current times: ‘come to me that you may have life’ John 5v40; ‘whoever comes to me shall never hunger / thirst’ John 6v35; ‘come to me… I will never cast out John 6v37; ‘come to me and drink’ John 7v37.

Whatever the circumstances we are faced with individually or collectively, and they are challenging, let the Christian draw encouragement from their closeness with the Lord, and if this is new to you then why not respond to the divine invitation – perhaps for the first time – and come to Him. We don’t need to invent a vaccine for the sin that separates us from God – the remedy is already there! ‘For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God’ 1 Peter 3v18

Draw me close to the cross
To the place of Your love,
To the place where You poured out Your mercy;
Where the river of life
That flows from Your wounded side
Brings refreshing to those who draw near.
Draw me close to Your throne
Where Your majesty is shown,
Where the crown of my life I lay down.
Draw me close to Your side,
Where my heart is satisfied,
Draw me close to You, Lord,
Draw me close.

Jon Bustard
Young Christians’ Camp Leader