Is all the isolation driving you nuts? Or are you loving this quiet time where you don’t have to interact with so many people? It seems some people prefer community and others prefer isolation.

Which is better? Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor during World War II, encouraged both. He also warned against both.

We need quiet time. We need time to get away by ourselves—just us and God. We need the moments with no distractions to hear only God’s Word, pray, and be quiet. But too much time by ourselves can allow us to think some crazy things. Too much time without other people will rob us of the comfort, encouragement, and community God designed us to need.

So we also need time with other people. We need their love, encouragement, and correction sometimes too. We weren’t made to be islands, but to live in community with other people. But too much time with other people can lead us to think just like other people. Too much time in community can cause us to lose our bearings and start to think and believe things that aren’t good either.

So we need time alone to regroup, sit with God, and let him work on us. Do you see how that works? We need both isolation and community. God ministers to us alone, sends us into community, draw us in, and then sends us back out.

What do you need to do today? Maybe you’re lacking quiet time with God. Get it. You need it. Maybe you’re lacking social interaction. Social distancing makes that even more difficult. Pick up the phone. Video chat. Text your friends. You need that too.

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, [Jesus] said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’” (Mark 6:31).

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

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