I went out in the car this morning. I hadn’t been out for a few days, as the last time we were out of milk one of my daughters “bagsied” the trip to the local shop. It felt oddly adventurous going out into the big wide world, even if it was only to buy bacon and bread!
I’m not the first person to notice how rapidly one’s world can shrink. Psychologists will tell you that if you have to stay in a hospital ward, or if you are imprisoned for any length of time, you very rapidly begin to regard the four walls around you as the limits of the world. You may miss other things, but they stop seeming real pretty quickly. We get “institutionalised”. Our perspective narrows.
At this time we are all, necessarily, physically constrained. We can’t go out, shake hands, celebrate as church or family. Many of us can’t go to work and many of our children can’t go to school. The four walls of our homes shrink around us and we may stop seeing beyond them.
Psalm 121 says “I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
We need to keep lifting our eyes up- lifting our eyes up to God, and lifting our eyes up to Jesus, who said
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12.32)
We should remember that, even as we suffer our crisis, the people of Kenya are still suffering locust swarms and the people of Syria are still beset by war. It is also true that, even as we suffer our crisis, new music is being composed, new lives begun, new stars being formed….the earth and all that is in it, and all that is beyond it, remains in God’s sovereign hand.
Although our lives are changing rapidly at present, God’s love is continually unfolding as that change takes place, His mercies are new every morning.
So I encourage you today to lift your eyes, beyond your garden gate, beyond the edges of the street you live on. Look up- with your eyes and your heart, to the one who loves you.