I need my fellow Crownie

The Bible often makes a metaphorical correlation between sheep and Christians. When researching sheep you quickly discover one of their prime defensive mechanisms against predators is flocking together (herding). They feel safer and protected amongst the herd. They gather their strength in numbers.
    
    As Christians I believe this is something we have to remember. Staying connected with our church family, times of encouragement in seeing others, going to church, phone calls, small groups, still reaching out is imperative. It is way easier for the enemy to pick off an isolated sheep than one surrounded in numbers.     
    There are some of our Crownies who need to be somewhat isolated due to health risk, and as such we need to make extra effort to reach out to those in isolation.  There is also times where those in that isolation will reach out with a call, message or email to say “I’m in need” and in those moments or exchanges take time, make time and spend time loving one another.  For most of us being a Crownie means being a “hugger”. It’s crazy to think that one huge need for our psychological health is to simply be hugged but now the prevailing thought of a hug can bring fear.
 
    In our culture, we see the force to separate people. Unfortunately this is producing results that will have implications for years to come. Here is a summary from a research study from the International Journal of Medicine, published June 30, 2020. (https://academic.oup.com/…/doi/10.1093/qjmed/hcaa202/5857612)
“Multiple lines of evidence indicate that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has profound psychological and social effects. The psychological sequelae of the pandemic will probably persist for months and years to come. Studies indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic is associated with distress, anxiety, fear of contagion, depression and insomnia in the general population and among healthcare professionals. Social isolation, anxiety, fear of contagion, uncertainty, chronic stress and economic difficulties may lead to the development or exacerbation of depressive, anxiety, substance use and other psychiatric disorders in vulnerable populations including individuals with pre-existing psychiatric disorders and people who reside in high COVID-19 prevalence areas. Stress-related psychiatric conditions including mood and substance use disorders are associated with suicidal behavior. COVID-19 survivors may also be at elevated suicide risk. The COVID-19 crisis may increase suicide rates during and after the pandemic. Mental health consequences of the COVID-19 crisis including suicidal behavior are likely to be present for a long time and peak later than the actual pandemic. To reduce suicides during the COVID-19 crisis, it is imperative to decrease stress, anxiety, fears and loneliness in the general population. There should be traditional and social media campaigns to promote mental health and reduce distress. Active outreach is necessary, especially for people with a history of psychiatric disorders, COVID-19 survivors and older adults. Research studies are needed of how mental health consequences can be mitigated during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
 
These thoughts made me reflect on this verse:
   
1 Peter 5:6-8
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
 
    Thanks be to God, Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior has already conquered Satan, sickness, and death when he gave his life for man kind. The prophet Isaiah wrote about this, “He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all…”
 
    The Solution to our crisis is found in Christ. The Peace to persist is found in Christ. The faith to endure is founded in Christ. And the grace we need to be saved was purchased with His blood on the Cross and is still available for those who call upon him.
 
One final verse to remember:
 
Romans 8:37 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

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