Surviving Isolation: The Gospel is My Sanctuary

Deepa David   |   February 28, 2022 

After a beautiful vacation in Goa at the beginning of the year, we came back to Delhi and to the third wave. My first reaction was "Oh no, not again!" My mind raced back to the first two COVID waves and the after-effects of the coronavirus. The deadly news we received almost every day for a whole year back then still weighs heavy on my heart. And I wasn’t prepared for that again.

This January, while we settled into our routine of online school and ministry, I became infected with the Omicron variant. My husband promptly put me in isolation in a separate room in our house.

Staying inside a room by yourself for 7-10 days can do a number on your brain. I was weak, tired and exhausted most of the time. When I was not sleeping I was looking forward to the day getting over so that I could sleep again. The first couple of days were fine but by the third and fourth day, I started to worry.

Worry led to questions, questions led to fear, fear led to anxiety, anxiety led to insecurity and from there it was a downward spiral. I could not get a grip on my anxious, insecure thoughts. They kept spiralling out of control.

I would try to read the Bible and pray. I would try to distract myself with Netflix but I constantly felt like I was thrown into the deep end of the pool and I was drowning and gasping for air. Nothing seemed to help.

Until I came into the presence of God and fell facedown during my isolation and cried out in desperation. I told God that I was scared. My insecurity during the isolation was: What if my family is removed from me? What if I lose everything and everyone in my life? What if I am left all alone? Who would I be if I was not a wife, a mother, a sister or a daughter? I was shaken to my core in my innermost being. As I struggled with these questions about my very identity, I happened to read Psalm 73.

The psalmist was having his own struggles of watching the wicked prosper and struggling with envy. But it was only when he went into the sanctuary of God that his focus shifted. It moves from a horizontal perspective to a vertical perspective. In the same way, when I cried out to God in my insecurity He calmed my anxious insecure heart with these verses:

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26

In that isolation room, God reminded me that He was with me, that He held me by my hand, He would guide me and take me into glory. Not only did I not have to worry about my present, but I also did not have to worry about my future because He would take me into glory! Even if I lost every earthly relationship, every material possession, in the core of my being I knew that I was a child of God. That is who I am.

When I entered the sanctuary of God, my focus shifted. It moved from the horizontal to the vertical. The good news for me during that time (and any time for that matter) was that God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Christ is my inheritance, and He is all I need. My inheritance can never be Christ plus something (family, money, career, etc.). It is Christ Himself. And He is sufficient. He calmed my insecurity. I was not alone and I would never be alone. Christ, Himself is my portion forever. That good news, that gospel became my sanctuary.

As you navigate life’s most difficult moments, would you make Christ and His gospel your sanctuary for rest and hope?

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash
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Deepa David

Deepa David skillfully juggles her various roles as a wife and mother of three kids. Her biggest role is to support her husband in ministry, bringing stability into a demanding ministry environment. She has a heart for underprivileged women and has served with commercial sex workers and women in situations of exploitation and abuse. She is also theologically trained with an MA in Christianity from SAIACS. She is joyful all the time and never tires of hosting people in her home.

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