Quarantine was the best thing to ever happen to me. In 2009 I spent ten days in quarantine. I was part of a mission team going from Hong Kong to India, and we had a person on our team come down with the bird flu. So instead of ministering to kids, our days were spent waking up, watching local Indian television, doing a lap or two around the room, and then lying in bed staring at the ceiling trying to do mental exercises. Occasionally we’d have food deliveries from local Indian restaurants which ended up being the highlight of our days.
It’s funny when you are stuck in a room for ten days, the things that used to be distractions in life lose their appeal. I loved television, but in that room I could not stand watching another tv show by the third day. I was a social media junky (back then only Facebook and MySpace existed), but after several days I just ran out of people to follow. All these things that had been distractions for my devotional life were suddenly losing their power, and suddenly I was drawn all the more towards reading my Bible. And in that room for the first time, I read through a book of the Bible, and then a second one, and then I began to explore the Old Testament books. And then I also began to pray. Small doses at a time; a minute here, and a minute there, and then 5 minutes, and then 10 minutes, and then I learned to just linger with the Lord in silence for hours. That hospital room was a turning point in my life, it was like God forced me to pause and spend ten days with him without any distractions.
My encouragement to you in this Covid season is this: don’t waste this time of isolation. Life will go back to normal and the busyness will return, and the distractions of life will again become your coping mechanism from a busy day. But perhaps, for now, we can turn off our Netflix (which we must be so tired of already), shut off the news feeds (it’s the same news every day), log off of our social media accounts (how many puppy videos can we watch), and find delight in being with God. Who knows, perhaps this quarantine is just what you needed.