Chimers, Haters, and Nay-Sayers

Is COVID-19  a life or death crisis?  A little perspective here might be nice for all of us.  In your neck of the woods, you may not know anyone who is infected or in an urgent care condition from this virus.  This does not mean that others around the block, in another state, or around the world are not facing serious life and death battles with their health.  So, we all have a choice to make when we are not the ones facing these issues.  Do we pretend that all the news reports are fake news?  Do we denigrate the leaders we don’t like because we think their communication is just constant fear-mongering babble?  Do we offer an opinion on issues when we can’t possibly see the larger picture, or all the details that are prompting all these local, state, and national reactions to this war with … aren’t you tired of hearing it yet… COVID-19?

So, here’s the thing.

I read an article yesterday about a Hollywood celebrity who Tweeted about her support for  how our President is handling the crisis in our country.  Immediately she was ridiculed by the other celebrities and followers on her account since not many folks in that community support anything President Trump does.  But I loved her response:

“You can tell a lot about people who belittle you for your views and beliefs, when u aren’t even TALKING TO THEM!” the “Look Who’s Talking” actress wrote. “My bestie and I call these people CHIMERS ..they ALWAYS chime in when u are speaking to someone else.”

Chimers

So, yes, I got the word “Chimers” from Kirsti Alley’s tweet, because it resonated with me.  A lot of people do a lot of “chiming in” today.  Most of it unsolicited, most of it negative, most of it hurtful, most of it we are all better off without.  I have to admit that in my past, I have probably chimed in way too much, with very little impact other than making some people royally ticked off.  Today I just blog.  I am happy to have a voice when asked, but I try really hard to not rock on other people’s opinions or posts or ideas, if I can help it.  Where’s the gain in that anyway?

Haters

You’ve heard the phrase, “Haters are just gonna hate, and judgers are gonna judge!”  And largely today this is true.  I live in Denton county, in Texas where the local authorities have just issued a “shelter in place” restriction.  But they did it in such a way that caused me huge concern about our society as a whole.  I’m reminded of Greg Gutfeld, who has written a great article you may want to check out titled “The Prison of Two Ideas.”

Yesterday, my impression of what  the Judge in Denton county and Mayor of the city of Denton said was (my paraphrase-not a direct quote):

“You will follow this new ordinance and stay in your homes, and not leave for anything except essential services or you are just selfishly putting everyone you engage at risk of infection and death.”

So look.  I hate this virus.  I hate that people in Denton County are suffering, and may die, just like others around our nation and the world, I hate it.  But don’t make me the culprit of all the death in the world, or even someone in the city of Denton, because I went outside and spoke with my neighbor yesterday.  Please don’t call me selfish, because I would like some normalcy in my life.  That’s just absurd.

This kind of hate-mongering, name-calling, illogical over-reaction to COVID-19 is the very reason why people are wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, or keep their mortgage up, or buy new clothes for the kids in the fall when they do go back to school.  Come on people, a little perspective ok?

Nay-Sayers

Right about now, someone reading this might say, “Dude, you sound a lot like a Chimer and a Hater about now.”  Sorry if you think that, it wasn’t my intention.  So, let me try one more time to help you with what I’m trying to say.

There were those who believed in God a long time ago who thought they knew more about spiritual matters than anyone else on earth.  God in fact had chosen them among all other nations of the earth to be His People.  Yet, when God showed up in the flesh, to bring salvation not just to them, but to all people, they became such intense nay-sayers that they plotted to have a Roman Governor of Judea hang Him on a cross.  “You cannot possibly be our Messiah!”  “You claim equality with Yahweh?  Blasphemy!”  “You break the very laws God gave us to live by, what Messiah would teach people to do that?!”

For thousands of years now, people have been suggesting Jesus was a good man, a good teacher, but certainly not God, and definitely not the Savior of the world.

Well, guess what. That is a personal choice that every individual is given the privilege of deciding for themselves.  Chimers, haters, and nay-sayers are always going to look at me and say, “how can you possibly believe that rubbish?”  Yet, I want to live my life in such a way that when crisis comes to town, something like say, COVID-19… that those folks will see my faith as Rock solid, not filled with fear or uncertainty.  I want my speech to be filled with loving words of hope.  I want everyone who knows me to know I believe with absolute certainty that God is in Control, Jesus is who He claims to be, and nothing since the beginning of time has taken Him by surprise.

Let’s not be a chimer, hater, or nay-sayer.

Instead, let’s act like true Christ-followers and give these folks something to think about, something to hope in, something to believe in that will see them through dark days of doubt and confusion.

Jesus is the Rock.  Jesus is in Control.  He holds it all, including you, right in His hands.

 

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Surrender, Submission, Adoration

I sat here today reviewing my week of writing.  All of these posts remind me that I’m perhaps more like the prophet Jeremiah than Jerry Seinfeld whose comedy is based in truth but makes us all laugh our heads off at it anyway.

I wanted to take a lighter look at our current circumstances and found this entertaining meme of FaceBook.

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It is important to be able to keep laughing, find the humor in our circumstances, and let off some of that pent up depression.

How do we do that?

Surrender indicates an end to the resistance of an enemy or opponent, and coming under the enemy or opponent’s authority.  When panic and paranoia result in fear the enemy of God, who is our enemy, gains authority over us.  This enemy doesn’t stop until the fear has totally ruined a life, resulting minimally in a debilitated human existence or death.  Depending on which translation of the Bible you read, the command “Fear not!” or “Do not be afraid!” is found between 105 to 365 times.  Some will see the discrepancy of these numbers to negate the basic message.  However, if God repeated it only a few times, say 5 times in the whole of Scripture, would it still not be God’s Authoritative  voice commanding  His children to not be afraid?  So when we are afraid, are we not fighting against God’s providential care and concern?  Listening to God’s enemy who wants us to be afraid, means we are surrendering to that fear infused whispering from the father of lies himself.

God’s word says:

Psalm 23:4 –
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Submission is often used as a synonym for surrender.  Usually this is derived from context, as when a person might be “forced into submission.”  However, it seems to me that surrender is about a person thinking they have no other choice; while submission is almost all about choice.  When a persons submits, rather than continuing to resist the enemy’s whispering temptation to fear, they simply quit struggling, they give up.  In becoming so passive about God’s command, they may not be afraid, but they are also not pursuing the fight to stay alert, and listen to God’s sole authoritative word for direction.

God’s word says:

James 4:7
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

What of “Adoration” then?

The definition of this action is perhaps best found in its synonyms:  love, devotion, care, affection, admiration, worship, glorify, praise, extol, laud, magnify, etc.

When we read the scriptures from the beginning to the end, the whole Bible is filled with the wonderful promises of a Creator who loves human beings as His highest creation.  We know from the Creator’s revealed word, that He only wants the best for us.  We also discover in these same Scriptures how God’s enemy seeks to destroy us, simply because we are God’s highest creation.  All the promises of God are based in the simplicity of saying “yes” to God’s voice of authority, and saying “no” to the enemy’s temptations or attacks to keep us from glorifying God.

So consider this word from God, spoken through the Apostle Paul:

2 Corinthians 1:20
For as many as are the promises of God, in Him (JESUS) they are yes; therefore also though Him (JESUS) is our Amen to the glory of God through us.

If God says He will act in a certain way, the promise of this action is “YES” in Jesus.  When a person steps over the line of faith into saving faith provided in Jesus, then all of God’s promises are enacted and empowered through His Son – Jesus.  God says He alone has the power to save, to create, to uphold, to heal, to direct, and to sustain us.

  • God does not force us into surrender.
  • God does not belittle us into submission.
  • God gives us choice to serve Him in completely devoted adoration.

In choosing to serve God alone, to worship God alone, to listen to God’s authoritative voice as the sole authority for life, in our crazy mixed up world, we hear “Yes” in the loving voice of our Savior.

1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Today, choose life.  Do not surrender to the father of lies and become fearful.  Do not surrender to the rantings on social media, or the talking heads breeding doom and gloom on the television.  Do not submit by becoming an impassive voice, thinking it is better just to quit resisting.

Today, choose life.  Choose to live a life of adoration for the ONE who can deliver us from this unseen enemy called COVID-19.

Live in humility before the Creator of all things… casting all your worries and fears on Jesus … because “He cares for YOU!”

Loving God doesn’t have to mean giving up a sense of humor either.

Choose life.  Find something to laugh at today.

Missing You

Since the time I was a teenager out in West Texas, I’ve followed basketball, football, and golf.  I have favorite teams or players like many of you do.  You may be into soccer, or bowling, opera, theater, going to movies or concerts.  During this time of world-wide crisis we have all been told to just stay home.  I have no problem with this directive.  In spite of whatever inconvenience this may impose, radical times call for radical measures.

I have to say it though, I don’t miss watching the NCAA tournament, my favorite golfers playing on the grass so green, or spring training games for my baseball team, the Texas Rangers.  This reality was quite an eye-opening experience for me, since I’ve been athletic all my life.  Yet, I still don’t miss it.

I don’t miss going out to a movie.  I certainly don’t miss Hollywood’s elite telling me how stupid I am for supporting our President.  That whole make-believe industry holds no sway over me these days.  I just don’t miss it.

“Missing you” is reserved for those of my personal family I haven’t seen in awhile, or those men and women who are part of the two Bible study times I lead.  In the incomparable words of Lowman Pauling, and Ralph Bass, and their 1971 hit, my blog today is “Dedicated to the One I Love.”  I love and miss my friends from church.  These are the folks I am connected to.  One thing we all cannot afford to do is lose the connection with our friends and family… just because we are adhering to the “stay home” element required by all of us at this time.

I remember when the telephone on the table was connected by wire to a plug on the wall.  You picked up the phone, you got a dial tone, then dialed the number of a friend and waited.  Waited until the friend answered, or until a message machine guided you to “leave a message.”  We still have the “leave a message” option on our cell phones today.  But there is so much more you can do with your cell phone than just calling someone.  Today we can “text” someone a message, or Skype or FaceTime with each other like a video conference call.

If you can send or receive an email from your mobile device, then more than likely you can also send and receive still image pictures, as well as short video clips.  All of these activities can serve to preserve the emotional and spiritual connections between people who love each other.

In addition to your cell phone, there is always the opportunity to practice a lost art: writing cards or letters to those we love.

Now think on these words of Jesus..

John 13:35
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Missing my friends should not paralyze me.  Just the opposite.  My missing people should stimulate me to be creative in the ways I try to reach out and “touch” people “virtually.”  That has been my goal for the last few days of writing these blogs.  We are all in the same boat of danger from this virus.  The phrase used by scientists is “flatten the curve of the pandemic”; that just means slowing the spread of infection.  The number one way you and I can help is “social distancing.” The current thought is to not be in a group larger than 10-15 people.  One of the greatest privileges of our time in history, is using technology to stay connected while not in the same physical space or location.

The old adage is true, and this current disruption to every facet of our lives proves it to be true:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

My version is:  I’m Missing You.

Just how serious should we take all this?  You may or may not know these statistics:

As of 8:53pm March 17th (last night), according to NPR’s Elena Renken and Daniel Wood, 6353 people in the USA have tested positive for COVID-19.  Of this number, 108 have died from complications derived from the virus.

In this same report, in Texas, 110 have tested positive as infected, and 1 person has died.

That is serious enough for me.  I want to help. I want to be actively part of the solution. So I will keep on missing you.  As more time passes before we can gather again without fearing the unknown of this virus, I will miss you more and more.

Missing you will inspire me to write more articles for this blog.  I will do my best to stay current and relevant to the things that concern us all.  The Minister of Senior Adults in our church emphasized the importance of these key activities you can do at this time:

HERE IS MY REQUEST:

  • Pray for God to stop this virus.
  • Pray for families to use this time to re-connect with each other and to God
  • Protect yourself
  • Pray for healing for those infected

I guess I just want to add my two-cents worth, as you miss those whom you call “friends” try to connect with them through your phone, by email, by text, or some means that you feel comfortable with.

While we wait, and trust in God, stay connected, and…

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing.

 

 

 

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Purposes

I’ve lived for years in solitude.  My vocational choices led me to spend time among people occasionally, but the bulk of my work, both secular and in ministry, was alone in an office.  While some of those jobs also challenged me to work with several people in the office, the most number of people I was around on a daily basis was 8-10.  Even there I spent every day on the phone, or planning, or writing proposals or sermons or lessons, in what sometimes felt like solitary confinement.  In many different ways, I’m as prepared as I ever could be, for social distancing.

While in the throes of this COVID-19 chaos, we’re being told to go home, stay home, and live in a secluded fashion with the purpose of stemming the flow of the virus to other people, including ourselves.  Many people who don’t deal well with confinement, will see this time alone as pure torture, agony, or undue suffering.  In fact, not being alone, and not being still long enough to think rationally and logically about anything is an ancient problem, not a new 21st-Century challenge.

The Psalmist writes how God is the refuge of His people in Psalm 46.  But I especially have always looked to verse 10 for solace.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Hebrew text indicates this word means to sink, or relax.

Sink into what?  Relax, are you kidding me?  No really, this is exactly God’s purpose for what we need most – right this minute.  We need to know, not just intellectually understand or comprehend, but really get what God expects from us, indeed commands us. The command of God is total surrender to Him as the LORD – in control, having all authority, and present in our world today.  More and more, activities people around the world would normally flock to have either been postponed to a later date, or cancelled completely.  This could be easily construed as the LORD of heaven on purpose saying to all of humanity, “You’ve been worshiping at pagan places filled with idols.  I will help you be still, and remember who I AM, by using this virus to get your mind off of sports, movie theaters, works of art, concerts, playoffs, or any other venue-oriented entertainment escape.”

One of the hardest things for many people I’ve known is the concept of just “being still” for more than 10 seconds.  Add to not knowing how to be still, the idea of being cooped up with children, or spouses, or grandparents who all would drive you crazy when there was no virus, and this command of God might seem impossible to achieve.

Could God’s purpose for this virus really be that we need to stop worshiping other things and just be still?  Well, being still is only half this equation.  Because if you are capable of being still, that alone does not ensure you will focus where you need to focus, on the LORD of heaven.  After all, the being still part is really just to create a space in your world where you can experience Truth.

“… and know that I am God.”

Our minds and our hearts have in recent years become numbingly indifferent to the nature and character of God.  I really do believe it is time for a reset for us.  Why?  Think about the last several years of turmoil in our United States government.  Now filter everything you’ve seen, read, or heard on television, radio, or online apps, and read these words:

2 Timothy 3:1-5
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Do these descriptions essentially fit to form a fairly accurate description of life in the USA and other places around the world today?  Does Paul really have a vision of life in the 21st-century?  Men and women of power and means, blatantly denying the existence of God, must really be taxing to the LORD of creation, don’t you think?

It doesn’t take much understanding to realize we have no control whatsoever over this virus.  The leaders of our world, the scientists, the manufacturers of the health products we need, all are working around the clock to solve a currently unsolvable problem. The virus will run its course. And we do not yet know the extent of the damage, or where or how it will all end.  We’re in the throes.

Isn’t it time to just stop?  Stop being scared?  Stop listening to the talking heads on TV telling us what to think and how to feel?  Isn’t it time to just BE STILL, AND KNOW that the One who created us, also has intended purposes for this event that we can’t possibly know or understand?

When was the last time you picked up your Bible to give you hope and clarity, rather than tuning into Talk Radio, or some 24 hour news station on the television?  If you are a true Christ-follower, you are being watched right now, whether you know it or not.  In days of calamity and chaos, even the ungodly are brought to a place where they must recognize they are not in control.  God is.  Do you portray this truth in how you are dealing with COVID-19?

Right now, are you modeling for your neighbor who is spiritually far from God, the truth that God is not far from any one of us?  Are you criticizing everything and everyone, or contributing a solution by inviting God to intervene in our world with healing?  The true Christ-follower knows how to “be still” and in prayerful worship, trust God for the outcome.

Are you a lover of self, money, or power?  Have you become boastful, arrogant, ungrateful, and unholy? Are you like those holding onto a “form of godliness” all the timing denying the power of the Creator to control this virus?

Be still. Know that I AM is still God.

Keep saying it.  Allow you mind to constantly repeat:

I am in God’s care.
He loves me more than I love myself.
Jesus gave Himself for me so that I might know the truth of God’s love.
I am who He says I am, and He says I am His child.
He is in Control.
He has absolute Authority over my life.
And He is right here with me… whatever may come.
His name is Jesus.

And I will not face death, until all my days are done, so I will be still, and know that God is..

 

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Mortality

This is going to be a very interesting few weeks ahead.  My prayer is that this post brings you hope.  But you might want to read it carefully…

The one fear plaguing mankind since the very beginning is the reality and certainty of death.  Those without hope, those without love, those blind to the eternal nature of the human spirit, are most possessed and effected by the ultimate eventuality of their own death.  The natural reaction to something like COVID-19 then, is for a person in this lost and hopeless condition is to panic, act illogically, and do whatever they can to find a way to increase their own ability to survive.

What a shame.  What a loss of time.  What a sad, sad, testament to a life which was designed for exactly the opposite result.

I don’t know when you last spent much time reading Psalm 139, but right about now would be a great time to dust off the old Bible sitting on the shelf, near all those self-help, nonsense works, that haven’t made a difference, and do a little reading and thinking.  Stay with me here, I’m not just making this stuff up.  We’ll go slowly, so you can soak some truth into that truth-starved soul and mind that might be upset about what is happening in our world.

Psalm 139:1-2
O LORD, You have searched me and know me.  You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar.

So, just on the face of it, God sees exactly where you are right now.  He knows the condition of your body, and He knows how panicked you are, and how hopeless you feel.  He knows what you’ve been doing, and how you’ve reacted to this virus scare.

Psalm 139:3-4
You scrutinize my path, and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.  Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it all.

The Psalmist doesn’t want us to just skate by those first two verses, but spends a little more time detailing the exhaustive nature of God’s understanding and awareness of our condition, our thought patterns, and daily routines.  He knows ALL our ways.

Psalm 139:5-6
You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain it.

Here the thought shifts to gaining a little perspective of God’s control on matters of my life and yours, by understanding God’s presence all around us, all the time.  It’s mind-boggling for sure, but that doesn’t negate the truth of it.

Psalm 139:7-10
Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.  If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lay hold of me.

Stop here a minute.  Don’t just read the words.  Re-read them until the truth of what is stated sinks in.  There is no place in this universe where you can go to hide from, escape from, or avoid God’s touch.  His hand will lay hold of you, when it is time.

Psalm 139:11-12
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night. Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day.  Darkness and light are alike to You.

These are dark days for many people around the world.  The virus is continuing to spread, with deadly results for some, and debilitating effects for others.  Yet there is nothing hidden or dark or unknown about this virus to God.  He sees it all with absolute clarity.

Psalm 139:13-15
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Knowing that we are created, and knowing there is a Creator, also serves to give us perspective on our existence.  Knowing and understanding the natural human experience of procreation, that I am a product of God’s will through the efforts of human love, should also bring some basic assurance of God’s awareness of not just my being but also my plot in life.  God knows when you took your first breath, your first step, spoke your first word, had your heart broken for the first time.  God knows because He is deeply invested in you.  He made you in your mother’s womb.

Now comes the part I’ve anticipated writing about, so don’t miss this next part!

Psalm 139:16
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.

Carefully read that again.

What does it mean?  I believe that no one will die out of the sight of God, or at a time different than that which God chooses.

Yes, I really believe this, based on Psalm 139:16.  But it wasn’t just David, the Psalmist who spoke this truth.  The Author of Truth, the One who called Himself, the Truth, also said:

Matthew 6:27
And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?

And there it is.  We don’t die out of God’s timing, awareness, or plan for us.  All our days are written, the details of each day, hour and minute, in God’s own book.  He knows us better than we even know ourselves, because He knows when we will finally see Him face to face.

This virus has no power except that given to it by God, not man.  If it is man-made, then God allowed this for some purpose we don’t know and can’t know or see.  If the virus is an un-natural mutation of another strain of the flu, then that too didn’t escape God’s notice as if done in darkness.  He knew when it happened, allowed it, and has a purpose for allowing it within His sovereign will for mankind.

But make no mistake here.  COVID-19 is limited by God’s own all-powerful control.  No more will get sick than God allows.  No more will die, than is predetermined by God’s plan. Since neither you nor I can do anything to alter this fact, then maybe this knowledge will help us alter our own concerns about what is happening around us.

I am in God’s care.
He loves me more than I love myself.
Jesus gave Himself for me so that I might know the truth of God’s love.
I am who He says I am, and He says I am His child.
He is in Control.
He has absolute Authority over my life.
And He is right here with me… whatever may come.

And I will not face death, until all my days are done.

Snoopy said to Charlie Brown one day, “We’re all going to die someday.”

Charlie Brown’s response bears remembering:

“But, not today.”

 

 

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You Can’t See This

Today’s headlines along with subtitles:

  • Rewriting History” – China reframes coronavirus narrative, touting Xi’s successes despite body count, global spread
  • Troubling Results” – Nursing home sees nearly 50 employees test positive for virus
  • Rocket Attack” – New barrage hits base housing US troops in Iraq
  • Containing Coronavirus?” – Why have these countries got so few, or no, COVID-19 cases?
  • Helping Hand” – Here’s how to soothe rough, cracked fingers from overwashing

 

The truth is, without a microscope, you can’t see the “bug” causing disruption around the globe.  But it’s there, … and here, … and seemingly everywhere.  The ubiquitous nature of this ugly “bug” is disconcerting at best, and at its worst frighteningly paralyzing bringing death to some.

corona virus

Now I would ask you, even as you read these words:

“Is God really in Control?  Is He in control of even this virus? Does HE know what it looks like?  Can He control how much farther this thing spreads or how many more die?”

It is exactly at times like these that our faith in Jesus Christ, as LORD of all, is so important.

The CDC, and other health organizations have given us specific kinds of activities to help mitigate getting this virus in the first place.  We’re told to wash our hands regularly, get tested if we feel sick, and create social distance from others who might at this moment be contagious.  All these are good, and are not “should-do” but “must-do” things we CAN control in our daily lives.

That said, how do you deal with the growing emotional unease and irrational fear that has permeated almost every town and village around the globe?  I’m not saying the virus isn’t dangerous.  If only one person had died from this it would be classified as dangerous.  What makes the situation so bad is the unseen nature of the germ.

It reminds me of a story out of the Old Testament.

In 2 Kings 6, Elisha is being pursued by the king of Aram with a huge army of horses and chariots encircling the city of Dothan.  Elisha and his servant were completely surrounded and it was only a matter of time before the king would capture, then kill them.  The servant is afraid and asks Elisha, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”

Elisha’s answer in this story holds an ancient truth:

Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.
[2 Kings 6:16]

What we need to remember and focus on right here, right now, March 14, 2020 is this;

you can’t see it – but God is STILL in Control.

Elisha prayed these words,

“O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” [2 Kings 6:17]

And God did.  God opened the servant’s eyes to unseen spiritual forces under direct command of the LORD of the Hosts of Heaven.  Elisha’s servant saw the whole mountain full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

God was protecting Elisha and Elisha’s servant the whole time.

Can you even imagine the scene?  Thousands upon thousands of holy angels preventing the sudden demise of God’s prophet, is an awe-filled thought.

I don’t pretend COVID-19 does not exist.  I’m not trivializing the danger people across the world are in from this agent of sickness and death.

In the same way, I’m also not trivializing what God can do to solve this problem that mankind will never be able to do.

From His throne in heaven, God is able to speak a holy word of healing, and this virus could be stopped in a single moment.

The caveat, what we don’t know, is God’s purpose for first allowing the virus to exist, or second, what design and plan God has for its existence that will bring God glory.

We don’t know, and we can’t know.  We can only react to what is happening right around us, in real time, right now.

So may I offer a couple of suggestions?

First, men and women of God, true Christ-followers will not panic or become fearful, or act in irrational or illogical ways, because they KNOW like Elisha knew, that God is in Control.

Second, men and women of God, true Christ-followers will seek God’s face and favor, asking Him to intervene once again in the lives of humans all round the world, and maybe even someone you know, who needs His healing and salvation from this virus today.

Third, men and women of God, true Christ-followers, will seek God’s wisdom in these days of uncertainty, and live out a life of faith in ways that bring the God in Control, all the glory He deserves.

I believe God is in Control.
I am praying now for each of you and your families protection by the hosts of heaven.
I am praying for our world that fewer still will die, or be exposed to this virus.
I am praying for rational responses from people all over the world, and for God to give them courage, and not fear, to face whatever is in their lives this moment.

What are you praying for?

 

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