Catch This

In the news this week, coronavirus. When humans as a community are faced with a new shared and daunting medical issue such as the one we’re faced with at the moment, it’s certainly a study in psychology. Our reactions run the gamut, from panic fueled by incomplete information, to ridicule of those who show concern, and finally ignoring news sources in the hopes that it will all just go away. Often fear is the character on stage with the most to say. Just because he has a lot of lines though, does that mean we have to pay attention to him? Yes, and no. Of course, God has something to say in the matter.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
ESV
It’s hoped when we are children we gain a healthy respect for the things we come into contact with that could do us harm, like fire. Some of that healthy respect is innate, some of it is learned through experience. It’s an example of the side of fear that is useful. So, we are to note fear, assess it for what it is, but focus on what God wants the primary motivators in our lives to be, that is, His “power and love and self-control.” In a time when information is easier than ever to come by, we should focus on being sources of accurate information people can use. Unfortunately, platforms like Facebook don’t always differentiate between accurate and inaccurate news. Sometimes the loudest and least helpful posts get the most likes. In times of greater stress like these, Christians more than ever should show themselves to part of the solution, not part of the problem.

When people get diseases like coronavirus and recover, their blood results will show the antibodies, or unique markers. Although I suppose none of us prefer to think of ourselves as viruses, wouldn’t we all want those we’ve come into contact with to be better for it? Wouldn’t we hope that somehow the markers they show reveal their exposure to God’s gifts of power, love, and self control? I think that’s the kind of “infection” we could all get behind.

I’d like to be a carrier
of a good disease
the kind that lifts you from darkness
when you go to your knees
Any way God can use me
that’s how I want to be
cause I’m forever grateful
He rescued me

I was restless and broken
when God sought me out
then my Savior gave me cause
to sing and shout
He exposed my dark heart
to the light
and now I’m filled with hope
cause Jesus gave me sight

I’d like to be a carrier
of a good disease
I want to be grafted on
to God’s family tree
I want to spread His love
far and wide
to the busy cities
and sleepy countryside.

I’d like to be a carrier
of a good disease
the kind that lifts you from darkness
when you go to your knees
Any way God can use me
that’s how I want to be
cause I’m forever grateful
he rescued me.

© Joel Tipple 3/7/2020






Measure

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.
1st Peter 2:9

God, I’d like to be
the measure of a man
you would have me be.
Close my ears and eyes
to how the world defines me.
For when I look
to the left or right
of the road you’ve set before me
suddenly I stumble.

Season my speech
with words wise and giving,
an attitude of joy,
one of great thanksgiving.
If by chance someone hears
some of what I say
I pray my focus
is on the Holy Spirit
because I sought Him
and prayed.

There was a time, Lord,
when the mirror used to be
something other than my friend,
and there was a sad moment in my life
when I prayed for a sooner end.
Thanks for holding off calamity
with your loving hand
and saving me.

If we don’t turn off the news
sometime
with its
relentless
negative
auto-repeat,
we risk rendering our witness worthless
to the point, we cannot speak.
But no matter how dark
the world may become
if we turn our eyes to you
and the sacrifice of your son
we will be saved.

You Lord,
the one who measures rightly,
the one who made the world,
and all its wonders
will always bring us back
from the brink
when we call.
Even though we’re prodigal
and have nothing at all
to earn it,
you’ll forever
heap upon us
so much devotion
we can’t help but share it.
Thank you, Lord.
Thank you, thank you, thank you
for sharing
so much
it could never
ever
be measured.

© Joel Tipple 1/26/2019