Lately it has been a little tough to enjoy the simple pleasures of life when some people are telling us the world is about to end. Have you noticed? Surely the kind of panic and fear that has seized our nation with the coronavirus pandemic can be overwhelming to the average person. Instead of enjoying the Lord, our families and the blessings of each day it seems many of us are starting to tune into the world's network of panic, fear and chaos that is shouting 24/7. When we follow that network we are told about every hour how many people have died of the virus and how our family might be next. Here in Michigan tonight we are being ordered by our governor to stay at home with few exceptions. That means about the only time people are getting out is to go to the grocery store where we can't miss all the empty toilet paper aisles among a few others. So even grocery shopping can produce panic in us if we are not careful.
So, to change the pace of things my wife and I like to go on long walks and try to see what the Lord has for us. Sometimes such walks can be very redemptive because the Lord always has a sermon for us if we are watching and listening. Today was such a day. Thankfully, the signs of spring are all over our neighborhood. One of my favorite sites was the large number of robins we saw getting ready to start their spring nesting season. Robins are like a springtime clock here in Michigan. When you see robins, you know spring has arrived. The one thing I noticed about the robins we saw is that none of them looked anxious. Not one single robin knew about the coronavirus. They didn't care. They didn't know the stock market has fallen or that the nation is greatly divided politically and spiritually. No, as a matter of fact, the robins all looked like themselves. They were just robins.
Now the one thing the robins did well today was sing. It was almost as if they were designed for it. We heard their songs all over our neighborhood. They have a distinctive song that you recognize immediately when you hear it. The robins sing because they are robins and they do it naturally, without any distractions or break in their song. Their beautiful song goes out everywhere to attract a mate or perhaps to just announce to the world that they are glad they are robins and have something to sing about. Most of all, I think they are just doing what the Lord created them to do. It must be fun being a robin right now as we are "locked down" here in Michigan. Here in Michigan, not too many people are singing.
How wonderful then that the Lord Jesus Christ understands robins because He created them. Our Lord designed everything about them from their shape and nesting habits to their beautiful song. If we took some time to look more closely at a robin and all they can do it would fill an encyclopedia of the sciences because they are so complex. Yes, our Michigan robins are a miracle of creation and they are preaching sermons to anyone who will listen every day. Our Lord used birds like that to preach to us in this hour. In Matthew 6:25-27 our Lord said,
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
What is fascinating about this passage is that Jesus tells us not to worry. Now if Jesus doesn't worry it tells us that that He is God. After all, every other person ever created has worried about something at one time or another. How about you? So, for our Lord to tell us not to worry is a wonderful confirmation that He truly is the Lord of all--the Lord of robins and the Lord of us.
Right now there is a fierce battle underway that is attempting to control the hearts and minds of our world with worry and fear. It is everywhere here in Michigan. People have a 1000 things to worry about, including not having enough toilet paper. But the one thing we aren't hearing much of today is singing from people because they are happy, joyful and totally trusting the Lord to work everything out for the good. The problem for many of us is that it is hard to sing when we are worried or fearful. Have you ever tried to do that? And yet, like the robin we were created to sing the praises of the Lord and to enjoy fellowship with the Lord every moment.
The great challenge we all face in this season of fear about this pandemic is finding a fresh way for the Lord's people to begin to sing again. Now is the time when we need to sing out with all of our might. We need to sing and praise in such a way that the world knows about our Lord and His love and purposes for us. Once that song starts it is contagious and it will spread everywhere and infect everyone who hears it. That is the one thing that can help us in this hour as we head to First Fruits or Easter Sunday in 3 weeks. We were all created to sing in this spring season, not about the robins or springtime, but about our wonderful and glorious Risen Lord.
You see in this Lenten season people are running into the cross and they don't even know it. People are suffering and dying around the world and here in Michigan from the pandemic and missing the story that suffering and death point to our Lord. People are suffering when they losing jobs, income, their health and for many their hope. But Lent is about our Lord's suffering...not ours. Lent points us to the incredible story of how all of us can praise the Lord as Good Friday gets closer. Our Lord died for us. Our Lord suffered for us to forgive our sins and to give us a new beginning. Our Lord had that perspective and was full of joy as He headed to the cross for us. In Matthew 21:14-16, just days before our Lord's passion, people were having a hard time praising Him at all,
The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant. "Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read," "From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise?"
Right in the midst of our Lord's coming passion for us the leadership of Israel refused to sing His praises. Only the children could do it. Nothing has changed. In today's world much of our leadership is fighting and panicking everyone about a virus and the Lord of creation is not even mentioned. Few are praising the Lord in the midst of this chaos. And yet, without that focus our nation has a far greater problem than the coronavirus pandemic because we were created to sing His praises just like the robins in our neighborhood. We were not designed for fear and panic. Such things destroy us. Without a song in our hearts we all wither and die. We were designed to live with hope in our hearts each moment that only comes from the Lord.We are living in an extraordinary time. How could we miss it ! And yet, few are discerning the issues under way right now, not even in the church world. Few see the Lord's sovereign, prophetic plans underway that are being fulfilled. Things are not falling apart they are falling together. Once we come to see the Lord is in control of every electron, every virus, every robin and all of us we can start singing. That is my prayer for everyone in this dramatic hour. So let's leave our fears, worries and cares at the foot of the cross and start singing out with all our might to the greatness and majesty of the Lord Jesus Christ and His redeeming love for us. Our Lord not only saves us from every virus, but from the power of sin and its effects on our lives in this fallen world. So, let's join the robins this spring and all of creation and bring our songs of worship to Him who is worthy of all our praises in this life and the world to come. Christ is risen, He is risen indeed.