” O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” -Psalm 34:3
” My soul magnifies the Lord…” -Mary, Luke 1:46
If you ever had a magnifying glass as a kid, you know this truth: whatever we magnify seems to get closer and bigger. As an adult I have noticed this same principle applies to what we think and talk about: whatever we magnify gets closer and bigger. Corona means crown, and right now the coronavirus is vying for kingship in our lives. It wants to be crowned the main thing we think and talk about. But the Bible tells a different narrative. No matter what crisis swirls around us, Jesus is the one who wears the crown. He is the one I need to be thinking and talking about. In crisis especially, I must make the choice to magnify Him, so that I can see how close and how big He really is.
I am not suggesting denial here. It is important to be aware of what is happening around us, and follow the common-sense precautions prescribed by professionals. But thinking and talking about coronavirus 24-7 is not healthy or helpful. What I am suggesting is discipleship. I am not following covid-19, I am following Jesus. So I must see social distancing as an opportunity for spiritual intimacy. I must crown Jesus as the king of each day, and choose to live in the kingdom of faith rather than the kingdom of fear. I must not dwell on what I have lost in the present or what negative I might “get” in the future, but on what I have to be thankful for in the present and what I might gain eternally.
Scripture talks about a ” peace that passes understanding.” (Phillipians 4:7) That is a peace not based on the absence of trouble, but on the presence of God in our lives. It is a peace firmly set on Jeremiah 29:11, which says that God does not want to harm us, but give us a hope and a future. God is good, and He did not cause the coronavirus. It jumped from bats to humans in the unethical, semi-legal “wet markets” of China. These markets are dirty and driven by greed, and should have been shut down a long time ago. The virus spread worldwide because a totalitarian government tried to cover it up rather than warn other nations early on. Same old story of fallen human nature, sin, and cover up. Man has not changed since Genesis. But neither has God. He is the same ” yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) He is good and his grace will see us through this pandemic. None of us are exempt from death or danger, but Romans 8:28 does promise us that God specializes in bringing good out of bad situations. He can be trusted.
I love this John Wesley quote: ” Until my work on earth is done, I am immortal. But when my work for Christ is done… I go to be with Jesus.” I try to take this attitude every day, and I think it should be the attitude of every Christian. Whatever happens, we ultimately win. That brings peace internally, and courage externally. Because we love God, we can love people. We can be a stabilizing force in unstable times. So instead of living in fear, let’s live our lives in faith. And instead of spreading fear, let’s spread faith in a good God. Our soul is always going to magnify something. Let’s be like Mary. Let’s let our soul magnify the Lord.