Easter Sunday morning, I led a set of worship songs through Facebook Live on our church’s Facebook page. Here is a link to it on youtube.
Revelation 22:3 was in my @youversion reading plan today. It reads, “and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him.”
That first phrase jumped off the page. So I spent much of the day working on lyrics to a song entitled “The Curse Will Be Over.”
Today is the same, same as the rest
Knowing it’s closer than it’s ever been before
My heart knows you’re there preparing the best
To give me the joy of meeting you when I walk through the door
The curse will be over
My eyes will behold you
The lamb who was slain, the risen one
I’ll sing to proclaim your worth
I’ll finally be home
And the curse will be over
The garden was where this curse was begun
The bitten lie pierced my soul, ushered in shame
You said, “I’m not done.” You sent down your son.
I’ve bowed my knees, said please forgive me. I come bearing his name.
Over, death and the grave
Over, disease and pain
Over, darkness and shame
Over, temptation and blame
Over, hatred and war
Over, betrayal and hurt
Over, anger and fear
Over, apart from you
Over, it will be over
Sin’s curse will be over
Yesterday I saw the CBS commercial featuring actors from their shows sending this message: “We’re in this together.” Yes, community is important, always but certainly now.
If you think about that message for a moment, you can be more descriptive by replacing “this” with a specific noun. Like…
- …We’re in economic uncertainty together
- …We’re in confusion together
- …We’re in isolation together
- …We’re in media overload together
- …We’re in the drive through together
- …We’re in the grocery line together
- …We’re in fear fatigue together
I’ll stop there to chew on that one. This “this” is one of the major things we are in together.
Some of us by nature, personality, or any number of reasons tend to live more fearfully. But this is different. This feels like we’re all in fear together whether we want to be or not. Feels forced, on many levels.
We all have natural tendencies in responding to fear. Generally, we are defined as fighters or flighters. I tend to be the former, which explains why I tend to believe much of the fear we are in together is forced.
Regardless of its origination or our response tendency to it, fear does not get an automatic win. It can be overcome when we choose to combat it. You probably are already trying to combat it, subconsciously or thoughtfully. In case you’d like more help, because we’re in this together, here are five ways I’m combating forced fear.
- Created a Playlist…just this morning I decided it was time to create a COVID-19 playlist. My list includes songs that address fear directly, bring God into the picture, and focus on the hope of eternity. Pretty sure I’ll be playing it daily.
- Exercising Early…many years ago I had to overcome not being a morning person in order to pursue better running training. I’m not in training mode right now. But I’ve put my mind in combat fear mode, meaning setting the alarm on most mornings to get up and exercise first thing. My guess is, if you don’t already do this, when you give it a try you’ll like it.
- Increasing Peace Intake…this “this” is to combat that media overload we’re in together. Here’s a challenge to consider: however much time you spend watching, reading, scrolling, engaging in media that produces fear in you, spend at least that same amount of time or more taking in peace. Whatever produces peace in your heart, mind, and spirit needs equal time. Personally I’m barely looking at Twitter, looking at Facebook less, and pretty much looking at headlines only.
- Making Others First…this one can be very simple. Something as simple as letting someone go ahead of you in the grocery line, greeting the cashier by name, thanking them for the extra work they are doing, being empathetic with those you’re together with in the grocery aisles (practiced these Wednesday). For something more impactful, ask God to bring to mind someone to bless and how to do it (doing this today).
- Reading>Meditating…in particular, biblical characters that endured forced fear. Examples: Joseph, Esther, Ruth, Daniel, Mary and Joseph, and certainly Jesus. Many of them were forced to face the fear of death. Read their stories. Meditate on how they combated fear. I’m taking a look at Genesis all this weekend.
How are you dealing with forced fear? Got something else to share? Please do. We’re in forced fear together.
(Lyrics to a song inspired by Joshua 4:24)
With each sunrise you refill me
To recount the hope that I see
Looking back to claim your promise
All my words proclaim your goodness
This is so
All may know that You are God
This is so
I may always fear You, Lord
Write it on my heart
Remind me who you are
May I not forget
This is so
Waves behind me tell your story
Ever lifting all your glory
Here’s my song to join in raising
Yours alone the name worth praising
In your presence I’m made holy
By your strength I’m standing only
The album is now available on iTunes and Amazon. To hear the back story of this project, watch this short video.
Release date is Monday, March 11. Check it out!
On Christmas day 2018, my album producer Dave Bechtel posted this video of our work on this song. You can now view it on my YouTube channel.
This song is one of ten originals on my soon-to-be released album “In the Shadows.”
Question: if the video weren’t shot at Christmas and you only heard the lyrics, would you think Easter or Christmas?
If you leave your answer, I will reply with my original inspiration for writing “No Other King.”
Earlier this year I released an album entitled “For All My Days.” That title came from the album’s last track, “God’s Love.” Yesterday my producer Dave Bechtel posted a video with his thoughts about it. Follow the link above to view it. Feel free to share it.