Coronavirus, God’s Sovereignty, and the Gospel: The Hope of an ER Family

As Jeff prepares to head out to the Emergency Room, I find myself grasping for something. My heart is longing for hope. I know very well that my hope cannot be found in social distancing, for as much as I could control my kiddos and myself from any social contact, Jeff will continue to go where God has called him, the Emergency Room, and will continue to return home to all of us. This thought has made me anxious. And so, I look for a hope that goes beyond social distancing. I look for a hope that goes beyond statistics. Even the now, often used phrase, “God is in control”, has just not been cutting it for me. Taking this phrase, “God is sovereign”, in isolation, has left me with wanting something more. I need something else to sink my teeth into, something else I can fix my eyes upon, as I watch Jeff drive away to serve at the frontlines of the battlefield.

And I found it. Or rather, it found me. My brother, Josh, snapped us the words to “His Robes For Mine” the other day in the Crist Family Snapchat, and not until yesterday, did I sit down to the piano to sing it. And how my soul needed to sing. And within the words of the song, I found the hope. I found myself again at the foot of the cross, face-to-face with none other than the gospel itself. I started simultaneously laughing and weeping. It, the gospel of Jesus Christ, had found me…again. The hope that I so desperately needed once more, was the gospel. Jesus Christ, found me when I was once lost, He found me when I was in the depths of an eating disorder, and here, He finds me again, setting my heart free from fear.

“His robes for mine: What cause have I for dread?

God’s daunting Law, Christ master in my stead.

Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,

Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.”

There is no comfort in simply saying He is sovereign unless it also comes with a telos, an end goal where He is taking it all, rooted and grounded in who He is, the loving One who is saving us through and through, exalting His name, carrying all of history on for the good of those He is saving, working all things for the good of those who have been called according to His purpose. It is in this type of sovereignty that I find real comfort and relief, because it is sovereignty being accomplished by the blood of Christ, far greater than PPE, waving at neighbors across the street, or avoiding my dentist can provide.

“HIS ROBES FOR MINE

Words by Chris Anderson; Music by Greg Habegger
Tune name: HIS ROBES FOR MINE

His robes for mine: O wonderful exchange!
Clothed in my sin, Christ suffered ‘neath God’s rage.
Draped in His righteousness, I’m justified.
In Christ I live, for in my place He died.

Chorus:
I cling to Christ, and marvel at the cost:
Jesus forsaken, God estranged from God.
Bought by such love, my life is not my own.
My praise—my all—shall be for Christ alone.

His robes for mine: what cause have I for dread?
God’s daunting Law Christ mastered in my stead.
Faultless I stand with righteous works not mine,
Saved by my Lord’s vicarious death and life.

His robes for mine: God’s justice is appeased.
Jesus is crushed, and thus the Father’s pleased.
Christ drank God’s wrath on sin, then cried, “’Tis done!”
Sin’s wage is paid; propitiation won.

His robes for mine: such anguish none can know.
Christ, God’s beloved, condemned as though His foe.
He, as though I, accursed and left alone;
I, as though He, embraced and welcomed home!

© 2008 Church Works Media. All rights reserved.

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