What’s NEW in your NORMAL?
Indulge me with a moment of honesty. Personally, I’m quite over this pandemic. I’ve had enough. I don’t want to socially distance any more. I want to hug my friends, sit right next to them in church and invite as many people as I like over to my home. I’m ready to go shopping without constantly sanitising my hands and registering my attendance. I want to go back to normal!
Oh, normal! Do you remember normal? It seems like forever ago. We could travel wherever we wanted in the world, go to the movies and the football and have parties with friends and family. And, I’ve had enough of the grief. Nightly graphs of death tolls, stories of families separated by border closures and businesses in financial ruin. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t want to trivialize people’s grief, financial and relational hardship, but I’ve had enough and I want to go back to normal. Now.
Depending where you live in the world, the details of your situation may differ from mine, but everyone has been affected in some way. As authorities plan a way forward, no one is talking about life getting back to normal pre-COVID days. The most we can hope for is a NEW normal.
I don’t want a new normal. I liked the old one.
This thought was sitting in my heart when God met me and lovingly reminded me that He is always making things new, and His new is always good. God challenged my heart to look for the good things He was doing in the NEW normal.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:18–19 (NIV) (Emphasis mine)
This prophecy was given to Isaiah to encourage the Israelites, who had rejected God and turned to their own way, to return to relationship with their God. He warned the people of the judgement to come and reminded them of the love and faithfulness of God to forgive and bless those who turned back to Himself. This demonstrates the heart of God to reach out to us in our sin and selfishness, and to make a way, a new way, for us to experience His love and kindness.
Even though there has been so much pain and devastation in this season, God has been at work! Do you not perceive it?
- Family relationships have strengthened as we have spent more time together than normal.
- We have learned new ways to stay connected with people we love who live far away.
- Friends and family who have been opposed to spiritual things in the past have been open to faith conversations as they struggle in the new reality.
- Many churches have had the opportunity to reach the hurting community in need with generosity and love.
- The explosion of online church services, while in no way substitutes for worshipping together with God’s family, have reached many who have never been into a physical church building.
- God is teaching us to trust in Him as our false sense of security in our wealth and safety is torn away.
Take a moment to add to the list from your own experience. What are the good things that you have seen God doing in this season?
Things may never go back to the normal I have lost, but rather than constantly grieving what I am missing, I am now expectantly watching for the new things God is doing as He draws us into a closer relationship with Himself. God is doing something new, and it is good!
God isn’t finished His renewing work yet. We look forward to the day when all things will be made new!
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:5
One day, everything will be new! Everything! Imagine that for a moment… I think I’ve changed my mind. I love new things.
Christine is a wife and mother of three adult kids, who lives in an apartment full of potted plants and drinks more coffee than she’d like to admit. Christine works full time in ministry at her church and writes about faith, self-care, and simple living in her blog, Living with Margins. For more blogs from her, click here. You can listen to our Bible studies by tuning in to your favorite radio station, listening to our podcast on iTunes, or listening through TuneIn, Spotify, or Stitcher online radio.