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The New Normal - Encouragement Café - April 23

  • 2020 Apr 23

The New Normal

By Joan Walker Hahn

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I have to admit that I have never liked hearing the term, “new normal.”  Maybe it’s because I associate it with bad things that have happened.  The death of a loved one, an unwelcome health diagnosis, adjusting to the effects of chemo, adjusting to health constraints after chemo, etc.  After coming face to face with those life altering occurrences, life changes.  Everything that had been part of a routine day and life, is suddenly different.

Most recently the term has been connected to the chaos caused by the health pandemic.  Kids are suddenly schooling at home as parents have become unemployed or are juggling work schedules.  Effort is being put into establishing some kind of routine, to set in place a new normal.

Yes, I understand the need for routine.  Both kids and adults handle structure and a routine much better than the lack of one.  People also like the feeling of being in control.  And when we are faced instead with the unknown, a sense of helplessness and fear can take root.

But I still don’t like the phrase.  

After pondering over the reason why I feel this way, I realized it’s not the word “new” in that simple two-word phrase that bothers me.  It’s the word “normal” that causes me to have a twinge of sadness that won’t go away.  Because I do not want normal.  

I am not content to be just a status quo Christian.  I don’t want to go through each day having a form of religion without accessing the power embedded within.  You see, I have tasted and seen the Lord IS Good.  How can I go back to not knowing?  I have been made a new creation; I cannot go back to the old.  I receive new mercies each morning – why should I want to pass that by?  I have personally experienced the Lord rejoicing over me.   Why in the world would I want normal after experiencing the extraordinary blessing and presence of my living Savior?

I do not believe we, as born-again children of God, were filled with the Holy Spirit just to live a normal life.  Do you? So why do we settle?

There are a few things we can do to prevent settling for the “normal.” 

  1. Read God’s Word consistently.  I’ve realized in my life that during the times when I’ve felt stuck in a routine, it’s because I haven’t been reading my Bible.  God’s Word is living and active.  It is how we hear from God.  
  2. Pray always.  Praying is how we communicate with God.  Being closed in because of the virus reminded me just how much I miss speaking face to face with family and friends.  God must feel the same about us when we close ourselves off from Him.  Praying takes us to His throne room where we can tell Him how we feel, where we can praise Him for who He is, and where we can intercede for others.
  3. Be thankful for everything.  The Bible tells us to not be anxious but to bring our prayers and petitions to God with thanksgiving.  When we are thankful to the Lord, even in times of trials, God somehow turns our thanksgiving into blessing and peace that He showers abundantly back upon us.  

How can we settle for normal when we have access to the Living Savior?  Friends, I challenge you to let your new normal be to not settle for normal at all.  Seek the Lord and allow Him to change your routine life into a God honoring life filled with an abundance that comes from Him alone.

Heavenly Father, thank You for all the blessings You have given to us.  But more than anything, Lord, I thank You for Your very presence that You allow us to feel.  May we not take our relationship with You for granted.  Fill us with the desire to know You more completely each day.  May we not settle for the bare minimum of the Christian life, but help us to make it part of a normal day to hunger and thirst for an above normal relationship with You.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

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© 2020 by Joan Walker Hahn.  All rights reserved.

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