A New Normal
Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.” Joshua 1:1-2
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011 changed everything for so many people. In the span of a few short minutes, thousands of lives were taken and cities were virtually erased from the landscape. The pictures and videos were shocking and heartbreaking.
How do you rebuild after something like this? How do you go on with life? How do you resist the overwhelming temptation to just give up and die?
IT AIN’T OVER
While most of us have a hard time relating to the total devastation many of these dear people experienced (and are still experiencing), we can relate to tsunamis of a sort that hit our lives and change everything. Perhaps your tsunami was the death of a loved one … or the betrayal of your marriage partner … or the termination from your job … or the loss of your finances … or the bad news that you have an incurable disease … or the loss of your family (your kids got married, moved away and you see them once a year!). What do you do when life changes on a dime without your permission?
Surely you mourn. There would be something terribly wrong with you if you did not mourn significant losses in life. The children of Israel wept and mourned the death of Moses, the greatest Old Testament prophet and their leader for the previous forty years. They intensely mourned for thirty days … but then they ceased from their mourning. God told them to get up and get going. Moses was dead, but God wasn’t dead. Moses was dead, but God still had big plans and big dreams for His people. Moses was dead, but the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey, was before them. Moses was dead, but a great season of joy was coming into view.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
What do you do when life changes on a dime? You don’t quit … you get up and go on. You recalibrate your life to a new normal. What other choice do you have? Curse God and die? Turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain? Live the rest of your days bitter, toxic and angry? Certainly, none of those is the right path to take in the aftermath of tragedy and pain. But going on with God is always the way.
GOD KNOWS AND CARES
I don’t know what significant loss you have faced or are facing, but God does. He knows all about your broken heart … and He cares – “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18). Don’t let your heart get bitter at the devastating changes that have befallen you. Take God’s counsel to heart. Mourn sufficiently … and then stop mourning, get up and go on with God. There is a Promised Land awaiting all those who will “arise and cross this Jordan.” I know it is not easy to do, but He promises to be with us every step of the way.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.