I Don’t Want a “Return to Normal”

These past couple weeks have really sucked emotionally. I don’t know about you, but this quarantine season has unearthed so many emotions for me. One minute I’m laughing, the next minute I’m crying. By the end of the day on my days-off, I’m beyond tired. It’s not like I’m doing strenuous activities, I think the continual roller-coaster of emotions is beginning to take a toll on me. I’m finding it more and more challenging to press on without an end-date on the calendar.

There’s So Much We DON’T Know

We don’t know when this season will cease.
We don’t know when we’ll be able to worship in a shared space again.
We don’t know when we’ll be able to hug our faraway families again.
We don’t know when wearing masks in public will become abnormal again.
We don’t know when we can get a proper haircut again.
We don’t if our summer vacations will come to fruition.
We don’t know when the economy will be improve.
WE DON’T KNOW SO MANY THINGS.

But we do know a couple important things:

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. -> Hebrews 13:8
God is in control of all things. -> Revelation 1:17
God is working all things together for our good and His glory. -> Romans 8:28
God is for us and not against us. -> Romans 8:31
God never stops working, even when we don’t see the fruit. -> Philippians 1:6
God is redeeming and reviving this generation. -> Romans 5:10
God is greater than our circumstances. -> Psalm 121

The truths we do know should give us peace to fill in the gaps of what we don’t know. But when our trust isn’t rooted in the one who’s in control of all things, then our fear, uncertainty, and anxiety run rampant. Lack of trust leads to lack of faith. And right now, so many of us are struggling to stand on the once firm foundation of our faith. We thought our faith was greater than our circumstances. We thought our faith could weather any storm. But the truth of the matter is our faith can’t be treated like an accessory or trinket. And we’ve been treating it as a novelty for too long.

Something Has to Change

We’ve been going about our days living out a rote routine. Week in and week out, same old same old. But now those rhythms have been uprooted. And something needs to change. Our hearts need to change. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really want things to “return to normal”. Because what was normal and routine previously wasn’t actually deepening my faith and strengthening my trust. But this season of testing and contemplation has revealed to me that I need to dig into God’s truth MORE. I need to write his truth down MORE. In Jeremiah 31:33 it says, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The Lord longs to have his truths written in our hearts, reflected in our minds, and lived out through our actions. But what the world intends for evil, God uses for good. As it says in Genesis 50:20, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” So these present trials we face are being used by God to solidify our faith and lean into his presence more. Praise the Lord that he can turn a global pandemic into an opportunity for revival and renewal of faith!

Hello, New Normal

So rather than dwelling on the things we don’t know or hyper-focusing on our general lack of control, God is calling us to lean into a NEW NORMAL. He is asking us to rethink everything with His perspective, with eyes set on eternity. Rethink the way we live as a community, the way we do church, the way we view the world, the way we practice medicine, the way we spend our money, the way we love our neighbors… A new normal is fast approaching, and I wanna look back on this season knowing I did all I could to live with kingdom eyes. We can’t let this opportunity go by without letting it change us.

Questions for Reflection

Are you willing to change?
Are you satisfied with how your life was prior to quarantine?
Are you seeking new rhythms of renewal?
Who can you ask (friend, spouse, parent, mentor) to partner with you in this season?
Do you want to look back on this season with regret or delight?

My Challenge For You

This week, spend 30-45 minutes in reflection and meditation. Ask God to reveal what areas of your live need revival and what rhythms in your life aren’t feeding you spiritually. We need to learn how to lean into God more! God has gifted us with this unforeseen time to think, pray, and survey our life in the here and now. We may never have an opportunity like this again. And there may be lessons to be learned in this time that may never present themselves again. My prayer for you is that you would look back on this time of quarantine and forced isolation with delight and deep satisfaction, because your faith was nurtured, your relationships were strengthened, and your soul was renewed. I don’t want a “return to normal,” I want God to create a new normal centered around his desires and not my own.

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