Finding Strength When Things Aren't Normal

As I was mindlessly scrolling through social media on Monday, I came across a photo of a friend’s children sitting at the kitchen table with laptops, papers and schoolwork underway. The caption on the post read: Our new norm…

Normal. What exactly is that when times seem anything but normal? We are all adjusting to changes in our lives, in our communities, in our world and in our pocketbooks. This is a time of unknowns and unchartered territory for all of us. None of this is normal.

Our lives have been interrupted and we have been forced to slow down during one of the busiest seasons. Spring is usually filled with a flurry of activities. I am certain that, like me, many of you are sad to see the cancellations of spring events that we look forward to with anticipation. As the dates for these scheduled events pass us by, we are left wondering what the future holds and how many more we will miss out on while we are taking this involuntary time out.

This weekend, I decided to go for a quick walk around my neighborhood to enjoy the spring weather and get out of the house. As I walked, I began to see the beauty in this time of slowing down. I saw more people outside enjoying themselves than I have on many walks in the past. I saw people on front porches. I saw children riding bikes. I saw families walking and talking. I saw people smiling and waving at their neighbors. I saw real family and community. I saw chalk drawings and mosaics on driveways and bears in windows that made me smile and lifted my spirits. I saw people making the best of a fearful and uncertain time.

This walk filled me with a sense of gratitude for all the blessings brought into our midst through the hardship of social distancing and cancellations. I was left wondering. What is God trying to teach us through this slowing down of our busy lives?

To prevent the spread of disease, we are socially distancing ourselves from other people, but God is calling us to use this time of separation to draw near to Him, our only source of real hope and healing.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

-Hebrews 10:22-23 (NIV84)

Our world is at war with an unseen enemy, but we have this hope to which we can hold unswervingly because He has promised to be faithful. We all wish that we could get back to “normal”, but God’s plans are always bigger than what we can see. What is “normal” anyway?

Instead of focusing on getting back to our old routines and lives, let’s focus on getting back to God and trust that He is bringing us through this trial so that we will be stronger on the other side. God is our strength and we can trust in Him!

God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear -Psalm 46:1-2a (NIV84)


CHALLENGE QUESTIONS:


1. What are some things that you have been grateful for during this not so normal time?


2. What ways have you been drawing near to God during your time at home? What other ways can you begin to draw near to Him in the days ahead?

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