I keep hearing everyone say that they cannot wait to return to normal. And honestly, I'm not sure that I want to go back. I'm going to tell you why.
What is normal, anyway? Are any of us normal? I have never claimed to be normal, haha. However, there are certain things about my life that are "normal" to me. And some things about the way my life was before I knew what social distancing was, I miss terribly. But before we all rush back to normal, I think God would want us to ask him what we are supposed to learn from this time.
I believe that God often pushes us to unfamiliar territory so that He can speak to us without us being distracted by the things that consume our lives. When everything is "normal," do you have a lot of extra time to listen to Him? My guess is that the answer to that question is no. When things are "normal," do you look for Him in the small things of each day? Or are you so consumed with the routine of life that you often miss Him?
I remember a story in the Bible where people wanted to return to their own version of normal. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery, those crazy people BEGGED to return to being slaves! Why? Because it was normal to them.
Is slavery "normal?" No way! But it was what they were accustomed to. When we get used to our life the way it is, we might mistake comfortable for normal. Even if our life is nothing close to normal.
So what would make people eager to return to being slaves after they had just been freed and promised a land where milk and honey flows? It is something I like to call the "un-comfort zone." They were so uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the things they were going through that they would have rather returned to slavery than do the hard work it was going to take to claim the land that God had promised them.
Does that sound familiar?
So many of us are there right now. We long to go back to the way things were before we had ever heard of Covid-19. But what are we so excited to return to? Depression? Exhaustion? A life that is so busy with worldly things that we have no time for Jesus? Idolatry, even?
I looked up the definition of normal.
nor-mal: conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
Immediately after I read that definition, a Bible verse came to mind.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
Are you getting it yet? God needs you to get OUT of your routine to see what He is doing. HE doesn't want you to conform (normal) but instead, He needs to TRANSFORM your whole life so that He will get the glory when this whole season of life is over. He needs to renew your mind. He wants you to understand what is good and acceptable. He needs you to see that the way things used to be is not where He is taking you.
He is taking you somewhere new.
I, for one, am excited about where the next chapter will take us all. God is getting us ready for a new normal. Will you go with Him, or return to the slavery of your past?