Longing for More Than “A Return to Normal”

I looked up the definition of recover.  One of several definitions (and the one that most quickly comes to my mind) is “the return to a normal position or condition.”  The return of normal.  How often have we heard that sentiment….as it refers to our day-to-day lives and post-covid thinking?  Many are excited about activities, decisions, and others signs that remind them of normal.  Some are hopeful that a return to normal is right around the corner, while others are still wondering if we will ever see “normal” again??   I totally understand what most are longing for when they thinking of returning to normal.  However, if normal is defined as a return to our previous condition, should that be what we truly desire?  Whether it is life beyond the virus or any other life-altering event, we, as Christians, need to allow hard days (weeks/months) and even tragedy to change us.  It may be a season of severe illness or physical pain.  It may be loss, heartache, and the deepest of grief.  It might be challenges, trials, or pain of a thousand different kinds; however, God wants to use it to change us.  To mold us.  To refine us.  To draw us closer to Him.  That is His desire and He will if we will allow Him.  Allow Him to change us.  Not simply return us to normal.

Proverbs 8:34 says “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.”  Waiting and watching.  Expecting God to hear.  To meet me there.  To do good and great things for me and through me.  Yes, having an expectant heart is key to allowing God to change me.  Being expectant of His working and using tragedy, is allowing my “head knowledge” – what I know He can do – to affect my heart.  This process is not always easy and is ongoing.  I need to remind myself often of His promises and of past victories.  Otherwise, my head rules my heart.

Not only do I need an expectant heart, but I also need a teachable spirit.  A heart that is willing to listen, to learn, and willing to be changed.  Sometimes a complete return to normal can seem best.  Or, at least, easiest and most comfortable.  But God always wants better.  Again, a teachable spirit is a continual work in progress.  Here are three reminders to help me endure and to remain steadfast during tragedy or trial:

*I don’t need all the answers.  Or to see the bigger picture.  I like it better that way, but I need to trust Him daily.  I need just enough grace and wisdom for today.

*I am not entitled (or owed) all explanations.  The “why” questions of life are normal and not necessarily sinful.  However, God does not answer every single one of our whys.  But I can trust Him regardless.

*I want to bring glory to Him.  It is so easy and so natural to make things all about us.  But, please God, whatever you bring into my life and whatever I might face today (tomorrow, next year, etc.) may it, through me, bring you glory!!

Will we ever return to the normal we remember before February/March of 2020?  However our world, our country, or each of our homes recovers….let’s instead focus on how God can change us.  My thoughts today on the FMF prompt:  recover.  See the other posts here.


5 thoughts on “Longing for More Than “A Return to Normal”

  1. Visiting from FMF, loved the perspective of focusing how God can change us in the midst of waiting for ‘normal’. Beautiful post, thank you for sharing!

  2. Jennifer,

    I agree God has all the answers, but He may not give them all to us. I learned many years ago that “normal” is not a stable term. We change with our life experiences, and we will not return to how we were before they happened. It is an expectant heart and teachable spirit where we learn about God’s glory, which is always good.

  3. I really wish I could go back
    to the life that was before
    I encountered cancer’s lack,
    but God has closed that door.
    I do my best to make the best
    of what is given me,
    but, God, if this might be a test,
    how can it truly be
    something that works to the good,
    when pain is just so bad?
    And why demand now that I should
    turn away from what I had,
    and embrace the way things run…
    or is it just, “Thy Will Be Done”?

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