Normal. What is normal?
Normal means something different to everyone. If you grew up in a military family, moving from state to state your whole life, then going to different schools and constantly making new friends was your normal. My normal was going to the same school with the same friends my whole life.
But normal changes constantly and sometimes it’s hard to get used to. Death, hurt, broken relationships, career change, earthquake, tornado, fire, cancer, arthritis, infertility, job loss, depression, new home, loss of home. It can go on and on.
Every time we have a life change, it becomes our new normal. And sometimes we don’t like the new normal. Maybe the new normal isn’t your fault. Maybe someone else has put you in this new normal. But there is no need to place blame or anger on whatever or whoever has caused you to be in the new normal.
God knows. He knows that sin in this world can cause brokenness. He knows that our choices and the choices of others can cause this change in the old normal and He wants to help us. But sometimes the new normal is a good thing. Sometimes a career change can bring happiness; a new house and fresh start can bring joy; a friendship ended can actually bring peace.
A new normal isn’t always a bad thing. And God tells us that change is going to happen and that whether we believe it’s a good change or not, He will find a way to use it for His glory.
Ecclesiastes 3 is a chapter in the Bible that talks about change and new normals. It says there is a time for everything:
a time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them;
a time to embrace and a time to refrain;
a time to search and a time to give up;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to mend;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
I think these verses just about cover everything. There is a new normal happening all the time. This chapter goes on to say in verse 14 that “everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him.”
I don’t know why God allows things to happen the way He does. But I do know that sin and humankind’s actions against God cause a lot of hurt and sorrow but you know what never changes?
God’s love. God’s presence. God’s desire to be our Savior.
He was in the old normal. He will always be in the new normal. He is the normal.
Let’s take Him with us, by our side, as we embrace the journey to the next new normal. I think having Him as the constant will help the new normal changes feel like normal. 🙂