I have had a few circumstances over the last 2 years that have grown me and changed me. Inevitably, it is hard, not easy, circumstances that change us deeply. When my aunt was murdered, my sister recounted the moment she had to tell my family. They were all on family vacation in the mountains. My sister got the call on her cell phone from another aunt. She said she just stared at the scene in front of her–everyone enjoying the mountain air and time together as family–knowing that the news she had to share would change everything. It was a surreal moment. She did tell everyone, and nothing has been the same. It’s a new normal.
I’ve been thinking about this new normal. What has changed now? Mainly, it’s my perspective. God has shaken the snow globe of my life and some truths that were obscured by complacency are now taking a more prominent place in my thinking. Here are some truths that are front and center now.
1) This world is not my home. I have to repeat this to myself regularly and it’s foundational to understanding everything else.
2) Evil is very bad and we are not immune from it in this world. And rather than shaking my faith, this reminds me exactly why I desperately need a Savior. I need Jesus to save me from my own sin within me. And I long for King Jesus established on this earth as the sovereign authority who rules with complete justice. When God’s kingdom is fully established, there will be no more murder.
3) Happy is a yuppie word. There is something deeper than happiness that God is working in our lives. In fact, happiness isn’t even a fruit of the Spirit. Love, joy, and peace are not necessarily grown in our lives through “happy” circumstances. And that’s okay.
4) Our need for God is better highlighted in hard circumstances. When life is good, I inevitably gloss over my need for Him. But His unchanging character is the only anchor for my soul when life gets messy.
If you’ve had a life-shaking, perspective changing event rock your world recently, I recommend spending some time in Hebrews 11-13. It reminds me that hardship, persecution, and endurance have been common to the Christian life since time began, and they will continue to be so until Christ returns. It also reminds me that despite it all, God’s purposes can not be shaken. It teaches me that my new normal is really just the old normal with complacency removed.
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.