Are you wishing for normal?
In my county, schools are opening for live classes (with online options) and fall sports have begun again. Of course, new protocols are in place and we’re all masked up but we’re holding our collective breath to see if this will work.
Just today, while driving my daughter to dance, she remarked, “Can you believe how long this COVID has lasted? First, you said it’d be four weeks and now it’s still here.”
We all want to go back to normal.
The psalmist expresses it like this: How long, O Lord?
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It’s a deep soul cry that says: How long is this difficulty going to last? How long will we suffer? When does this all end? How long till things go back to normal?
When we ask for things to go back to normal, we’re really asking for things to go back the way we like it.
We just want the good life we had.
Well, buckle up because God also asks us how long. Listen to God’s questions:
“How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?” Exodus 16:28.
“How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? Numbers 14:11
“How long will this wicked community grumble against me?” Numbers 14:27
“How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” Joshua 18:3
“How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21
“How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?” Psalm 4:2
“How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” Jesus asks in Mark 9.
In times like these, we lock in on the difficulties, the discomfort and the doing without.
God wants us to focus instead on our attitude, our obedience, our adoration.
As so much of our comfortable routine and daily normal we counted on has been stripped away, it’s revealing how often we grumble, how we want control and how much we like it, and how we’ve let something other than God take first place.
How long, O Lord?
Let’s redirect the question to our own hearts.
Let’s let God use these hard times to do heart work in us now. Only God knows when this will lift.
And when it does, when life comes back, may we look more like Jesus than ever.