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?
That question is asked all throughout the psalms; you can find it in Psalms 6, 13, 79, 80, 82, 89, 90, 94 and 119.
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.
“And when it does, when life comes back, may we look more like Jesus than ever.” This will be running through my head today. I’m not even sure what normal is, but being present and letting God do the good work He knows I need to be transformed is what I want to become normal. Thank you for the reminder. Thank you for taking time to write.
Lisa Appelo says
Yes and amen, Julie! May that be what we glean from this season more than anything.
Veola Linton says
I am so over this COVID-19. In Las Vegas, NV, it is hard wearing a mask when it is 115 degrees outside.
However, it is a struggle trying to stay focused on the things of God when my church is not meeting. Even though we meet online throughout the week, it is still a struggle for me.
Tomorrow, my church opens for the first time since this all began, and I am so looking forward to getting back. I feel like I have lost sight of God since this started. I hope the book I downloaded from you will help me get back in touch with God.
Thank you so very much for your writing. May God bless and keep you and your family safe.
Lisa Appelo says
It is a difficult season in so many ways! Being together again for worship is huge.
How long is what we all say. I think of how richly blessed Americans are and how hard we take trials and tribulations. We have become comfortable and forgetful of where it all came from. This really should be working on the hearts of believers to be busy about spreading the Gospel, instead of living the comfort zone life. I have realized a few things myself. May we turn from our ways and seek God’s face.