Good Things Become Normal
Jesus said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ - John 7:38
Crazy as it seems to say, a new normal is setting in (at least for now). This pandemic won't last, but for now, we're adjusting to regular news and habits of quarantines, social distancing, items not as readily available, and stores/restaurants not open or with limited hours.
Yet despite it all, here are some GOOD things I've noticed, that I pray also become more normal:
Sabbath - God has put us in "time out" to rest, reflect, and refocus. What's REALLY important? Even the earth itself is getting a chance to rest with the air and waters not being as pumped or dumped as much.
Seeking - Whether it's the proverbial "Why, God?" or a return to God and prayer, people are seeking truth, hope, and comfort spiritually. Like a plant, we are nurtured when we face the Son. Turn your eyes to Jesus, and things become clearer.
Social deepening - We have to practice physical separation, but we are still social creatures. After all, God Himself is a community of three persons in one. We've been given an opportunity to reconnect and reach out to family, friends, and neighbors without the excuse of "I'm too busy." We can talk with people with greater sincerity of concern, care, and compassion, thereby, deepening our social relationships beyond the shallows.
Sacrifice - Yes, there's been a lot of selfishness. But stories of healthcare workers, retail clerks, companies, small businesses, teachers, and families stepping up to do good, help out, and raise up spirits is a testament to what we are capable of as a people who were created to reflect our good, kind, and loving God, who sacrificed Himself for us in Jesus Christ.
Spread - I don't mean of the virus (that's not good). What IS good is the spread of the Gospel. As churches switch to more and more online streaming, meeting, and praying, the good news of Jesus Christ is reaching more people than ever before. Not just because of the multitude of content being put out now, but because people are also showing interest to receive, listen, and watch (see #2 above). We had 377 views of last Sunday's service and 160 views of this week's Stations of the Cross!
I know there are a lot of other lessons that we can take away from this surreal season we're in. Feel free to share your perspectives with me. My prayer is simply that the Church - meaning, ALL Christians - will "overflow" in the things mentioned above (and more), so that Christ's living water within us will refresh a thirsty world. The more we allow Jesus to bubble up these waters in our soul, the more we will bless others and be blessed in the process. Jesus is a spring that never runs dry! Amen.
Let us pray:
Jesus, remove any debris within me that is keeping more of your living water from pouring forth in me and out of me. I want to be a channel of your peace, of your love, of your truth. Guide my going out and coming in, O Lord, that I may be still when you ask and obedient to act when you prompt. Thank you that you are the Redeemer of our time, of our lives, and of the world. In Jesus name, Amen.