It’s the terminology that has been frequently used to describe the current ‘stay-at-home’ lifestyle. While our previous ‘normal’ has been stripped and altered in a variety of ways, the ‘new normal’ attempts to define this uncertain season with “doing what you can” in the midst of restricted measures. It’s a dose of reality prompting us to embrace this time as a standard, to help us cope, move on, and get through.
While I understand the intentions behind the phrase ‘new normal’, the jargon simply doesn’t sit well with me. After some time in prayer, I realized that ‘new normal’ is not enough for what we need in this time. The phrase is limiting, in its parameters, and its emphasis is primarily focused on the immediate. While being in the present is useful, it is simply a starting point for something greater, when this is all over. God does not merely want us to get by but to develop and refine our character to more reflect Christlike character.
It’s not new normal.
Rather… GOD IS DOING SOMETHING NEW.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 43:19
Instead of learning how to cope with our situation, we spend time cooperating with the Holy Spirit. We see the fear that the world is currently facing and we, fearlessly, run to the Father. There’s a spark of desire that swells within us because, in many ways, there’s more time to spend with Jesus.
Do you realize that perhaps this season could be the very time that prepares you for what God has for you? It’s natural to long for the promotion, but preparation is what propels us into His perfect placement. God is doing something new.
The problem with new normal is that it creates a standard of measurement that keeps us looking backwards – desiring for ‘what was’ while we deal with ‘what is.’ Who can suggest that our ‘normal’ was the epitome of greatness in the first place? The verse before, the one above, suggests this as well, “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.” – Isaiah 43:18
Instead, perhaps God is doing something new…
I believe this time has exposed our idols. Aspects of the flesh are revealed as our prior, worldly, coping mechanisms were changed. While we should not have such strong ties to these worldly comforts, their absence has left a void within us. Perhaps we didn’t realize the grip they had on us but do so now, because, they have been taken away or altered. As a result, less patience is exhibited and selfishness is exposed as we attempt to align our desires with God’s.
Since these comforts have been shaken, I believe this time has been one of refining, where the sins, self-sabotaging tendencies and insecurities, are coming to the forefront…like dross being purged from the fire. If we want more of God, this purging has to finish its work to reveal the nature, work and purposes that Christ has for our lives.
I believe this time has shown how we used our time. Before this, we’d say ‘if only I had more time to seek the Lord…’ Well… with more restrictions, we should have fewer distractions. Since practicing stay-at-home, do our actions (not desires), reveal that this statement was accurate or an excuse?
As Isaiah said, I say to you: “Do you not perceive it?” Can you see what God is doing in and through you? Perhaps you can or maybe you have only a glimmer of it. The truth is, He will make a way in the wilderness of social distancing and a quarantined lifestyle. Do not lose hope for God is in the business of making new things. And He will make a new thing out of you!
 1 Peter 1:6-7 – “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”