I long for my friend, Normal, to show his face.
I miss him. I am beginning to doubt he ever existed. Normal usually shows up in my psyche when life is humming along without challenge to my sense of safety. Normal lulls me into thinking that life is easy, that all is right with the world. Normal makes his presence known when family drama is absent, when my finances are not causing me angst, and when I get enough sleep.
In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, I long to live normally again. Some call it “going back to normal.” Others hope for a “new normal.” Some of us fear that nothing will ever be normal again.
Where is God when Nothing Is Normal?
What have you been missing? Your job/income? Your social connections? A hug from a friend or a grandchild?
What do you worry about? Your family’s safety? Your own sanity?
Whose advice do you listen to? Who do you trust?
According to the Bible, Jesus led His followers to the top of a mountain after He rose from the dead. He knew He was going to return to heaven from that mountaintop, but His followers didn’t understand what Jesus was about to do. In the middle of their confusion, Jesus made a promise: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Where is God in this pandemic? He is right here with us — just as He promised. We can trust Him always, even in the middle of all of life’s abnormalities.
What Does Faith Look Like When Nothing is Normal?
Can faith withstand the challenge of Covid-19? Yes, I believe so. Faith is defined in the Bible as having hope in Christ even when we cannot see Him at work (Hebrews 11:1-2). I know this because of these characteristics of faith:
- Faith is a gift from God. We cannot intellectualize, study, or pray our way to faith. We cannot earn our way to faith by being good enough. Faith is a gift from God — ours to receive freely just as we are. The gift of faith enables each of us to receive forgiveness and eternal hope because Jesus died on the cross for us. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Faith needs an object. The object of our faith is always Jesus. Faith is not just a vague concept; we have faith in Jesus. His promises are always true; He is always there for us. (Acts 16:31)
- Faith cannot be measured. Do not wonder if you have enough faith to be saved, enough faith for God to answer your prayers, or enough faith to escape Covid-19. God’s grace is always enough. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Faith connects us to Jesus. We are walking through a very abnormal moment in human history, but we are not walking through it alone. Jesus is right beside us, loving us with a love that defies human comprehension. His love for us is extraordinary and will never change — even when nothing is normal. (Romans 8:38)
And, as for my friend Normal? I don’t need him anymore. Why? Because Jesus promised to be with me always — even when life is not easy, even when nothing seems right with the world. I trust Him. He is my best friend always.