Thursday, March 11, 2010

Normal?


What’s normal? Knowing the answer to that question is more important than what you might think. It’s good to know that 98.6 is normal when you’re kid’s temperature is 105. Probably time to call a doctor. But what if you think that 103 is normal? Most people live without understanding what normal really is. Normal is the Garden of Eden. No sin, no conflicts, no troubles. Joy, happiness, love. Pleasant walks with Jesus. That’s normal. What we face each day isn’t. In fact, what we face every day is profoundly abnormal. It’s 106. But if you don’t understand that, then you’re going to tell yourself that what you’re dealing with is just the way life is. You’re going to settle. And that will add to the difficulties of each day.

But what good is knowing that normal is the Garden when we are nowhere near it? Seeing the truth about what we face day after day actually helps. Here, in no particular order, are some ways that it helps. First, it gives hope. Life is hard but not because you’re a loser. It’s hard because it’s not normal. Things are all messed up. But Jesus has come to take what is profoundly not normal and turn it into something that profoundly is. So, one day life will be normal – like the Garden but better. But it’s not as if you have to just wait and suffer this abnormality. Jesus is at work now changing things. For example, Jesus is making every Christian into normal. We’re not, you know. But we are in process. Change is real. Things are so profoundly not normal that it will take time to change it. And that’s good because making that change in us too quickly would be more than what we can handle. Secondly, knowing that life is not normal will mean that you won’t settle. So many settle for what they see around them not realizing that it is not normal. And if this is all that can be hoped for then that is sad. The third thing is that when you understand that this is not normal but that it can become normal then you fight. You fight to make your life as normal as it can become. That includes not allowing your sins or the sins of others to get you down. It means fighting against the temptation to settle. It means heeding your call from Jesus so that He can use you to make some changes so that what is normal can grow. And then, one last thought. Realizing that this is not normal will mean that you will mourn. So many lives wasted and being crushed. Such evil! And too much of the time there is nothing that you can do to stop it. And so, you mourn – but not out of despair. There is hope, but there are many who refuse to embrace it.

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