Faith Column: Transitions
For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NET)
I think it’s safe to say a season of “new normal” has arrived, but many of us are finding the transitions a bit challenging.
By definition, “new normal” is new, so we should not expect to go back to our “pre-covid normal” and there was no form of normal during 2020 so perhaps we should be happy for any sort of normal in our lives; but normal is hard to define.
The dictionary on my laptop defines normal as “the usual, average, or typical state or condition” as in “the service will be back to normal next week.” If usual, average, or typical are what we’re looking for, the new normal is a state of continuing change, adaptation, and adjustments – or ongoing transitions.
The “old normal” included expected transitional seasons in one’s life from toddler to school age, from pre-teen to teen to adult, from single to married to married with kids; youth, middle age, elderly (King Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, gave a pretty comprehensive list of life events in chapter 3 verses 2-8).
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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Those seasons are still part of human life and have always been challenging, but they were seasons of a larger normal that was seemed relatively calm and stable.
Today our “larger normal” is local, national and global disorder, chaos, upheaval, and subterfuge that has generated an undercurrent of constant uncertainty. National and global gyroscopes are on tilt and we must find our way through each day…sometimes each hour…as best we can, making decisions that we hope will keep our personal gyroscopes upright and safely spinning.
Fighting fear, worry, anger, frustration, depression and constant stress are aspects of the new normal no matter how we define it. Where can we find a place of peace, calm and stability in the midst of all this? Once again, King Solomon has a timeless answer: I also know that whatever God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken away from it. God has made it this way, so that men will fear (literally be in awe before) Him. Ecclesiastes 3:14 (NET)
Every circumstance and situation we find ourselves in gives us an opportunity to choose to believe what God says about Himself and His love for those who come to stand in awe before Him. Here are a few examples:
2 Chron 16:9 The eyes of the Lord move quickly throughout the earth, and He is ready to show Himself strong on behalf of those who are devoted to Him.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Father God created people so He could have a close, loving relationship with them. Jesus our Savior, Hope, Provider, and Provision came to show us The Way to our Father. As we turn to Him in our times of stress, crisis and transition and ask for wisdom He faithfully answers…and our faith, trust and love grow drawing us closer and closer to Him.
Whatever your current new normal is, Jesus is all you need. Put simply, no Jesus no peace; know Jesus know peace.
Victoria Van Couvering, formerly Executive Director at Hope Pregnancy Center, is now pursuing her life-long dream of a women’s counseling ministry. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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