A “New Normal”

Is it just me or are you tired of phrases such as “unprecedented times”, “uncertain times”, and “the new normal”? The fact is, our current reality is not really unprecedented or “new” anymore. Covid-19 restrictions are so normal that being in a crowd, entering a public building unmasked, walking into a store regardless of how many other people are already shopping, attending church, playing on a sports team, travelling, going on a cruise – now these would be a “new normal.” How incredible that in a relatively short time, we as humans have adapted well to a new lifestyle. So, please forgive me for adopting an overused phrase, but allow me to share with you another time in my life when I learned of a “new normal.”  

It was 6:30 am on a beautiful, Saturday, spring morning. I was taking it all in as I jogged the quiet country road.  Twenty minutes into it, however, I was completely frustrated and emotionally spent. My thoughts were consumed with a situation and the offending person whom I could not “fix.” Not only had I allowed my thoughts to ruin a perfectly good day, but I was about to wreck a family member’s day as soon as possible and they weren’t even out of bed yet!  Then it (God) hit me, I couldn’t afford to keep thinking like this – life is too short! I needed to think about something else. But what? And the thought came, ‘I’ll think about a Bible verse.” One of the very few passages I had memorized popped into my head. In hindsight, I believe that was a God-thing. During my initial distracted mental review of this passage, a word caught my attention – “anxious”. Well now, that was the perfect word to describe the state of my mind.  As I rehearsed Philippians 4:6-7, the light of God’s truth and antidote for worry began to shine brighter and brighter. 

“Do not be anxious about anything”Admittedly, I was anxious and this was “anything.”

but in every situation”Maybe (likely!) only to me, but this was a “situation.”

“by prayer and petition”Right, I should bring God into this! Why didn’t I think of that??

“with thanksgiving”Really God???? …. Okay … but, ONLY because YOU say so. 

“present your requests to God.”LORD, help me stop thinking about this and if You wouldn’t mind, fix the situation!

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding”Thank You that You promise Your unexplainable peace. 

“will guard your hearts and your minds”Thank You for guarding my heart and mind. 

“in Christ Jesus.” Thank you, for Your Son, my Saviour, who makes answered prayer possible.

I asked God to remind me to give Him my worry when I let the “situation” threaten to sabotage the peace in my heart. The day was once again a beautiful day and the incident, whatever it was, is long forgotten. 

In the words of Pastor Andy Stanley, “Jesus makes your life better and Jesus makes you better at life.” 

Doing what God says and reaping the rewards confirmed for me once again that there is a God and that His Word is true. God’s way is not the “natural” way. It is the “supernatural” way. O God, please help us let Your “supernatural” way be our “new normal”!

– Ann Stevens, Past Runner and Past Worrier (at least when I trust God with my “unprecedented” “situations” in these “uncertain times!”)

God has a lot to say about how you can have His peace. Click on the Bible verses linked below to consider just a few of these truths. 

Isaiah 26:3 Peace can be found when we take our eyes off our problems and rivet our focus on the Lord.

John 6:29 Believe (trust in, rely on, cling to) Jesus whom God has sent. 

Psalm 119:165 Peace comes from knowing and living according to God’s truth.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast your cares upon the God who cares for you. 

John 14:27 Choose to receive Jesus’ peace and not allow your heart to be troubled of afraid.

Psalm 34:14-15 God will support you as you pursue peace with others.

Isaiah 9:6-7 Lasting peace comes only from the Prince of Peace, the ruler of all creation, Jesus Christ.

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