A New Normal
by Joanne Ellison

I don’t know about you, but I keep hearing people say: ” Is this our new normal?” The last 6 months have proven to be stressful because we are not in control. When things were more normal, we had a bit of control (or so we thought) over our lives. But now, each day it seems something happens in our country and in our world that shakes the foundation of what we once called normal.

So this is what I have been thinking about this morning. What if normal is not being in control? What if normal is meant to be surrendering to God? What would that look like? Here is what I think. I think normal is meant to be spelled:


Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. “This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Commandment number one and commandment number two are about……


Love God with your whole being, love yourself, and love your neighbor.

This is meant to be our normal. Friends, as Christians, we need a reset. We need to tap into the supernatural love of God, soak in His love, His Word, and pour this love back out on ourselves and others. Some of you have been trying too hard to love on your own strength. How do I know? Because I have found myself trying to show love that came from a heart of stone. I have tried to show love with wrong motives and I have tried to tap into natural love to such a degree that when it ran out I was exhausted.

Sometimes even a coke doesn’t help when we try in our own strength 

We need to tap into God’s love. And the only way to do this is make Jesus our passionate obsession. We obsess over so many thing that we have no control over.  It’s time to obsess over Him. And when we turn our focus on Jesus, He meets us on the road that we call normal and transforms us into His normal filled with HIs love, HIs purpose, and His hope.

Friends, the church, known as the body of Christ, is the light and hope of the world. My deep concern is that the church is divided over the same issues that the world is divided over, but the church is called to rise up out of the place of division and first love. Love does not mean we agree all the time. Love means we speak the truth from a motive to love. The Apostle Paul writes;

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow up to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head. (Ephesians 4:14)

A few weeks ago, I was praying with my eyes closed and I had a picture of people in a dark pit. Everyone’s voices were so loud and fear was mounting. They could not see because they were in the dark pit and they could not hear because of the noise. The Lord laid on my heart to reach into the pit and help people out into the light to hear HIS VOICE and walk in HIS LIGHT. I found myself crying and telling the Lord that I would do whatever He asked me to do, but was not sure how to do this and I heard one word. LOVE.

The love of Christ is supernatural; above our natural affinities affections; above our preferences our likes and dislikes. Love dismantles fear. The people in the pit were fearful.

Have you found yourself in the pit today? Call a friend and ask them to help you out. Pray together. Do you know someone who is in the pit? Reach in and bring them out. And more importantly look for those who may not think like you, or look like you or vote like you (yes I DID say that). Look for people to love. Because love covers a multitude of sins.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution or famine, or danger or sword?…. No in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor power, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us fro the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

Join Drawing Near to God this fall for the Fall study, The Kingdom is Near. And for more Abiding Space blog posts and daily devotionals, visit DrawingNeartoGod.com



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