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  • By Kate Silber, Nexus ICA Co-Founder
  • 2-minute read

If you think about it, we spend a lot of life comparing, sometimes with the best possible intent. In our society we are fixated on this elusive standard which we call ‘normal’ or maybe ‘average’, or ‘usual’.

You may have been told that your child is working above or below average at school. You may have been diagnosed with a condition that was discovered because you weren’t responding ‘as normal’.  You may not be able to read ‘like everyone else’ or socialise ‘like everyone else’ or, dare I say it, worship ‘like everyone else’.

When people I talk with are worried that they are not normal, that they are below average, that their condition makes them different…. I ask them to provide me with the ‘normal’ person that they are somehow not like. And so far, I’ve never found that, because there is no normal when it comes to human beings.

It goes further than this, it can pervade all of life. Lockdown is easing and we are so happy that ‘things’ are returning to ‘normal’. We can finally get our lives back, we can return to that which brought us stability, happiness and assurance before the pandemic. But I’m guessing that actually no one is the same after walking through a pandemic, so returning to our former positions won’t actually be possible. Where do we turn?

God, in His great mercy and grace will never ever call us normal and knows that life isn’t that. This is why He provides new starts, new days, streams in the wasteland, rivers in the desert, redemption, forgiveness. He rescues, He delivers, He creates something out of nothing, He sees, He understands, He cares, He knows.  In my experience this doesn’t mean the removal of all the things I feel are hampering my vision of a great, worry-free life. It means Him walking closely with me through them.

When God rescued the people of Israel from slavery, they spent a good deal of time wishing they could go back to normal – back to slavery –  because the journey God took them on was at times….challenging. God was forming them into something new and it was amazing and miraculous and very uncomfortable.

Let me leave you with 2 encouragements. Don’t try to match yourself to normal; you are unique. You may have been told that you don’t match up or may secretly know that you are different to everyone else. You may have struggled against the system you found yourself part of because its ways don’t make sense to you. But don’t settle for that which is less than you truly are, discover your true worth.

Secondly, God is doing something new. For everyone, everywhere. All we need is eyes to perceive it. God has been working in your life during lockdown. He has been working in your church community. Please don’t long for what was before; have eyes to see what is coming and what is beautiful about the new thing God is doing.

Biblical references

Is 43:1 – 4
Is 43: 16 – 21
Ps 103: 6 – 14
Gen 16:1

Cover photo by Austris Augusts on Unsplash

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