Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The New Normal

(Before you start reading, I need to tell you that this blog post is not about my difficulties. It's about the faithfulness of God. Don't give in to the temptation to feel sorry for me. You've probably had days like this before. If you haven't, you will. Just keep reading.)

I was up early yesterday. It was so warm and comfy in my bed that I grabbed my laptop and headed back to my big four-poster. I wrote my blog and started on my novel. Ordinarily, I'd have gone to the barn after posting my blog, fed the livestock, come back for a shower, and moved to the kitchen to write. Yesterday, though, the comfort of my bed seemed like a good idea for a change. 

It wasn't.

I was still in my pj's when, shortly after 8:00, I heard Sam call my name. His car wouldn't start and he needed me to jump him off. Right then. 

It was cold outside. I was in the middle of writing a great new scene. I didn't want to stop. Sam didn't want to wait. 

I got up, dressed, and headed out with my jumper cables.

That set the tone for the morning. I won't bore you with details, but it was hard. I cried. More than once. My tears weren't because of anything specific, but because life had changed. 

As the morning progressed (maybe I should say deteriorated, because it got much worse before it got better), I finally realized something important.

This is my new normal, and, sometimes, it's going to be hard.

I blinked back tears and a verse echoed in my head. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) I memorized that verse as a child, and I believe it's true. I dug in. I called a friend to pray. I texted another friend.

My steps faltered, but I kept going. 

I grieved for the old normal. 

I grieved, and I cried, and I whined, and it was all okay. Because life is hard and sometimes we cry. Sometimes we grieve. Sometimes we whine. God knows all about our tears, whining, and grief. He created us. Nothing takes Him by surprise. 

He can handle it.

God is not displeased when we struggle, or grieve, or cry. He is displeased with us when we set up camp in our distress and allow our struggle to halt all progress, all obedience. 

In the midst of my struggle, God strengthened me and I did what had to be done. I blinked back tears, gave thanks for the help I knew He would give, and kept going. 

After everything that needed to be done was done, I saw His hand. My scene was better than I had expected. My unexpected car repair was much less expensive than anticipated. I received a very encouraging email from my editor. I had time to cook last evening before my son comes home today.

Yesterday was just one hard day in the midst of a lifetime of blessing. From an eternal perspective, the difficulties I encountered yesterday lasted no more than a blink of an eye. 

It was a hard morning, but it was a good day, because God brought me through.

In this world, we will have trouble. Jesus confirmed that truth. (John 16:33) Believers are not magically exempt from difficulties. We have as much, or more, trouble than the rest of the world. What makes our trouble different is that we have a Savior who will never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5) We have a Comforter, a Helper. (John 14:16) We are not alone in our trials. 

Our God will strengthen us, equip us, and bring us through. Even when it's hard. Even when we want to quit. Even when we whine, and complain, and cry.

Are you facing a hard time? Take heart. God is with you. He hasn't overlooked you or neglected you. He is there and He stands ready to help. 

Cry if you must. Whine if you will. But do not fail to lean on the only One who can carry you through.

The most read post of the past week: Removing the Callus.

#newnormal #Godismystrength #disciple #JesusChrist #perseverance