Does the Lord ever just whisper right on through your spirit something so powerful that a hole wears out in that spot and it forever changes the way you see things? All of the sudden, everything you see is viewed through the lens of this new area He has worn right onto your heart.
I’m reading this really fabulous book. I recommend it to any teen girl or woman. (There are so many things in this book that speak truth to the beauty of God’s creation…YOU… but this is kind of a random little snippet that came at me out of nowhere in my reading.) Jess Connolly writes in Breaking Free from Body Shame: Dare to Reclaim What God has Named Good…
“I think about the Israelites a lot. I think about how it would feel to hear the cries of those whose homes had not been passed over. I think about how it would have felt to slip out of their homes with their belongings and their children huddled together, in the middle of the night or the early morning, escaping slavery but also leaving behind any sense of belonging. I wonder how it felt to find themselves provided for in the desert with manna from God, yet long to go back to what they knew, long to go back to normal. I think about the ever-present hope of the promised land, and how often they must have doubted its existence…” (emphasis added.)
They left their normal…chains and all…behind them. And it was not easy.
How many times over the last couple of years has my heart cried to God, “I just want things to go back to normal!” How many times have I heard others say the same? But I read this page, and the Lord opened my eyes to something I’ve been missing all along.
When Christ died, his disciples were in shock. Mortified. They had lost hope. And yet. Jesus had warned them multiple times what was to come. He had told them quite plainly, but they were blinded. Understanding was far beyond their reach. They just wanted things to go back to normal.
The council who had Stephen stoned…they believed (or their fear of the abnormal led them to want to believe) that Stephen was speaking blasphemy against Moses and God, but this was not true. They just couldn’t understand. They were missing a piece to the puzzle…all the while being certain they had the complete picture. They just wanted things to go back to normal. The early church might have felt the same way at this time…just wishing things could go back to normal.
Normal is safe. Normal is comfortable. But here is the piercing question that the Lord whispered right through me the other night….
“Does ‘normal’ advance my Kingdom? Does ‘normal’ bring you any closer to the promised land? IF you doubt the existence of the promised land, then it makes sense to crave ‘normal’. But if you trust me…if you trust me… let’s venture out into new territory and never look back. Because this is where Kingdom advancement takes place…in the abnormal…
The ‘abnormal’ that the disciples were plunged into after Yeshua Messiah died and rose again brought a beautiful harvest. The ‘abnormal’ that the first century church was pushed into with the persecution of the Christians saw many souls welcomed into eternal paradise with our Lord.
I will no longer let myself dwell on a desire to go back to normal. I’m ready for new land. I’m ready to see Kingdom growth. Let it be, Lord.