Normal Is Only a Setting on Your Dryer

We're in our seventh week of a change from the normal.  I'm not sure what is normal.  Patsy Clairmount, a speaker and author who recovered from acrophobia (fear of people and public places) once said, "Normal is only a setting on your dryer."  What is the new normal? I’m not sure.

If we're not careful, we'll focus on the WHY question.  WHY did this happen?  I’m not sure we'll ever be able to drill down and find any constructive answers. Some are focusing on the WHO question. Who can we blame, etc.?  Normally, the why or who questions often lead to greater frustration and often opens the door to bitterness and other negative thoughts and emotions.  Yes, investigations and reports are good and have their place in due time so that we can hopefully fail forward.  

Since we live in the now, one day at a time, may I suggest some daily PRINCIPLES that may help us with the HOW question.  Each of us are affected in different ways, some very severe, and others not so much.

First, we recognize that life is a GIFT from God and we should value each day that He gives us.  Psalms 90: 12, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."  Life is experienced daily.  God gives us our daily bread.  Abraham Lincoln said, "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." We can be thankful or thankless. One leads to peace, the peace of God that passes all understanding. The other resembles an entitlement attitude which often results in bitterness and resentment.  We cannot change yesterday and we have no power over tomorrow, but we can be grateful that God gives us opportunities today to love our family and friends.  Life is full of choices.  Choice, not chance, determines our destiny and our daily attitudes.  If you're like me, you are grateful for God’s mercy, because we make the wrong choice more often that we would like to acknowledge.

We can choose to go forward in FAITH, not fear.  God works through faith and our enemy works through fear (unhealthy fears). Did you know that faith is listed over 250 times in the Bible?  2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "We live by faith and not by sight, seeing or appearance."  What are you seeing today?   Ephesians 6:16 says, "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."  Remember to put on the whole armor of God, because the enemy wants to rob you of your faith in Jesus Christ.  James 1:3 says, "Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue."  Faith that can't be tested, can't be trusted!   Remember unhealthy fear is from the enemy and is often played out on the court of our emotions.  Emotions can be real, but they're not always right, and rarely accurate.  

Faith that can't be tested, can't be trusted!

We can choose to depend on HIS GRACE, rather than self.  Yes, we're stewards and managers and need to make healthy choices, but without His grace we have no power for our faith to work through.  "For by grace are you saved through faith…. Ephesians 2:8 - 9."  Many are familiar with the classic definition of grace - the unmerited favor of God.  But grace is also HIS power in us; the supernatural ability to do for us what we can't do for ourselves.  We need grace and faith on a daily basis.  You've probably heard or read the difference between Mercy and Grace.  MERCY = when God doesn't give us what we deserve (punishment). GRACE = when God gives us what we don't deserve (blessing).  I'm proud to be an American, but I'm even more grateful to be a child of God. The American work ethic is often summarized as pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.  As children of God, we need to depend on HIM daily.  He's promised to never leave or forsake us.  How do I receive His grace Ed?  There's one requirement that James 4:6 states, "God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the HUMBLE." As we humble ourselves daily, we can receive His grace.  

As we take time daily to get into HIS PRESENCE (relationship through worship, word, prayer, fellowship), we can experience the peace that passes understanding. When we come to Him, He will never reject us. He's never too busy to hear us with our needs.  Hebrews 4;14 says, "Let us then approach the throne of Grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need."

Karen and I have two grandsons (Lucas and David) and we love it when they come to us and want to sit in our lap.  It doesn't matter about their appearance (dirty, muddy, smelly, etc.).  Why? Because they're ours. We have access to Him 24/7/365. Just like our grandchildren, we need to come before Him with confidence, not fear.  I read a quote recently from Tim Keller, "The only person who dares to wake up a king at 3 a.m. for a glass of water is a CHILD."

"The only person who dares to wake up a king at 3:00 am for a glass of water is a CHILD."

How do we go forward?  Realizing that life is a gift from God that is experienced one day at a time. Confront our fears with our faith in Jesus and come into His presence continually throughout the day.

I remember reading a story in a devotional book by E. M Bounds.  Rising one morning, he said "I heard the barking of a number of dogs chasing deer.  Looking out at a large field – I saw a young fawn making its way across the field.  It leaped over the rails of the enclosed place and stopped within ten feet of me.  A moment later two of the dogs came over and the fawn ran in my direction and pushed it's head between my legs. I lifted the little thing up to my chest and kicked at the dogs.  About that time, I felt that all the dogs in the county would not capture this fawn that I held in my arms. You see this fawn in its weakness had appealed to my strength."  So, it is when we, in our human helplessness, appeal to a mighty God.  We need to run to the Lord and allow him to be our strong tower.

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