We all know what it's like after a rain storm has passed through our area and how that next clear sunny day is so clean and so pure. That euphoric feeling of freshness lingers for a while and we begin to adjust our mindset as to what we are going to wear, what we are going to do, where we can go now, as well as how to tackle the mess that we have to clean up. The funny thing is, starting with this new year, life in this country has actually experienced this very thing during our winter. As the rains poured out water from above, not only did this weather pattern bring much needed water for the sake of the vegetation all around, but it also gave people a change in scenery and a reprieve of some of the things that we humans tend to look at as inevitable or definite. Looking back, we began this new year ALL IN, with an impeachment trial, and then we watched as the world mourned together at the news of a sudden death of a sportsman. The 'rain' started to pour and pour and pour, and now we find ourselves in the middle of a storm (pandemic) with more to come. Just as it is with the rain, however, more than one thing is being accomplished, if we are listening, God continues to prepare us because come rain or shine, He is still in charge and only His plans are a sure thing.
So what can we, who are living through these unlikely events take away for useful purposes moving forward, and apply them towards other big “surprises” that life may dish out soon enough?
OK here we go. The “new normal” for those of us who are aware of the shifting cultural landscape needs to be unpacked layer by layer. Right off the top we’ve gotta learn that nothing is permanent in this world outside of God, who doesn’t ever change. Malachi 3:6 (ESV) “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.”
If we are too dependent on the world as our source of stability and strength we are in trouble even before real trouble hits us. That’s no condition to be in if we are to remain steadfast and be of good use to anyone else. Our entire life must be built around the foundation of who God is as the fixed point of reference for all our choices, as well as understanding that He is the origin of all Truth.
Romans 3:4 (NASB) “May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.”" If God is the source of truth then He is the origin of the ultimate reality and everything else can take a number and go to the back of the line, where the liars go. What Paul is saying about being judged has nothing to do with the final judgement but rather, with us currently, when the devil tries to bring a judgement against us, our family, our house, our business or anything in life. In Matthew 12:36-37 (NASB) Jesus repeats this "But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgement. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." This means that when we speak anything contrary to the TRUTH we end up validating a LIE and positioning ourselves underneath it's judgement (condemning sentence). If we are anchored in God’s Word as the ultimate Truth for our lives, we can rest assured that He has committed to be for us, not against us and that no weapon formed can harm us or our family. The most important thing besides our relationship with a loving God is to act upon His Word by placing our complete trust in Him for all aspects of our existence. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB) “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Since we know that nothing is permanent in this world, the next thing that we have to be aware of is that our Father God is in the midst of life’s hardships and trials along with us. He takes what the enemy throws at us and turns it around to work for us if we keep our eyes on Him all the way through it, making what the devil intended for destruction to work out for our good. (Rom.8:28) (2Cor.4:17-18) Although there are many troubles, challenges, tragedies and afflictions in life that don’t come from God, if we acknowledge Him in the middle of them, He will use it for our benefit. God uses anything, everything, good, bad, ugly, pretty; He uses it all. He isn't nervous or surprised when things "get out of hand", His hands are always steady. So taking our cues from Him we MUST get better and become the best at adapting and adjusting to sudden shakeups and even a complete overhaul of our previously established way of life.
Since humans were created, we have had to learn how to do this time and again as the internal discovery of free will and choice have led to corresponding consequences with not all of them proving to be pleasant. Which is why all of us 21st century God Lovers, have had it pretty easy for a long time and we have gotten away with some things that God allowed (most likely with a cringe). As the last generation that is spoken about in the Bible, we are going to see things that eyes have not seen and hear things that ears have not heard placing us in a position to process things that no other generation has had to process. Now is not the time to lose our cool, miss our steps or get off track for the sake of others. Isaiah 5:20 (NASB) “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Above all of this we must be faithful to keep the ears and eyes of our hearts opened wide that we may know what steps He has ordered for our particular path. This is a life that we need to live in the expectation of our Savior's return, and for the sake of the way things are supposed to be, all fresh and clean and clear like right after a good rainstorm.