Daily Devotional LifeJourney Church (MCC)

A Different Kind Of Normal

February 22, 2012 • Category: Variety Week

Today’s scripture: 1 Corinthians 4:9-13 (The MessageWhat might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Julie Walsh):

Somewhere along our journey we got the idea that life was supposed to be a pretty little picture with things falling easily into place. We received a very false sense of what we expect to be normal.

When someone asks how things are going and you answer, “Fine,” that is thought of as normal. You know, the way things should be. Answer with a qualifier — “Fine, but…” — then it is assumed that your life, in fact, is not normal.

But when do each of us not have something going on, someone we are concerned about, an issue that we are working on, or a circumstance that we are devoting thought, time, and prayer to? Difficulty, surprise, hardship, and trials of every kind are the norm for followers of Christ.

Look at how Paul describes his experience of “normal” in I Corinthians 4: “We’re something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. We’re the Messiah’s misfits.”

Now that’s normal! This is the treatment you can expect if you plan to grow as a Christian. For it is hardship that produces character as we meet challenges in life alongside the Holy Spirit. And it is with hardship and difficulty that we cling to the reality of God working in our lives. We can see the evidence of our being sharpened and carefully crafted.

If normal for you means everything is just fine and dandy, then you’d better brace yourself for a hard dose of reality. Life is messy. Cherish the moments that are filled with instability and don’t be ashamed to admit that you don’t quite have it all together. Rejoice in your opportunity to grow! Life may not be fine — but that is normal! Embrace exactly where you are today and start living in a different kind of normal.

Thought for the day: Remember that each of your friends, neighbors, and co-workers are being stretched and challenged in their journey in some way, just as you may be in another. Celebrate that this is only normal!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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