Time has changed our days more quickly than anyone could have anticipated. In the blink of an eye, everything was different and nothing was the same.
School days are held remotely. Food shopping is being done with protective gloves and Germ-X. Work days are either shortened, done at home, or not at all. Most of life is indoors other than a quick walk, so fresh air can fill our lungs and the warmth of sunshine can be felt on our faces. Conversations are had from six feet apart, on the phone, or on facetime.
Days are filled with news conferences. First on the national level, then state, and then city. It is all consuming and unprecedented, new territory for us all.
The question hung in the air recently. Once spoken aloud, it couldn’t be unsaid or unheard … “Do you think we will ever return to normal?”
It’s a good question, unsettling as it is, for the honest answer is that life would never be as it was before. Life would be different from now on. We would never return to the way we were before this pandemic occurred.
Thinking about this, I realized there are several ways in which change has occurred:
- Control. As humans, we want life to be neat and tidy; orderly. Perhaps we call it routine or being organized. Call it what we may, suddenly we have had to come to grips with – the loss of control; or the truth that we wereÂ not ever the ones in control at all. In reading Colossians 1 we find a reminder of the only One who reigns over us all: “He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation in his hands” (verse 17, NLT). All creation for all time is in His hands alone.
- Dependence. We are utterly dependent on God for all our needs and staying connected to Him is vital. Paul warns against disconnection from Christ and tells us, “For he holds the whole body [of Christ] together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it” (Colossians 2:19, NLT). As we stay connected to Christ, and other believers, we guard against becoming undernourished and depleted. Dependent we will thrive and grow.
- Character. Even in these trying days, we can be a people of character, of godly character. “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12, NLT). May these beautiful graces be seen in us, blessing those with whom we interact.
- Prayer. Let this be a time of constant prayer for our families, for our nation, and for our world. “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart” (Colossians 4:2, NLT). God will give us opportunities to encourage those around us, breathing the hope which He alone can bring.
“Will life ever return to normal?”
Yes, we may return to work, school, church, and our other activities at some point ahead. May we return as a changed people, a people walking more closely with our God and each other. May we pray for one another as Paul prayed for the precious Colossians:
“So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.” (Colossians 1:9-12a, NLT)