By Elizabeth Prata
These days are certainly strange. Mandated home sheltering, no going out except for minimal and pressing reasons, economy shuttered, the world staggering from a virus that sweeps through a population like wildfire.
For many people, it’s strange to be at home for these lengthy times. No school, no work, being apart from extended family, uncertain financial future.
People say, “I want my normal life back!”
Even me, the loner, is not immune to this feeling. I ache with the loss of not being with the students I love. I had plans to visit a state park every week and go for walks in nature, take photos. I really miss church!
But I hope I don’t go back to my normal life.
Why don’t I want to be the same? When ‘before coronavirus’ my prayers were frequent but often not as fervent as they should be?
When I didn’t love the Lord as much as I could?
When petty concerns were my major concerns?
When I believed and lived by faith but didn’t say ‘Lord, help my unbelief’ as much as I know to do now?
When missing the friends at church and united in song, prayer, and the sermons are now absent in my life, vividly demonstrating how MUCH we need it? And not to take it for granted?
Why would I want that, if that was my ‘normal life’ back then?
I was 41 years old when the planes smashed into the Twin Towers in NYC, the Pentagon, and the ground in PA during that day on 9/11. It was a shock, and words don’t do justice to the shock waves that went through every individual in this country and the country as a whole.
That was a Tuesday. The following Sunday and for a few Sunday after, churches were full to overflowing. When a national crisis hits and we and our way of life is threatened, with no answers as to why this is happening, people look up. They seek to know and God is the only one in the know. So they went to church.
That faded. Soon churches were minimal in those peoples’ lives again, and it all ‘went back to normal.’
Hopefully we believers won’t revert back to ‘normal life’ so quickly as many did after 9/11.
God is showing us that we are not masters of the earth. With one pass of His hand we learn that a microscopic virus is mightier than all our infrastructures, deals, plans, and works.
I pray that we don’t go back to normal. I pray that we value church gathering together as a local church body all the more because it was denied us.
I pray that we remember what it means to live in a time when access to our everyday things, sports, jobs, friends, relatives was stopped, taken away with a speed that astounds. Nothing is certain.
I pray that we remember the feeling of uncertainty that we could die very quickly and easily from an unseen virus with no visible symptoms, and to always look to Jesus in trust as our loving Father.
I pray that we always remember that people without Christ, in a crisis, are without any foundation and that we have the surety of the Rock, and share.
Normal life…nothing about living for Christ is normal. It’s upside down. It’s counter-cultural. It’s unusual. I am glad He is showing us that, once again.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7).