Normal isn’t better!

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I've heard it in our prayers and seen it on the news
The pagan and the believer crying for the same thing
Take away this pandemic, give us back our normal life
We want to hit the button and restart the year again
We miss the good old days, away with the masks!
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That was the life wasn't it?
When you could go anywhere
And do anything you wanted
We were invisible back then
We clicked our fingers and got our wishes
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Everything was perfect and we lived the dream
Our leaders were amazing, ruling with truth and justice
None died of hunger or knew of economic breakdown
Our society was built on truth and integrity
Do you remember them those good old days?
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So we cry as we dream of what we had
But what really did we have then?
Could it be we were all dreaming
Maybe we are in a bad stupor right now
Supposing that yesterday would be any better
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You could go back to normal but not better
You see it's not the "normal life" we need
It's a better life where disease are unheard of
Where we don't turn wondering what will hit us next
Normal isn't nearly better it's only a milage
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In normal life we laboured and toiled 9 to 5
We did our best to make every coin count
Trying and beating the odds to climb the ladder
But always fearing what would eventually brings us falling
We were always in a pandemic only it wasn't labeled so
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As long as it didn't hit home or someone we knew
It was okay, it's the way of life we said casually
But occasionally we would be victims
Then we would see life in true reality
Because when death glares we see things as we should
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So I call you to see beyond the normal
Don't settle for less problems when you can have none
Don't dream of less sickness when you could be free
Free yourself from the traps of this vain life
And embrace the offer of abundant eternal life that Jesus offers
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Sure, there was something good with our "normal life"
We had a bit more control on things and plans
At least some of us did! 
But it was a always a step away from a pandemic
And who knows what awaits after this one! 
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We pray that things get better while down here
But we should see this as a wake up call
To know what the world offers is really overrated
We need a better home with no viruses and fear of death
And Jesus went to make the perfect home for those who believe
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Christian, don’t waste this Pandemic!

Title borrowed from John Piper’s book, Don’t waste your Life.

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If as Christians we believe that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 then we need to ask whether we are missing the good out of this Pandemic?

It’s inconceivable to the human mind that anything good would come out of tragedy but church history since the Exodus to the Cross and the birth of the early church proves it happens this way. Suffering is the gateway to Christian growth and will ultimately usher in eternal glory with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.

It was Jesus suffering and death in the hands of evil religious leaders and a cowardly ruler that bought us eternal joy and salvation. The groom and darkness of that Friday birthed the precious Easter Sunday. We were reconciled to the Father and given the hope of eternal life. The resurrection of Jesus from this life of suffering and death is the foundation of our faith and what informs how we live now. Otherwise, as Paul says:

… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15.

So going by this foundation it means death won’t be the end of us. Our hope of resurrection goes beyond the threat of diseases and economic breakdown. Those things will affect us and to some of us worse than others but they won’t steal our hope. On the contrary, God can use this time to shape us to be more like Christ in his sufferings. To grow in the flames of suffering in our love and trust for God if we align ourselves with his plan and purposes.

This could turn out to be a memorable time of Church growth numerically and in regard to its discipleship. But it could also be a time of great confusion and backsliding if we focus on the bad, the uncertain and forget our sovereign Lord is still in control. My cry is that we won’t waste this time but make the most use of it to live for Jesus as we always ought to as strangers in this world.

To turn to God in prayer. Seek to grow in our knowledge and love for Jesus and his Word. Seek to expand his kingdom by our witness in word and deed. To look at the fields as Jesus would say and see it’s ripe for harvest:

I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. John 4

This is the time to reach out to friends and family with the Gospel truth and Gospel love. It’s the time to soak in fellowship with God in our devotion and prayer. It’s time to model family devotion and fellowship. It’s time to learn Biblical reflection. Time to encourage one another with the life-giving truths of the Gospel. Time to create and develop good spiritual disciplines. Time to preach. As Steve Lawson echoed;

There has never been a greater hour to preach the gospel. The darker the night, the brighter the light.

We don’t know how long this COVID-19 will take before a cure is found or we recover from it. And we should continue praying for a cure and be wise in controlling it’s spread. But as Christians, we should also make the most use of the time as we live for King Jesus even in this.

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5.