Back To Normal

back to normalJohn 21:3 “Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’”

My Christmas tree is down. Rather than sitting next to its warm glow, I’m having morning devotions back in my little porch room. Half & half foams my coffee instead of eggnog. No more sound of Manheim Steamroller or smell of Yankee Candle Mistletoe to complete my daily Christmas ritual. New photos—photos reflecting a year of transitions—grace the family room. I’ve even spent all my Christmas money!

We’re back to normal…

As much as I love the Christmas season, normalcy actually feels pretty good. Normal connotes regular, ordinary, maybe even a bit boring. But normal for followers of Christ means anything but boredom. In Him we find life to be a stable, albeit unpredictable, caper (to use Bob Goff’s term). Every day God offers us opportunity to infuse our ordinary surroundings with his extraordinary Spirit.

Normalcy seems to be what the disciples were looking for after the excruciating sorrow of Jesus’ crucifixion. They had spent the last three years literally walking with God. They witnessed health restored to the sick and sanity to the demoniacs through the touch of his hand. They saw violent winds quieted by the sound of his voice. They watched the hypocrisy of the religious establishment be set on its heels. For the first time in their lives, they experienced pure, holy, unconditional love. Now it was gone. Abruptly. Inconsolably…

So Peter decided to do the only thing he knew to do. Go back to fishing. Back to normal…

He didn’t realize life after encountering Jesus would produce a “new normal.” The disciples—and all future disciples—would be given the opportunity to take the torch Jesus lit and light up the world. “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).  “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).

Peter wasn’t expecting a miracle when he went back to normal. But one came. And so it is with us. Whether we’ve come off a refreshing time of Christmas celebration or a devastating loss, God intends to use our big events, our non-normal experiences to change us. He wants to mark our normals with something quite extraordinary…Himself.

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