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Finding Faith: New normal

By REV. ALISON GROVE

Nowadays, I am hearing the phrase “new normal” just about everywhere. The pharmaceutical industry advertises that a patient is living into their “new normal” as they take advantage of the drug being advertised for helping their present medical condition to improve.

When 9/11 happened, we began living into our “new normal” as a nation and world. Airline travel certainly has changed since that time.

We have even lived into our “new normal” when the H1N1 virus occurred several years ago and the same is true when other viruses have caused alarm.

Protocols and ways for keeping people safe seem to always be evolving from day to day, year to year. That’s so true for the “new normal” as we seem to live into the changes and challenges that are on the horizon for normal everyday living as the news for the Covid-19 coronavirus unfolds.

Making changes in our daily routines doesn’t always come easily. However, in the midst of what appears to be panic or fear as one experiences empty store shelves in search for the necessary items that creates those clean sanitary spaces in our homes, work places, and public venues; there is one thing that doesn’t change and that is the Word of God.

In this “new normal” that we are all experiencing as we live within our communities I am reminded of the words from the prophet Isaiah who says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:1, 2, 3)

As God calls each one of us by name God promised the nation of Israel that he would protect them in times of trouble. I believe in my heart that the Lord will do the same for you and for me.

The key is to not panic, but for trusting God at such a time as this. I’m trusting for myself that as I live into these days for many more “customary changes” that are going to come that I will grow stronger in my love for God and for the care and concern of others too.

To me, living my faith means recognizing that God is bigger than all this stuff (Matthew 19:26). That’s the kind of “new normal” that I would prefer to live into.

The writer in the book of Hebrews says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm, and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)

Through this promise, God embodies truth which means that one’s hope is secured and immovable, anchored in God just as a ship is anchored by the seabed.

Rather than facing our daily changes in fear let us become persons who are embracing the gift of God’s “hope” for our lives as one continues living into these new standards every day.

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Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Alison W. Grove, pastor of Covenant and Faith United Methodist Churches, Lock Haven.

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