Straight from an Imagining Heart
By Lisa Elliott
How many times over the past couple of years have you heard the words, “When things get back to normal…”? My question is what is normal? And, what if things never get back to whatever that is? Furthermore, what if the normal you end up with isn’t anything close to what you want it to be? What if, in fact, getting back to normal turns out to be worse than what it presently is? What then? Will people be saying, “I wish things could get back to abnormal”?
Erma Bombeck once said, “Normal is the setting on my dryer.” I think she was onto something there. So, what do we do with all of this?
Here’s a thought. What if there was a new normal awaiting you beyond your wildest imagination? What if the plans that God has and the purpose He is working toward are far more than anything you could think or imagine? He’s that kind of God, after all. Ephesians 3:20 tells us, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. ” But, why can’t we believe this?
Where I personally tend to go askew is when I begin to implement my own ideas of what that actually looks like in place of what God has in store.
Perhaps we need to take Isaiah’s words to heart “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland ” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
The God of the Universe is not limited to our scope of imagination. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future ” (Jeremiah 29:11).
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?’ ‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?’ For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).
Take courage, my friends. We must believe that there are better days ahead. “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming” (1 Peter 1:13). Here’s a glimpse of what that looks like,
“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.’ At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
‘“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,”
who was, and is, and is to come’” (Revelation 4:1-8).
Now that’s the kind of new normal I can look forward to! I can only imagine!
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (three on earth, one in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, ON, Canada.