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Friday, August 19, 2022

Navigating our new norm

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Isaiah 43:19: “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (NLT)

We are living in an unprecedented time. COVID-19 has sadly claimed over 210,000 lives, and more than 7 million Americans have tested positive for the virus. Rising racial tensions threaten every advance made in this area over the past 60 years. Many small businesses have closed their doors permanently, causing millions of Americans to become unemployed. 

Police brutality, coupled with the unjustified shootings and murders of unarmed Black women, men and children, have further eroded the already historical distrust of law enforcement in Black and brown communities. And if all of the above isn’t enough, our current presidential administration does absolutely nothing to promote peace and harmony in our nation. 

In the midst of this present madness there is a need for hope and continuous reminders that we serve a God who is able to not only sustain us, but deliver us from every trouble and tragedy we encounter.

The Prophet Isaiah reminds us that God is up to something new! Charles Spurgeon’s commentary on Isaiah 43 notes the following: “In this chapter the Lord comforts his people. By his divine foresight he perceives that there are great and varied trials a little way ahead, and therefore he prepares them for the ordeal.” 

In these trying times, navigating our new norm is necessary. It calls for us to change our perspective and confession. Our perspective and confession must be God is doing a new thing. COVID-19 has forced us to do this in a new way. What we once understood as the norm is no more. Our perspective and confession cannot be that changing the norm is a bad thing. In fact, it must be just the opposite if we are to successfully navigate our new norm.

“Do you not see it?” The question is asked to force our perspective and confession to change. We may be going through a tough time. But if we know God is up to something new, it makes the tough times bearable.

What is God doing? The Prophet Isaiah tells us God is “making a path in the wilderness and creating rivers in a dry wasteland.” Making a path in the wilderness called “COVID-19” is critical for us to successfully navigate our new norm. Providing us with “rivers in a dry wasteland” is also necessary for our survival. New paths lead to new opportunities, and new rivers in dry wastelands lead to new resources! God is doing a new thing! Do you not see it?

Isaiah’s prophetic proclamation provides us hope. As dismal as things may appear, we can trust God to do a “new thing.” As Spurgeon notes: “What God has done once, he can do again; but he can also make yet grander and more marvelous displays of his power and grace than he has ever yet given.” 

We can adopt Spurgeon’s perspective and make his confession our own as we navigate our new norm. We’ve survived tough times before. We have seen and experienced God’s “marvelous displays of power and grace” before. With God’s help, we’ve been victorious in navigating new norms before. And with God’s continued help, we will be victorious in navigating the present new norms we are all facing today.

Dr. Preston T. Adams III is senior pastor at Amazing Grace Christian Church in Indianapolis. Contact Pastor Adams via email at seniorpastor@agccindy.org or via Twitter @DrPrestonTAdams. For more information, visit agccindy.org.

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