Back to Life as NOT Normal

As we finish off 2014, here’s a quick look at one of the Top posts over the past year. Thank you for your readership, and I look forward to sharing more thoughts on our faith awakening in 2015.

–Andrew

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It would be difficult to describe my life as normal.

But I also wonder if it ever should.

When I look back, I can see periods of my life that appeared to be “usual” according to societal standards. I tend to be a fairly even-keeled, average guy. But when I think of “average” and “normal,” I have a hard time reconciling those words with who I truly am – one in whom Christ dwells.

In other words, I’ve met Jesus. In fact, we’re always together.

I gave my life to Christ when I was young, but God walked with me through my life to give me a greater and deeper understanding of who Jesus is and who I am in His eyes. The Holy Spirit lives in me, and He is anything but “usual.”

When Jesus looks at me, he doesn’t use the words “average” or “normal;” and neither should I.

What is true about my identity is true about my life. I didn’t just meet Jesus one time and walked away and lived a “normal” life. Following Jesus is about a relationship. It’s continuing to meet with Jesus and never walking away the same.

I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I know Who is. And Jesus’ perfection alters my life every moment we interact. It is becoming truer of daily life, and it’s clearly seen in light of recent events.

My family and I just returned from a trip to Honduras. While we were there, we met Jesus. We saw the Father providing and protecting His Honduran children. We saw Jesus seeking, saving, and redeeming the lost. We saw the Holy Spirit bringing genuine joy and unity with our brothers and sisters. We saw God’s heart for people, and we saw it every day.

Is it possible to come back to the United States to “life as usual”?

Honestly, it is.

When I look at the Gospels, I see people who were changed by Jesus. A woman touched Jesus and was changed. Jesus went to a man’s house, and his life changed. People listened to Jesus and were changed. Jesus saw people, and He set out to bring about change.

Yet I also see stories like the rich man who came to meet Jesus, but he went away sad…unchanged. Religious leaders who questioned Jesus and received an incredible response, but their position remained…unchanged. They met Jesus, and went back to life as usual.

People go to church camps and serve on short-term mission trips all the time. Actually, it’s fairly easy to live life from one weeklong spiritual high to the next. Then, God can be kept in a weeklong box so we can go back to “normal” life.

But if we’ve truly met Jesus and have an ever-present relationship with Him, should we ever return the same as when we left?

God is too great, His kingdom too big, His love too deep to be sealed in one experience.

God’s awareness of people is too keen, His compassion toward them too raw, His desire for them too important to be left behind after a week.

God is too great, too good, too holy, too powerful, too loving for me to meet with him and live a “normal” life.

My family and I have returned from Honduras, but the experience is not over. We want to slow down, reflect, remember, and remain in constant communication with God about all He has shown us and all He hopes to do in and through us and His people in Honduras.

As I process what we’ve seen and heard, my desire is for every conversation with God–every meeting with Jesus–to continue to change me and the lives of my family members. Anything less would be a dishonor to the greatness of our God and Savior.

I don’t want to get back to life as usual.

So, I’m getting back to life as NOT normal.

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