Feeling Abnormal With Normal
Every Sunday, for all of my life (yes, even as an infant), I have gone to church. It’s the normal thing for me to do. I would feel abnormal not doing so. But yesterday, as my husband and I went to church, I felt abnormal.
It wasn’t a different kind of church. It wasn’t a different time to go to church. There weren’t different songs being sung. There wasn’t a different gospel being preached.
The difference was the church we attended wasn’t the one we had been attending for 17 years. It wasn’t the church where my husband had been the senior pastor. Our normal Sunday worship experience felt abnormal because God had spoken, we had obeyed (a little reluctantly I admit), and we had retired from this church.
Making His children uncomfortable in the ordinary is one of the ways God works to make Himself known to us. Moses experienced feeling abnormal with normal when he took his sheep up the mountain to graze as he normally did and encountered an ordinary bush not being consumed by the fire that enveloped it. From that bush, Moses heard the voice of God, obeyed His commands (though not always willingly and perfectly) and came to know Him in a relationship that Scripture identified as “friends.”
For church members used to having the same pastor for 17 years, I suspect their normal seemed abnormal yesterday also. Like me, they may have found the abnormal uncomfortable, strange and, yes, fearful. What do we do with these feelings?
Moses told God his misgivings about these changes from his normal. I believe that’s the pattern God intends for us. As we lay before Him our insecurities, we can be certain of His plans for us. “’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
The abnormal can be very good indeed. Moses probably thought so. What could be more abnormal than being friends with God?