Planning for a Return to “Normal”

Written by Steve Murphy


Days turned into weeks and weeks are now turning into months.   Whether you come from the “strict quarantine” camp or from the “this is no different than the flu” camp, we have all been affected.   For some it has been their income while some are “just” losing their sanity over isolation.   What might have felt like a bit of a nice break initially, has turned into a lifestyle change that is not necessarily welcome.   I’m a “homebody” by nature so this is not all bad; but when I can’t hold grandchildren or just run to Lowes or gather at church, it is even getting to me.  BUT . . . we serve a Sovereign God who is still sitting on His throne while the world sees this pandemic as a surprise to everybody.   We serve a God of order even when the world thinks we are living in a day of chaos.

How many of us, though, have longed for our schedules to slow down . . . to have more time with family . . . to have time to do things we never get around to?  I would venture to say many of us would answer in the affirmative.  God has given us these days.  The virus and the government are not taking our lives away from us!  Embrace these times as a gift from God.  So what are you doing to fill your days?   What are you itching to do as soon as we have our “freedom” back?   Someone sent me this . . .

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I encourage you to use this mandatory slow down to consider what you will do when life returns to normal.  Will it tend to be back to life as usual or is there something else that God wants to teach us during this time?

Our community group is studying spiritual gifts right now.   Two passages form the foundation:

Romans 12:6-8     We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 27-30     There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines … 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[a]? Do all interpret?

As believers, we have all been given at least one spiritual gift.   God desires us to pursue those gifts to bring honor to Him by using them to serve the body.   We may also have talents God can use, but there is a special effectiveness and satisfaction that can be found when using our gifts. The body of Christ relies on all parts functioning as one.  God desires us to serve one another at Horizon.

Not sure what your gifts may be?

  • Google “Spiritual Gifts” and you will find various online tests who might give you an indication.
  • Ask somebody who knows you to see what they observe.
  • Try some out to see if you see a favorable result and you find joy in doing it.

We will soon be returning to being together physically in community.   Come back ready to Enjoy Christ, Encourage One Another, and Engage the World.  Come back ready to serve one another through the use of our Spiritual gifts.