Life is full of surprises. Some are wonderful and others stop us in our tracks. Through all of this, we somehow foolishly make plans for weeks, months, and years ahead. That is part of our nature. For some reason, we like to plan, thinking planning offers us a sense of being in control. But then, life continues. God has different ideas and a different path for us.
For many of us, we feel we are experiencing a chain of negative or bad surprises. We may mumble to ourselves with a sigh, “The hits just keep on coming,” as we deal with one thing after another. Perhaps we have heard of people in similar circumstances and thought, “Boy, I’m glad that didn’t happen to me.” But then, it does. And when the really big surprises knock us off our feet, we find the strength to grab hold and pull ourselves back up.
But what happens when we pull ourselves up only to discover that, while we feel strengthened again, the circumstances that knocked us down did not change. We must acknowledge, “The struggle is real.” This is when we find ourselves in a “new normal.” How do we adapt? Are we able to adapt? And what of our faith? Did our faith weakened as we were struggling to get back up?
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places Habakkuk 3:17-19
In the verses from Habakkuk, we are told that no matter what, we should have faith and continue to rejoice in God and what He has in mind for our future. We may feel lacking in our faith even when we know we should hang on. Our faith feels diminished somehow.
When the apostles were traveling with Jesus, He gave them instructions on faith and forgiveness. Even His disciples felt their faith was not what it should be and asked Jesus to strengthen their faith.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5
Jesus lovingly told His apostles that having just a little bit of faith, holding on to the tiniest bit of faith, as small as a mustard seed, would be all they would need to work wonders. When they asked for more faith, this is what He said:
He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it will obey you’ Luke 17:6.
That is all we need. Just a tiny bit of faith. In the new normal, don’t give up. Hang on, pull yourself up, and hold on to the mustard seed, then shout for the tree to get out of your way! Tell the new normal your tiny seed of faith is stronger. No matter what our new normal may be, Jesus is always the same. He is always with us. Hold on to your mustard seed and pray.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever Hebrews 13:8
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