Most of us are longing for the days when life will return to normal. We’re seeing a flicker of light now, as restaurants and stores are opening at 25% capacity. The beaches and parks are back in play, and as long as we “social distance” we can gather with a very small group of friends and family again. But we can’t go to church, get our nails done or attend large meetings. It’s still not totally “normal.”
Yesterday morning on my walk, I reflected on what was the day-to-day “normal” for Jesus—and it was eye opening.
Entrapment was normal for Jesus. “Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words” (Matthew 22:15).
Loneliness was normal for the Son of Man. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray” (Luke 5:16).
Homelessness was a daily normal. “Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head’” (Luke 9:58).
Betrayal was also the norm for God’s Son. “When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders” (Matthew 27:3–4). “Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away” (Mark 14:50).
Ridicule happened often. “’Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked” (John 1:46). “They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” (Luke 23:37).
As I looked at what was normal for our Savior, I was convicted. I thought, If what I’m dealing with now because of COVID-19 can make me a little more like Jesus, then bring it on. These inconveniences are truly normal compared to what He had to endure during His three years of ministry on Earth.
So I’m wondering, would we trade our normal, even now, for Jesus’ normal?
I am grateful we don’t have to make that decision because Jesus already did it for us. He humbled Himself on this Earth, then gave up His life on the cross so that when things go askew and normalcy is turned upside down, we can cling to Him. He is the rock we hold onto, He provides supernatural peace in the storm, He’s with us amidst the worst of trials, normal byproducts of trusting in the Savior of the world.
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12–13).