Meditations by John Dean

Monday, April 20, 2020

The New Normal

(Exodus 14:27)  Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the water returned to its normal depth at daybreak. The Egyptians tried to retreat in front of the advancing water, but the LORD destroyed the Egyptians in the middle of the sea.

There is a phrase that has become very popular today that I have grown to dislike very much … it’s called the new normal. Among other things that phrase seems to imply the loss of freedom and that possibility bothers me greatly. Our freedom is a treasured possession that has come with an enormous price tag. While we and our sons enjoy the benefits of freedom… others and their sons have paid for it with their lives.

There has always been a river, (whether spiritual or physical), that has separated those who are free from those who are in bondage. I have been to almost forty countries and I have discovered that freedom is interpreted differently in each one of these beautiful countries. The freedom that I have enjoyed all my life in America is certainly different than that of other countries because no matter what my circumstances were … I was free.

When I was broke, I was free, when I did not know where my next meal was coming from, I was free, when I was rejected by others, I was free, and when I thought the whole world was against me, I was still free.

As I look at our text, I seem to understand more of why God put the Red Sea between His family, (Israel), and Pharaoh and his people, (the Egyptians). I suddenly realized that there has always been a river between us and them, between my family’s inheritance and their family’s inheritance, between my God and their god. When they are in Egypt, they are free, but when I am in Egypt, I am in bondage.

I have always pushed the envelope, and have walked on the edge, and have been a forward thinker all my life … but I have always known where the banks of the river were and how far I could go.

The thing that bothers me most about the term, the new normal, is that it implies that the water in the river will either be lowered significantly or done away with completely. Should that happen, it seems to be in man’s nature to sink to the lowest possible denominator which means we would all be back in Egypt’s bondage.

Even though the term, a new normal, is very discouraging … our text is very encouraging. God has always been a protector and provider for His own. As King David once said, “He has prepared a table for me in the presence of my enemies”. The Bible also says that He sheltered Noah in an ark, He kept John safe in boiling oil, and He feed the multitudes with five loaves and two fish and now He is a pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night for the children of Israel. Their food and water never ran out and their clothes and shoes never wore out.

I refuse to bow to what is implied in the term, the new normal.

We are blessed because You do not have to come up with new phrases to explain our circumstances. “You are the same yesterday, today and forever”. Thank You for the rivers that You have established in our lives to remind us that there is always a difference between our inheritance and their bondage.

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