As I prayed this week for the Lord to give me a word for you, the word that kept coming to mind was, normal. The word normal wasn’t really a word I expected to hear, I was looking for words like rest, peace, or perhaps faith. You know, those ordinary “Christian” words. As I thought about this word, the Lord reminded me of a conversation my friend Megan, and I had just this week. We were talking about all things, kids, marriage, family, and faith, leading us to ask some, what is normal questions on these topics. Before I decided to run with this thought of normal, I wanted to do some word search in the bible. To my knowledge, I had never read a passage that spoke explicitly to what normal is supposed to look like. So I did a quick search, and out of all the translations of the Bible, there were only fourteen scriptures found that mentioned the word normal. So I began reading them and was very intrigued at what the Lord was showing me and what I believe He’d love to show you.
So what is normal? I believe the word normal is different for every one of us. Not one of us thinks the exact same as to what normal is. According to the dictionary, normal means, conforming to a standard. This definition causes me to ask the question, who’s standard am I submitting to? Who am I worried about pleasing?
If you were to look at my life, one thing you may find is that I get a lot of flak over is my decision to homeschool. Some of you may say it isn’t the norm. Or perhaps the way I budget every ounce of our money before the month begins makes you cringe because it doesn’t seem normal. It’s often easy to judge someone’s way when we don’t understand them. I too have selfishly, at one point or another, looked into someone’s life and thought the same, that is not normal. So how do we or can we possibly determine what’s normal and what isn’t? Let’s look at a few of the verses I mentioned before.
And the priest shall examine him again the seventh day, and if the diseased part has a more normal color and the disease has not spread in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only an eruption or a scab; and he shall wash his clothes and be clean. Leviticus 13:6
As soon as the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD had come up from the middle of the Jordan River, and the soles of the priests’ feet came up to dry ground, the water of the Jordan River returned to normal, covering its banks as it had done so before. Joshua 4:18
Then he told the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out and it became normal, as healthy as his other hand. Matthew 12:13
By all accounts every place the word normal is used in scripture, It appears to mean, the way something was created to be. How God designed it to be. The diseased skin was expected to have a specific color, the water of the Jordan was meant to flow, and the man’s hand was designed to look healthy and work correctly. When our creator God formed us in our mother’s womb, He created us to conform to His standard for us, but sadly, we’ve often traded His standards and His ways in for the ways of the world. We’ve submitted to the ideas of others versus the ways of God, and His ways for our lives, lifestyles, and choices. God created us to conform to Him. If you want to please Him, if you’re going to live a normal life, submit to His standards, not the standards of others. And while you’re at it, make sure you’re allowing others to do the same. Allowing them to live the life God designed for them without judgment from you.
Now please understand this is not a pass to live any way you want. God alone should be the one we get our standards from. Homeschooling is a choice we made, not because we have issues with public school, but because God said it’s for our family. It’s our family conforming to the standard of God for our life. It’s our normal.
What I hope I am getting across to you today is the simple thought that normal is whatever God says it is in your life. It’s you conforming to His standards. So I must ask, whose standard are you submitting too? The worlds, for fear of being different, or God’s way for your life, despite what others may think or say about you?
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God- what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect. Romans 12:2