The New Normal after Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has severely disrupted our lives. It makes us wonder, what will be the new normal?
It's not that I disliked life before the pandemic, but I hope it's never the same. I want life to be better than it's ever been before.
And that better life is a distinct possibility for the people of God.
The prophet Joel spoke into a situation that was as bad as it had ever been before (Joel 1), but he offered them a pathway into a life better than it had ever been before (Joel 2). If the people would return to the Lord, Joel pointed them to the possibility of God relenting from the disaster and leaving behind a blessing.
Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him. Joel 2:13a-14a
Joel then outlined the possible blessings that the Lord could leave behind.
An unexpected supply (Joel 2:19) - A depleted nation could receive an unexpected supply. "Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied." Wouldn't it be amazing for us to receive a vaccine, a treatment, or a shipment of medical equipment from an unexpected place?
An uncalculated change (Joel 2:20-23) - God told the people that He could remove their enemy and solve the situation with an unseasonal rain. "For he has given the early rain for your vindication." The models predict that we could see as many as 200,000 deaths. But what if we could suddenly not only flatten the curve but see it in steep decline? We need an early rain.
An unreal recovery (Joel 2:24-25) - God told His people that they could blow past recession into an incredible economic recovery. "The vats shall overflow with wine and oil. I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten." What if we did not come out of the pandemic needing a stimulus package because we experienced incredible economic growth?
Unprecedented prosperity (Joel 2:26-27) - God proposed a future of unprecedented peace and prosperity. "You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you." What a wonderful "new normal."
Undeniable revival (Joel 2:28-32) - God cast a vision of revival. "I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions." Imagine us coming out of this crisis with spiritually influential young people, refreshed elders, and new visionary leaders.
The Contingency of the New Normal
The new normal could be a life better than it's ever been before. But this new life would not be realized by just getting through the crisis, but by returning to the Lord.
God could relent of the coronavirus disaster and leave a blessing behind. I want that! I'm ready to start working on the new normal. I know that for me, this time is about me returning to the God of new possibilities. How about you?
Read Joel 2:12-32.
- List the commands to be obeyed.
- What are the promises we should believe?
- Are there any principles you need to apply?
Go through the list of possibilities of a blessing God could leave behind for you after this crisis. List ways that each possibility could apply to your life, family, or business. Repent before the Lord and pray for those possible blessings.