I stood in front of the oven peeling bacon out of the package and laying out strips on the cookie sheet. My older kids had just jumped on the school bus, and the youngest slept upstairs. After sliding the sheet into the oven, I sat at the kitchen table and opened emails. Just a normal day.
I used to despise normal days. They seemed as colorful as mud. I wanted to do something impactful — not write emails, wash laundry, cook bacon.
After clearing my inbox, I grabbed my phone off the counter and opened Facebook. My feed started with a picture of a friend’s child in the hospital — with leukemia. I scrolled down. An image of a friend’s Honda totaled (but thank God she walked away). I kept scrolling. A picture of a smoothie my friend drank for lunch.
God, thank you for this normal day.
Normal days are a gift — days when healthy kids eat Cheerios before heading out the door, when adults have jobs to drive to, and laundry stains remind us of the chocolate ice cream on Friday night. God created our days from the beginning to be gifted with the rhythms of normal. The sun rises and sets. The body wakes and sleeps.
When God formed Adam and Eve from the dust of the earth, He placed them in the Garden to steward creation. Talk about normal as mud. But when sin entered the world, so also did death, disease, kids with childhood cancer, and husbands who leave.
The oven timer dinged, and I pulled out my crispy bacon, placed a few pieces on a plate, grabbed my coffee, and sat at the kitchen table. In the light of all the chaos in the world, normal moments now seem holy.
My mind wandered to Jesus. What did His normal life look like as Savior of the world? For thirty years — much like that of anyone else in the ancient Near East, I supposed. I imagined Him as a boy running down the path straight through town, playing tag with neighborhood friends. I envisioned Him washing His hands before Mary served fig stew. Maybe as an adult, He spent His afternoons carving wood — shaving by shaving — as a master carpenter, following Joseph’s trade. If normal life was sacred enough for Jesus, maybe it is for us as well.
His miracles restored people to normalcy. When Jesus healed a little girl, she ate (Mark 5:41-43). Jesus didn’t tell her to leave everything and live an “extraordinary” life. Or how about Peter’s mother who lay ill? Jesus healed her, and she immediately returned to normal housework, serving those in her home (Luke 4:38-39). When Lazarus rose from the dead by Jesus’ words, he testified to the miracle, yes, but he also returned to his life — whatever work he performed before the healing.
If Jesus used His miraculous powers to heal the lame, dead, and sick — only for them to return to regular rhythms of life — shouldn’t we rethink the gift of a normal day? Not every day will include heal-the-blind moments. Goodness, Moses watched sheep for forty years in the desert before ever seeing a burning bush only to return to the desert for another forty years helping fickle people get along and obey God.
What does your normal day look like? Maybe normal for you (like me) right now is raising kids. But maybe you care for an aging parent, work long hours at the office launching a new product, or clean houses.
Sometimes God leads us in seasons that are extraordinary, exciting, new. But most of the time, God leads us through “normal.” Get up. Go to work. Come home. Go to sleep. Repeat.
Some seasons of normal hurt — like the months I visited my dad during my lunch break as I watched him weaken from brain cancer. The day he died was one of the worst non-normal days of my life.
And those days of extraordinary bliss? Yes. They are beautiful. Marrying my best friend in the presence of three hundred of our favorite people on a warm Southern California night, then taking off for seven days in Maui? Amazing. But then after the honeymoon? We went back to our day jobs — the gift of normal.
I finished my cup of coffee and bacon, closed my computer, and walked upstairs to my daughter’s room. She greeted me with, “Mama, it’s you.” A normal greeting from a normal little girl on a normal Wednesday. And the rest of the day was normal, too.
If Jesus used his miraculous powers to heal the lame, dead, and sick—only for them to return to regular rhythms of life—shouldn’t we rethink the gift of a normal day? -@Seana_S_Scott: Click To Tweet