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Apr 05

Alternate New Normal By: Hannah S. Hunter

Alternate New Normal

By: Hannah S. Hunter

Isaiah 5:7a(NLT)” The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the Lord of Heaven’s armies. The people of Judah are His pleasant garden.”

Events occur that reshape or forever change us as individuals, families, towns, and nations. Each generation can point and say this defined us or our future. Never before have we experienced an event or chain of events that touched every nation on planet earth as the pandemic, or alleged pandemic, we find ourselves in.

In the land of my birth, USA, this time of the year finds us beginning to anticipate the emerging new life, spring, and the Easter holiday. Winter cold, starkness and darkness are about to become a memory. Many come out of hibernation to smile at the sun, plan get togethers outside, plant gardens, and new songs sung with a lightness to our steps.

Just as we saw this on the horizon a diabolical terrorizing thing called by letters and numbers came first, crawling, then crashing upon us. Trying to snatch and destroy our hopes, dreams, and plans. Now we are faced with a choice, and yes, we do have a choice. Do we panic and hoard or do we tap into the faith we have been declaring with our mouths?

Go back to our map and follow the directions carefully. There is no hidden agenda or traps in the map designed by the Creator. He has our GPS and it leads to hope and life. You will never end up lost or at dead end nor an empty lot.

Scripture above is one He took me to this morning. Immediately I was in the spirit in that place. Oh, how lush is His vineyard. How pleasant is His garden! This was in a time when the kingdom of Israel was divided, and they were in great rebellion. Yet God was speaking their future to them. Yes, we must repent. We must let God deal with us as persons, families, churches, and nations. For He longs for us to align and each nation fulfill its’ destiny and work with His Holy Spirit to bring in the greatest harvest yet.

In no way am I minimizing our present circumstances of great discomfort and loss of our axis on which our life turns have been knocked off kilter. Yet we have a choice how we shall walk and who we choose to focus on. This will not last for eternity. As Ecclesiastes says there is a season for everything under heaven.

Do we descend into fear and chaos or do we choose to get up and start a new road to “new normal?” Each day asking God before we get out of bed to order our thoughts and our steps this day.

Recognizing that since I have been living in Africa basically since 2014 I have a leg up on many of my fellow Americans in forming a new normal. I am here to tell you we can do this. Elisabeth Eliot, who lived with a new baby in the jungles of South America after her husband was murdered by the very ones he was reaching for Jesus, did not know how to finish his wiring of the compound, nor translate the Word into their language, and certainly not pastor a church. She chose not to run back to her land but adapted the mantra of doing the next thing there was to do.

When our open-air market was closed where we buy necessities like food, supplies for our homes, and sell to make a living with abruptly shut down accompanied by threats and beatings we could only retreat to our homes. Curfew prohibited evening or early morning movement when water is hauled and preparing for the day and survival is carried out.

God just changed how we do church. He also took us back to our first altars and ministries- our homes and families. I can tell you He sent a lime. That may seem so small to you. I had a rare glass of coke and I love lime squeezed in it.

Two women with small children felt to bless the prophet on their land and come to help me clean, haul water, and do laundry once a week. We carried our Muslim neighbors’ oven to our kitchen, and I taught the grandbabies how to bake a chocolate cake African style. The rich aroma took us to a pleasant place and the taste put smiles on all faces. We shared with everyone in our compound.

Many are watching- our children, our neighbors, those we lead, our nations, our world- all looking how we conduct ourselves and the decisions we make in this season. Let us be found faithful.

Our annual conference, missions, crusades, church services all are a vapor in this season. We go deep in Him for long periods of time, but where do we pour when we emerge from the bed chamber? I have made it a point five mornings a week to gather my grandchildren and take their focus off the news and local shenanigans.  It benefits us both.

I have them set up a store and give them matchsticks. They are empowered to shop, purchase, and work together to get things when they cannot leave their compound. We watch videos of seals and wonders of the world.

Today we built a fort, crawled in, read a book all snuggled together, and then we visited the Alps in winter and got lost and cold till the Saint Bernard came with our flask of chocolate and warmed our insides. Those mighty dogs than laid by us to keep us warm and we were safe and at peace. A perfect picture of our God in this season.

Shalom. Resurrection is on the way!