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Here we are nearly half a year into “the Great COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020.” Life is in a “holding pattern,” so to speak. It seems the prevailing disposition is one of waiting for things to return to “normal.” But what is normal?

For most people, normal has to do with a comfort zone of routine, control and predictability. Normal feels good, but is normal always good for us? It largely depends on our relationship to normal. When normal becomes an expected or demanded prerequisite to living, it may not be serving our best interest and highest good, at least not spiritually.

There is no doubt COVID-19 has been a “wrecking ball” to normal, comfort zone living. At the same time, it has brought an opportunity to examine deeper aspects of life that lie outside of normal and beyond the comfort zone.

And many of those aspects bring into view the most important parts of life, such as family, friends and faith. When life proceeds as normal, or in the comfort zone, for long periods, it can be tempting to neglect those deeper aspects.

“Normal” may return sooner or later, but there is no guarantee. However, in Jesus Christ, it’s OK either way. The reason is because our security is not predicated on the maintenance of “normal” or on the retention of a “comfort zone.” It is based on faith that in Christ we have “an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:9).

During this season of great challenge, let us anchor our lives to Him whose safekeeping transcends every artifact of worldly security. The great likelihood is that the life we need most lies outside of normal and beyond the comfort zone.

To be sure, Jesus meets us there with a grip of grace that offers security normal knows not and comfort zones offer not. It’s called “the Faith Zone.”

By worldly standards it’s anything but normal. By Kingdom standards it’s everything the soul craves.

Those who enter therein and meet Christ lose interest in normal and fondness of the comfort zone, for the best of life lies beyond.

Ed Clevinger is minister at Grace Christian Church in Kingsport.

Ed Clevinger is minister at Grace Christian Church in Kingsport.