Friday, February 8, 2013

Normal is just a setting on the dryer....

Yeah, that's a bit of an odd saying; but the other good one is "for all anyone else knows, we are a normal family."  I guess the point is that normal for me might not be what it is for you.  For that matter, normal today, might not look like the normal of yesterday.
We were talking last night about a traumatic time in our lives.  Peggy was in Virginia and I had come home from doing some mission work in Costa Rica.  I walked into our house about 3 AM and found that things were very wrong.  The heating system had frozen, pipes had split--then thawed--and now my house was being inundated with an endless supply of hot water.   We later figured that it had been running for about three days.  That was certainly not normal.   I shut off water and and the furnace, then spent the night with little sleep in a nearby motel.
From that point on, normal became an evolving term.  We learned to adapt to the changes because of those things that were consistent.  We found that consistency was more important than our perception of normalcy.
Our pastor started praying and notifying our church family who then prayed.  Over those first few days the consistency of having friends--particularly praying friends--was of critical importance.  My insurance agent came to the house to give his suggestions--and he bought me enough bottled water to make my own coffee.  A local businessman sent a machine and operator to clear the driveway of the recent snow so that I could get the equipment to start to restore the house; the operator was a friend who laughed with me at the nature of the situation, did his work, shared some coffee and was on his way--and he surely prayed on his way home.  One true friend--my "in-law-in-law," called and just asked "do you want us to come down?"  Of course the answer was yes.
Over the following days more friends and coworkers came and went, others helped us out in ways too numerous to mention.  Some fed us, some opened their homes to us some gave money....   Normal was redefined nearly every day of that nearly four month rebuilding of our home.  We faced new challenges often, and got through them.  Each day was a new normal whether a work day, or a day spent dealing with repairs on the house.
I've come to realize that for me, the only true normal in my life is continual dependence on my God.  That is how I was raised, it is how I've lived, and I pray that it is how I will live the rest of my life.  Without that dependence, nothing in this story would have been normal.  The consistency of an almighty God, the godly friends and many other good friends...that let us be normal in the midst of chaos that could have torn others apart.
I was reminded of the verse "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory."  I guess that's enough to make any of us normal.

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