Searching for a New Normal

Searching for a New Normal

All of us have lost something in these days. It could be something small. I can no longer go to the gym to work out. Or it could be something much bigger. It could be a job, or a milestone, or something inside of you, perhaps your sense of hope and joy. Psalm 77, by taking our emotions seriously, gives us an idea of how we might bring hope back into our lives.

Psalm 77:1-15
Psalm 77:1-15

1 I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted.

3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.[a]
4 You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
5 I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night. My heart meditated and my spirit asked:

7 “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”

10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”

13 Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?
14 You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.


[a] The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 9 and 15.

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Resources in this Series
  1. Walk On: Life, Loss, Trust, and Other Realities, John Goldingay. Written by an Old Testament seminary professor, this is a personal account of how he walks through his wife’s severe disability with the truth of the Old Testament. It is a testimony to hope in the midst of suffering.
  2. Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope, Joan D. Chittister. The author, using the story of Jacob wrestling with God, alternates chapters between struggle and hope. This can be read as a devotional.
  3. Lament for a Son, Nicholas Walterstorff. A very moving reflection on the loss of his 25-year-old son in a climbing accident.
  4. Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Timothy Keller. Deals very thoughtfully with the questions that are common to all who suffer. It includes good life-story illustrations.
  5. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, Gerald Sittser. The author lost his mother, wife, and daughter in a single car accident. A very thoughtful reflection on grief.
  6. www.grief.com, very helpful and comprehensive website, has great resources, including things to say and not say to a grieving person. (Not from a faith perspective.)
  7. GriefShare, a Christian support group we offer at PLCC.