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What Are We Returning To? – Devotional Series

“What Are We Returning To?”

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing — grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.”  Joel 2:12-14 (NIV)

In the last two and half weeks there has been a slow return of Officers and Employees to THQ. Have you asked yourself “What am I returning to?”  The COVID-19 Pandemic is  impacting our return perhaps in ways we might not expect – only two people allowed on the elevator, no more than three people allowed in the bathroom, lunch must be taken at our desks, we need to respond to a daily survey, etc. We are being asked to continue the use of technology to conduct meetings instead of face to face encounters and stagger our schedules to ensure that we are abiding by State and Local laws regarding social distancing and the amount of people allowed in the workplace, etc. These are all new rhythms to the workplace that we call “THQ”.

As God’s Children, perhaps there are “new” rhythms to our journey with the Lord that are actually “old” rhythms that God is calling us to “return” to Him with that may be “new” because we haven’t experienced them yet. Even as society tries to make sense of the Pandemic and why a loving and gracious God would allow such things to happen, you continue to hear “What will the new norm be?” I must confess not to know the mind of God; I can only look to him in faith and heed the words expressed in Joel 2:12 – 14. Perhaps God is calling each of us to return to Him, in the midst of all of this, just as He did time and again to Israel.  We may not fully understand what the “new norm” may be, but we may need to “return” to Him with all of our heart and cry out to Him with weeping and morning from the depths of our soul and rend our heart before Him. And it may be that in returning to Him in those “rhythms”, we will experience a “new norm” with God that we have not experienced before, a new way of connecting with Him and encountering Him and experiencing His presence.

As we consider the words of Joel 2 that the Lord instructed Joel to share with His people, let us heed the words ourselves and experience God in a “new way”, one who is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. God bless you as you consider this today and may you “return” to God in such a way that it will be a “new norm” between you and Him.



written by Major Elmer Deming, Assistant Territorial Candidates’ Secretary, USA East

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