"Certainty in Uncertain Times"
August 1, 2020 | View PDF
Uncertainty. Just that word can make our stomachs churn, our hearts pound faster, and our minds race. Everyone is dealing with uncertainty right now due to the upheaval of the Coronavirus … your travel, work, schedule, group meetings, church, school, childcare, etc. It all boils down to our plan becoming uncertain. We are used to booking our schedules weeks or months in advance, always having what we need (or want) in the stores, and rarely inconvenienced in a way that technology or a little willpower won’t “fix.”
I don’t know about you, but I really like to be in control or to have systems in place that make me feel like I am in control. My planner, schedule, timelines, phone, etc., while all God-given tools that can and should be used to serve Him and others, are often more about my own little kingdom than about His. This really points to the pride of my heart that the Lord graciously peels back in times like this.
As James 4:13-17 tells us: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.’”
Uncertainty has a way of slowing our lives down. All of a sudden, our plans come to a screeching halt. If we allow Him, God will reveal to us what we place our trust in. When there is uncertainty, I often get anxious. My tendency is to “pedal faster” than simply to “be still.” Uncertainty can put us in one of two postures: one that spins out of control or one that recognizes there never was in control to begin with and therefore simply just receives. Sometimes the Lord holds us in that uncomfortable space of uncertainty to show us that the only source of certainty (and joy) was only ever Him to begin with.
But God. God is too big, too grand, too EVERYTHING to be contained by my little agenda, my “boxes.” If I spend too much time looking at my prideful way of clinging to control, it will keep me stuck. But when I look UP to the One who IS in control, my grip loosens on all I’ve clung so tightly to.
What a comfort to bring all of this to the certainty of the cross. “He Who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not freely give us all things?” Romans 8:31. The “all things” may not be exactly what we think we want or need—but as we look to His hands pierced for us, our hands slowly release our grip on control.
Sometimes the bravest, most God-glorifying thing we can do is to just “do the next thing”. It doesn’t have to be radical. It can be doing that load of laundry. Calling a neighbor. Speaking kindly to a loved-one. Getting off social media and the news and into the Word. Going on a long walk outside. Staying in the moment with God, with the people of God, with His Word, with whatever large or small task He sets before us.
May this season of uncertainty be a time that we all remember what’s most important and rest all the more in the steadfast certainty of God.