Certain Uncertainty!

How do you deal with things that are uncertain? Life works best for me when I know the what, the why, the where, the way.  I am not very good at just ‘letting it happen.’  I value results and when I start a project, I tend to push hard to complete it as quickly as possible.  Maturity (some call it ‘old age’) has brought me the understanding that much of living is the process, with joy to be found on the journey as much as at the destination.

In 2010, Bev and I helped one of our adult children do a cross-country move, driving from California to Maryland, in a rental truck. Sound awful to you? It wasn’t!  We drove about 400 miles each day, just enjoying the trip, pulling over occasionally to take in the views of our beautiful country, eating at little local restaurants, living without hurry. Moments from that journey are etched into my memory including one of my beautiful wife standing in a mountain meadow high in the Rocky Mountains just west of Denver, CO.

The last 12 months in our world were full of uncertainty.  We could not predict the way ahead and it is still unclear. It is not my intent to minimize the pain or difficulty of life in our time, but I do believe that God invites us to walk it out, to appreciate His Presence in this moment. 

Jesus told us something that I am understanding in a new way these days. “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:28-33, NIV)

He invites us to enjoy the trip, to stop obsessing about the future so we can appreciate what God provides for this day!  Yes, friend, He has provision made for you, right now, where you are. The Israelites who were journeying from Egypt to Canaan knew God’s provision of manna. Remember that story? Everyday God fed them with a miraculous food that appears in the morning. He forbade them from collecting more than they could use for the day. If they tried to store it, it spoiled quickly, except on the Sabbath!  

There’s a lesson for us in that story. We cannot borrow tomorrow’s blessings today and we are fools to let the worries of next year rob us of our present reality.

Are you wrestling with fear or doubt, unsure of how to proceed?  I understand! I tend to awaken in the small hours of the morning concerned about the challenges that I know are coming my way. While preparation and planning are a good thing, Christians need not live in a state of worry or fear.  If we are walking with the Lord, He will make a way.  A half-century of pilgrimage has taught me many things including the fact that no matter how much I think I know about the future, it is a certain uncertainty!

Love God. Love others. Leave space for the Spirit to accomplish His will. Trust God with the ambiguities of life. They are many, dear friend.  He is a patient God, as Peter says, One for Whom a ‘day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day.’ We need not jump at the idea that comes our way, fearing that unless we do, life will pass us by! 

We cannot allow the rapid pace of living create the illusion in us that we can become super-saints overnight.  God will not drop us and move on if faith slips from our grasp from time to time. He is full of grace, His desire to transform us, day by day, into the likeness of His Son. “When God is personally present, a living Spirit, … we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him.” (The Message 2 Cor. 3:17-18)

Today, even if the way is murky, if questions far outnumber answers, be content to ask for ever-increasing faith!  If prayers come hard, then just wait in silence before Him.  Hold onto this – “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, NIV)  Yes, we can enjoy the journey.

Here is a word from the Word for our meditation today.  “I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:18-21, NIV)

_____________

Good, Good Father
(a prayer song!)

I’ve heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
You tell me that You’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

You’re a Good Good Father
It’s who You are, It’s who You are
It’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, It’s who I am
It’s who I am

I’ve seen many searching for answers
Far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers
Only You provide
Because You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Love so undeniable I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love love love

Anthony Brown | Pat Barrett © 2014 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Common Hymnal Publishing (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

Housefires Sounds (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

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