Living With Uncertainty
I imagine each one of us is living with some kind of uncertainty. Uncertainty over a job application, uncertainty about what medical tests will reveal, or how to handle a hormonal teen, or make the best decision, deal with a misunderstanding with a friend, or a child’s depression and anger.
There’s financial uncertainty, political uncertainty, and professional uncertainty. Uncertainty is not fun. A friend recently said that in some ways adversity is easier than uncertainty because in adversity it’s clear who or what the opposition is. Uncertainty can be ambiguous and messy. We don’t know when it will end. And it’s no fun. I can just imagine Alexander (the child in Judith Viorst’s book) saying, “It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, STINKY place to be.”
When we’re in the midst of it we often think when this is settled, then life will be easier. But I have found that if we live with a when-then mentality that as soon as we get through this issue-this when- there will simply be another one and the cycle will begin all over again. We can’t live in this state. We have to live in the now.
This can be hard for us “A” type personalities. We like a strategic plan, with clear goals and measurable successes. We like clarity and closure. We especially like being in control and calling the shots. Ha! In times of uncertainty we realize again that we never have been in control anyway. We just like to try.
As a family and a church we are in a time of uncertainty. Due to some legal decisions we are likely to lose our home and our church buildings. We don’t know when this will happen, and we don’t know where we will live. We don’t know where our congregation of about 4000 will meet. It is uncertain.
However, in the midst of the uncertainty I’m learning some lessons, many of which I feel I should have learned by now. But I have noticed that most of life is re-learning many of the same lessons over and over again. Here are a few of my lessons:
- The first and most important thing I can do each day is to spend time in God’s word and in prayer. It can be a lot easier to get to my “list.” But what I need most is “to be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10) There is tremendous comfort in the Psalms and refreshment and peace in pouring out your heart to God in prayer.
- I have found myself writing down all the things I’m thankful for including an incredibly mild winter, antibiotics, my golden retriever, great kids, and the many friends who pray for us.
- I am asking God to give me a sense of adventure as I look at the future which only He controls. I want to be a “whatever” person in the sense of whatever you desire God.
- Most helpful to me is remembering who God is. He is still in control. He is not caught off guard by what happens. He has a plan. He is working while we are waiting. He is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. He will be sufficient. And He will never leave us. (Hebrews 13:5) It’s encouraging to make a list of His character traits and focus on them throughout the day, instead of mulling over the uncertainty in our lives.
There is so much that is certain about our Lord.
What uncertainties are you facing today? We’d be honored to pray for you.