Uncertainty

The walk of faith isn’t a walk of faith if we know exactly what is going to happen.   Life is like a baseball game, and we are up to bat:  it could come like a straight and true fastball, flying over home plate — and then dive at the last minute into a sickening curve.  There is unpredictability, confusion, and uncertainty.  Yet it’s all part of the game.

Just think if a baseball player knew exactly what the pitcher would throw every time he went to the plate.  He would have the highest batting average in history!  What makes a player impressive is how well he faces the uncertainty that comes with every pitch.  His reflexes and intuition are a product of years of practice and training.  He can stand the challenge of unpredictability because he has prepared.

Just like anyone else, I wish that I could map out my life — or at least the next five years — and follow that little plan until the next ten years loomed before me.  Unfortunately, God doesn’t work that way!  While he gives us dreams and goals, he does not tell us exactly when or how those goals will be accomplished.  It’s up to us to prepare for the opportunities — and the trials — that may come our way.

Many of us hear the phrase, “God has a great plan for your life.”  In one way, this is true.  God does have a purpose for us that will bring Him the most glory, and make us most effective for Him.  However, that plan isn’t a heavenly blueprint just waiting to be found in the pages of the Bible or in a daily prayer.  There won’t be that day when you know exactly WHAT you are going to do, WHEN you are going to do it, and WHERE it will take you.  God shows us His ‘plan’ little by little, requiring our faith in Him in order to reach the next step.

Many people spend their lives searching for this plan.  They take personality and ‘spiritual gift’ tests to determine the plan on their own.  I have nothing against these tests, as I have taken several of my own; however, we can’t go through life using an Extroverted personality and Encouraging spiritual gift as excuses not to serve God in other areas.  These may be strengths, but God wants well rounded people.  He doesn’t want us selling out and falling short. 

We may not know what the future holds for us, but that can’t be a limitation on our effectiveness for Christ.  If anything it needs to be our buffer, pushing us to a greater trust in Him.  From experience I know that we can respond two ways to unpredictability:  depend on ourselves, which results in confusion and unhappiness, or depend on Christ, which brings great peace. 

So when you step up to the plate, don’t shy away from the ball… swing!  Opportunity sometimes only crosses the plate three times.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”  (Psalm 28:7)

To Think About

  • How do you deal with uncertainty in life?
  • Do you view unpredictability as an opportunity to trust God?  Who are you trusting in?
  • What are your goals?  Are you trying to get a ‘grand plan’ or trusting God as you move forward with what you know now?

Refuge

Finding trust in our walk with God is one of the hardest aspects of the Christian walk, but it is also the most necessary.  In fact, trusting God is the core of Christianity.  Think for a moment:  if you didn’t trust God at least a little, you wouldn’t be a Christian!  You have to trust that He lives, that He loves you, and that you will be with Him in eternity.  Somehow it’s easier to trust Him on these things than it can be to depend on Him for the day to day.

I am home from the INCH conference in Lansing, delighted after speaking to a group of wonderful girls and parents who attended my workshop there.  But getting there wasn’t quite so easy!  The day before INCH (Thursday) much of the printing we had to do was not finished, so after work on Thursday I drove straight to the shop to work on the books.  We ended up working all night.  The next morning was Friday, the first day of INCH, and we needed to be in Lansing by noon.  Driving with no sleep was impossible, even though I drank a gallon of coffee to try, and the result was that we had to stay home and rest before leaving that night. 

I was upset.  I was tired, stressed, and unhappy that I had missed the entire first day of the conference.  I was sure that my workshop would not garner as much interest because I wasn’t there for the first day.  I wasn’t trusting God.

When we are doing what God wants, we have to trust Him to take care of the consequences.  Just as I was worrying over the conference, so often we worry about little things that we think will destroy our goals and dreams, when God is allowing them just so we depend on Him.  I had no choice:  I had to trust Him for my speech and hope the girls would enjoy it.  And from what I saw, I think perhaps they did!

Walking as a Christian young woman is the perfect juxtaposition of pressing on and giving up.  We press on in the faith, fighting the good fight, but we also give up our own desires, worries and fears by trusting in an Almighty and loving God.  Trust is that giving up.  He is our ultimate refuge, no matter what our circumstances.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.  On God rest my salvation and my glory, my mighty rock, my refuge is God.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”  (Psalm 62:5-8)

To Think About

  • Do you struggle trusting God for any areas or decisions in your life?
  • How can you practically surrender these areas to God?
  • How can you live in trust, giving up worries and fears that hold you down?