By Rhonda Jones
Many believers would not see uncertainty as a gift. In this goal-oriented society, uncertainty can throw a major wrench in our plans. Yet the unknowingness of uncertainty can lend itself to even greater blessings than knowing what the future holds. Uncertainty forces us to live by faith as we see our desires played out.
Living with uncertainty tends to create two very different states of being: fear and anxiety or peace of mind. Our constant manipulation of events, people, or situations demonstrates just how uncomfortable we are with uncertainty. Having a certain level of control, if only imagined, gives us a sense of peace and contentment. When we learn to master uncertainty, in essence, what we really are doing is solidifying our faith in God. Therefore, instead of focusing our attention on some future event, we learn to be fully present to the blessings that surround us in the here and now.
When we are stricken with anxiety due to uncertainty, peace will always elude us. Even when we get what we want, because our peace is grounded in something that is moveable and changeable, we are rarely satisfied for long. That is because the need for control is a condition of our heart and not our circumstances.
What uncertainty teaches, or attempts to teach us, is that while circumstances around us are forever changing, we can live in the realms of the unknown and experience greater peace and joy right where God has us.
The key to mastering uncertainty is to 1) make Jesus the focus of our peace and contentment, and 2) continually go to the well of living water, that secret place, where the spirit of peace, love, and light dwell.
By keeping our focus on Christ as our only constant and source, we can release the need to find security in future events or circumstances. Keeping our attention on the present frees up tons of energy and mental baggage that weigh us down and steals our joy, creativity, and well-being. Think about what you are neglecting in your life today in anticipation for some future desire. Maybe it’s yourself, a family member, your home, or even your health. The “if only” and “when this, that” syndromes keep us oblivious to blessings of God right under our feet.
Maybe right now you’re in a great relationship, but your desire to marry overshadows the time, activities, and communication you’re enjoying with your partner today. Or, perhaps you want a new job. Your current position sucks. You don’t like your boss or you need more money. Yes, of course, pray and believe God for a new job, stand in faith, and surrender the outcome to the Lord. Living graciously with uncertainty means relinquishing control. And in the meantime, while you are waiting, instead of putting all your energy in daydreaming, being upset, depressed, or stressed-out, is it possible to find any lessons or teachable moments in this uncertain time in your life? Could God be equipping you to becoming stronger in your prayer life or even creating a deeper dependency on him to carry you through? Moving from one test prematurely will only mean you’ll be destine to face it at your next job or destination. Dig a little deeper. God may want you to come to a place of surrender, where you seek him for your peace instead changing your circumstances.
Part 2 of mastering uncertainty is to continually make you way to God’s secret place- God’s abiding presence. In God’s presence we find rest and renewal as we wade in the living waters of God’s love, peace, joy, and light. In the secret place of God we bring every care to him. We learn to let go of the natural fight and seek God to meet our needs instead of going it on our own. As a popular saying goes, you learn to just relax and smell the roses, once you find them. Seeking God and dwelling in his presence is not something that we do once in a while. It should become a part of our lifestyle, as the Bible says, “without God we can do nothing.”
In fact, the more you spend time in God’s secret place, the things you are seeking will pale in comparison. A shift will take place in your heart. You may also realize that you were searching and seeking for the wrong thing to fulfill the emptiness in your soul.
Uncertainty is not meant to create anxiety and want. Take inventory. If your life is plagued with the dark hole of unknowingness, use it as an opportunity to dwell in God’s presence, bring all your cares to him, and rejoice that God is working all things for your HIGHEST good. In addition, learn to embrace the blessings in your life today. Jesus said in Matthew 6 to “taking no thought” for your life. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus told the disciplines, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What is it you are treasuring, more stuff or more love, peace, and joy that comes from God our source? Allow uncertainty to be your teacher and a gift that deepens your relationship and trust in God.