Mark Batterson is one of my favorite authors. As I recently read a chapter of his entitled “Guaranteed Uncertainty” (from his book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day), I was challenged and encouraged. He opened the chapter with a quote by Oswald Chambers:
“To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways; we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should rather be an expression of breathless expectation!”
He continued to share about a vacation in which his family had planned every detail: places to go, sites to see. But on the freeway for some strange reason his horn began honking and would not stop no matter what he did. They finally pulled off at an exit, he tinkered with what he could and was finally able to get it to stop. They returned to the freeway and alas, it started up all over again. Oh, the shock and embarrassment . . . people pulling over and staring at them, the kids not knowing what to do, the crazy faces they saw. There was no place to hide. Now, when they look back on that notorious vacation, they do not remember the places they visited or the things they saw (all their plans). Instead, the retelling is always with loads of laughter about the crazy horn and what they felt and endured.
Such is life. The unexpected and what we do with it is a lesson to ever learn and dig into deeper. The banana peels of life are always on the floor waiting for us somewhere.
Batterson further stated, “We’ve got to develop an affinity for uncertainty and learn to enjoy the journey!” What a powerful thought. I’m a planner and love to plan the future. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to be planned. This COVID-19 has put an abrupt halt to all of that. What a wake-up call. God loves for us to walk into uncertainty because it reveals where our true trust lies. And He loves to bless and surprise us when we turn to Him.
In our American ways we can put our trust so easily in anything but the Lord. Especially the government. Medicare for all, fix the virus, get me back to work, I need money, erase my student debt – all demands that we want our government to fix, and fix now! I can’t help but wonder, “Is there not a God in Israel?” Can He not handle all these things? Has His ability to heal, comfort, or provide diminished in this our day, our pandemic? No, we just think He might be too slow. We can demand of our government, but we cannot demand of our God. Have we lost our true north?
I believe this pandemic is a true “RESET” for everything – the church, governments – every facet of life! And it’s a reset to bless the church, feed revival, and usher in unprecedented plans for God to use us and anoint us in powerfully new ways. We must find Him in the chaos. If you can’t find His hand, trust His heart. He’s up to plenty good.
I’m not saying I will ever love uncertainty, as I have so much room for improvement for sure. But Jesus walked that path. “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). But He never lost His peace.
As we lean into Him in our own uniquely carved uncertainty, He will be there – guaranteed. I hope we are looking for Him to come through with “breathless expectation.”
(Information from: Pure Ministry – UPCI Ladies Ministries Newsletter – firstname.lastname@example.org)