It’s true. Early in my faith walk I was in a constant state of panic over what MIGHT HAPPEN. Over what was AROUND THE CORNER. Over what challenge WAS NEXT.
It was a horrible way to live and it nearly destroyed my walk with God.
Our culture has taught us that fear and worry, just like stress, are part of the package we get in life. We are told to endure the constant pressure of life’s uncertainty and to keep trying hard so we can eventually prevail. It’s nonsense and simply not true.
God says uncertainty is unacceptable, yet we still fall prey to its powerful force and a natural, human reaction to our surroundings and the machinations of life. And it won’t stop knocking at our door any time soon. That’s the bad news. The good news is we can push back the lie that uncertainty can be controlled by worrying.
When we worry and fret over life’s uncertainty, we surrender to anxiety and allow our minds to dwell on our troubles or concerns. We can dwell on personal issues such as finances, grades in school, job interviews, bills and expenses, rising gas prices, our health or the health of loved ones. We can also worry about larger issues, such as the condition of the world, the environment, pollution, technology, and the like. Most of us worry about the uncertainty of one thing or another without it causing us any great problems.
The problem comes when the uncertainty produces excessive worry that “won’t go away.”
The gospel of Matthew asks us a very good question in this regard:
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers 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.” Matthew 6:27-29
I’m an expert on all of this because I’ve lived most of my earlier life with the pervasive pall of uncertainty hanging over me. Looking back to that time, I can see that falling prey to this destructive force prompted me to worry about everything—all the way from family to career and everything in between. The resulting fear and worry were directly related to my tendency to play boss and make everything “perfect and successful.” Unrealistic expectations and goals set me up to be uncertain and worry because my life wasn’t “perfect.”
God has blessed me with a new perspective that I call GLORIOUS UNCERTAINTY! He has me looking at uncertainty as something to embrace because a life without it is simply not in the cards. With this holy perspective, when uncertainty pops across the cinema of my mind, I see it as an opportunity God has thrown my way. An opportunity to trust him. An opportunity to grow. An opportunity to live a Christ-like life.
That’s living with, and reveling in, glorious uncertainty.