Uncertainty is the basic ingredient God uses to inspire all the gratitude, joy, love, and faith in this world.
It is like flour in a cake; a large quantity is needed but that’s not what makes it special. The ingredients that give a cake flavor come in smaller portions. Too much ruins the cake (just like too much of any good thing is still too much).
Being unsure of what the future might hold can be the most frustrating and confusing state of being. And the fact that it is served up daily is perhaps what pushes us to want to run from our lives screaming nonsense at the top of our lungs while simultaneously pulling out our hair and throwing a 12-person china place setting (including flatware) against the wall.
Or maybe that’s just me.
As a counter measure, I find myself looking for the “sure things” and the “magic formulas” only to be disappointed, because sure things and magic formulas don’t actually exist. Another frustration is to added to the pile.
My resentment and complaining of things uncertain inevitably catches my attention enough to begin daydreaming. What would life be like if I knew what was going to happen tomorrow?
I’d go through my day without much thought or care. It would be completely boring. Conversations would be like the Audi commercial where everyone reads from a script without feeling or investment.
If I knew the ending, adventures and miracles would be impossible. And that would make me want to throw things too. Hmmm…
When I realize a simple solution is maddeningly non-existent, that’s when I start looking up.
And I don’t mean I look up to God ask for help (although I do that too). More specifically, I start looking FROM above, as if I were hanging out with God in the sky.
“OK, God,” I say, “what does it look like from your perspective?” (Now, I don’t mean to be disrespectful in any way here. I know full well I am not God, nor do I claim to comprehend His lofty, infinitely complex knowledge of reality. I only wish to depict an image of the new perspective I attempt to understand.)
Now here’s where it gets a bit deep. Follow me for just a moment here.
If I knew the formula for my fantasy outcome, then every day wouldn’t be a faith walk. If it weren’t a faith walk, I wouldn’t need to ask Him for help. And if I didn’t ask Him for help, we would be strangers. If we were strangers then I would never know who was giving me these beautiful gifts and miracles.
And if I didn’t know He was involved, how would I ever be thankful for His intercession and grace? If I wasn’t thankful, how could I know His love? If I didn’t know His love, how could I have faith in His plan for me? If I didn’t have faith in His plan, how could I know peace?
For all you positive-thinking folks, let me put it another way:
Uncertainty leads to seeking God, which leads to asking Him for help, which leads to understanding Him better, which leads to recognizing His personal miracles for you, which leads to gratitude, which leads to His love, which leads to faith in His plan, which leads to peace.
Again, I’m not implying I know any secret formulas. This happens to be a logical progression in my mind. Can God give us peace without uncertainty? Of course. Can we be grateful without uncertainty? Yes, but much of its intensity may be lost making for a rather bland cake (or “slice of life” if you will).
The only certainties I dare hold on to in this life all deal with God’s character. His love, grace, mercy, and plan for my life are the only truth I find to be certain. In comparison, the rest of this world swirls in chaos .
But the chaos is what draws me to the truth. The uncertainty is what makes the certainty of God so potent, so important.
I know the chaos is maddening, but it makes the refuge we take in God that much more precious. And however much I complain, in the end, I would not trade one moment of God’s peace for all the uncertainty I’ve experienced in the world.
I will be thankful for God’s mystery wherein miracles, adventures and peace are alive and well.