I hate suspense, which is ironic since I write young adult novels packed with conflict. Relegating uncertainty to fiction seems safe, because I (as author) am in control. Uncertainty in real life, I don’t always handle so well. Please tell me I’m not alone here.
Uncertainty comes in all forms, including that four-letter-word wait. Maybe you’re waiting to hear back on an interview. Any day, you could get the phone call that the job is yours—or that the hiring manager chose someone else. Or perhaps you had a medical test last week and still haven’t received the results.
Related Post: Waiting and Rushing
At other times, uncertainty comes when we’re facing a decision, and we can’t tell up from down or good from better. It could be choosing a college, deciding to move forward with a relationship, or wondering whether to rent, buy, or room.
The uncertainties of life are endless. Since they’re not going away, let’s learn to focus on the positives they present.
#1 – Uncertainty reminds us we need a godly “tribe.”
One of the few comforts in uncertainty is discovering that someone else is walking the same road we are. I was sharing a personal struggle with a friend, and she said, “Yeah, I totally get it. I ask myself that question, too.”
Her words seemed to lift a weight off my chest. “Really? You mean it’s not just me?” (Translation: I’m not going crazy here all by myself?)
God never meant for us to carry our burdens alone. I’m reminded of the command in Galatians 6:2, which says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (NKJV).
When you have family and friends who listen and pray with you, you have a treasure. If you can’t name someone whom you can call to keep you accountable or share what’s on your heart, then you need to expand the borders of your tribe. Surrounding yourself with godly people makes all the difference in whether we merely survive or thrive in uncertainty.
#2 – Uncertainty drives us to God.
Confession: I’m notorious for reading the ending in books, because I want to know what’s going to happen. However, in life, there is no “skip to the last chapter.” We can’t take shortcuts to find out how circumstances will resolve.
I’m learning that God grows me through uncertainty. It drives me toward Him and challenges me to dig deeper into His Word for wisdom and comfort. The book of James reminds us to ask God for wisdom and promises He will provide it when we ask in faith (James 1:5).
Even with a discerning spirit, we can still face seemingly impenetrable questions. At those times, we have to lean into the abiding truth that God is our ultimate sufficiency, because He’s our Savior.
There’s an old hymn by Dora Greenwell that captures this idea beautifully. The first verse says, “I am not skilled to understand what God hath willed, what God hath planned. I only know at His right hand stands One who is my Savior.”
We can’t know what tomorrow will look like, but we can trust in the God who does. He is our unfailing constant in changing times.
Uncertainty isn’t pleasant. In fact, it’s downright painful. However, it’s a normal part of life and even a means God can use to drive us to our knees and deepen our faith and dependence on Him.