Do Hard Things: Uncertain Life, Certain God
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Perhaps one of the hardest things about tough callings is the uncertainty. It seems easier to withstand a season of suffering, or waiting, or loss if we know when and how it will end. I want to know the ending before I can be okay with the middle.
In my mid-twenties, the “big bad year” was 30: everything would be okay if I was married by then. Over happy hour with friends I’d proclaim that I would be the best, most “on fire” single-for-Jesus lady warrior if I just knew that I’d get married in a reasonable time frame. It seemed fair to me: tell me the ending, and I’ll adjust my attitude in the meantime. It wasn’t just unfair (bargaining with Almighty God). It revealed my total lack of trust.
Foster care makes the uncertainty of marriage seem almost inconsequential. I’ve parented two children from birth, not knowing how many days I would be mama. I spent the better part of 351 days with my first son waiting for that phone call telling me he was mine forever, or he wasn’t, or maybe he was, or he’d be leaving in hours. I grabbed at the tiniest signs of an outcome, trying to remove any uncertainty I could.
I was looking for peace in the wrong place. Foster care - or any circumstance that waves uncertainty in your face - wasn’t the problem. Nothing in this life is certain, and we are not promised ease or comfort or any particular life.
God is too kind to leave us satisfied with cheap, temporary peace. Our hearts need more. We need total certainty, and we have it. The joy set before us is not happiness or fixes in this life. It’s the anticipation that Christ has overcome the world.
May the uncertainties in our daily lives remind us that not one thing has escaped God’s careful, loving, sovereign hand, and drive us to place our deepest affection on the certainty that He will one day make all things right.
“Heavenly Father, this life is full of uncertainty and anxiety. Sometimes it feels like everything hangs in the balance, and we are totally without control. We know you love us and you love the people we love. Help me to be diligent where you’ve put me and rest in the assurance that you will make all things right in the end. Amen.”