I have tried to peer into the future many times while praying. I would like to know the future, but most of the time it is a blur. I would like the Lord to tell me if I should invest in the stock market, or not. I think I know when our economy is headed for rough waters, but I cannot say for certain. I think I know which candidates are most likely to be nominated for president, but I may be wrong. I spend time listening to what the Spirit is saying to me, and I am beginning to understand why God may keep the future as a surprise.
I had a routine for most weekends this fall. After our second service on Sundays, I went home, put a football game on TV, and watched for a few minutes while eating lunch. If it was a Cardinals’ game, I would record it and then leave for the gym to work out. The Cardinals are my favorite team and I did not want to miss their games. After working out, I played golf at our local course. This routine helped me process my adrenaline from our weekend services.
By the time I got home for dinner, the Cardinals’ game would be over. I usually heard the score on the radio in my car. Once I knew the score, I almost never watched the replay of the game. The drama is gone once I know the outcome. I have watched many great games over the years between teams I do not really care about. Watching a game when the outcome is uncertain brings an excitement that is lost when I know who wins in advance.
I have discovered the Lord conceals the future so we can more fully enjoy the present. We know we are going to die someday, but we do not know when. The challenge of life is to live fully every day, without fear of the future. Embracing uncertainty without fear, adds spice to life. The good guys do not always win the games—or the elections. Yet “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17). The righteous do not need to have all the answers before taking action.
God gives us promises to help us with uncertainty. “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33). Even though we do not know how God is going to provide for us, if we seek His Kingdom and righteousness, we discover God keeps His promise and we have all we need. Our security rests in God who provides for us, rather than in our ability to work hard and smart. We still work hard, but we rest in the assurance of God’s promised provision rather than our abilities, which often fall short.
The morning our son Matthew came into our bedroom to tell Kristina and me he was going tubing down the river with his friends, I had no premonition it would be our last conversation before he drowned, or I would have never let him leave my sight. I had assumed God would warn me if I needed to know something about the safety of one of our children. I didn’t get a warning, but I did have something special. For sixteen years, I had loved Matthew with all my heart. I was brokenhearted when he died, but I had no regrets about our relationship. Today my heart is healed, and the love we shared is like a fountain of joy in my soul.
We are all called to love deeply and live life by faith. Life is a gift from God and we should experience it to the fullest. I can glimpse the future for those who serve the Lord with all their hearts. You are headed towards a blaze of glory, and the reward of eternal life.