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Embracing Uncertainty

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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.

1 Comment

Nice comments Mark! It is good to know that your heart is healed regarding your son. How long did that take and what was the secret, if you don't mind me asking.

I live in fear a lot from time to time.....it appears to be a season when rejection takes place, or someone has lost a child or loved one. Last year February, I lost my mom. I thought it would be a time when I could face it as she was 80 and had many issues. She had Lupus for over 40 years; she had degenerative disk disease (constant back pain), and was on 29 medications when she died. She was one of the Godliest women I know. She raised us all Catholic. However, I am struggling with missing her and saddened a lot that she is gone (I have plenty of knowledge as a chaplain and life coach training to know this is the grieving process). I am grateful that she is no longer in pain; she is with our Lord in heaven and can justify many things to let her go. She lived in AR so I saw her for 1-3 weeks once a year, every year. However, the letting go is still a struggle.

I worry a lot about my 2 children, especially my 21 year old daughter Cassidy. I see so many others lose their child, Terry, Anne, (7 in 7 weeks at our church that I supported and tried my best to be there for them). However, after the 7 weeks, fear came in and for months I had to give up most things to survive. I know there are no sure things in life....I seem to crave sure things and want little change....security which I know is only from the Lord. I worry that I am not strong enough to handle things of pain and suffering and I know that I can't but the Lord can.

So from the point of losing Matthew....how did you not worry about losing others? As a chaplain, I want to do more, but the fear after is more than I can bear after my volunteering. I know there is a great need in this area (death) but my fear keeps me from moving forward. I am praying what the Lord wants me to do. I know I have to REST in HIM.

Thanks for all you do and for listening. Sincerely, Melanie

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