Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gracious Uncertainty

He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Ps 112:7

Franklin was beginning chemotherapy for prostate cancer.

“You know doc, when I was going to have my prostate biopsy, after they had discovered my PSA was 88, I was very anxious. I don’t normally do this kind of thing, but I couldn’t sleep and I picked up my Bible and just opened it. I opened it to Psalm 112. Someone, not me, had circled in my Bible (my wife never opens my Bible), verse 7. I knew after I read the verse that I could face my future without fear.

Do you ever face your future with fear? How about now?

For some reason God has designed our lives so that our future is hidden from us, allowing us to imagine circumstances that may or may not come to pass. Sometimes they do and they are very good; sometimes they are horrible…malpractice, broken relationships, financial failure, a self-destructive child, tragic illness and on and on. Our future is uncertain in many ways and there are certainly hard times out there for all of us. When faced with such possibilities, it is normal to be afraid.

When I was a child, my greatest time of uncertainty was Christmas morning. My parents compounded our anxious anticipation by making us stand at the top of the stairs while my father prepared all the complicated home movie lights. Only after the set up was complete were we able to walk slowly down the stairs toward our Christmas, waving politely into the blinding movie lights. For us as children, all the important stuff of the morning was behind those blinding lights, underneath the Christmas tree.

We could never be certain at the top of the stairs that we would find under the tree that which we had asked for and dreamed of. In spite of that, we were excited and confident, rather than fearful and anxious. We were confident that Christmas morning would bring us joy because we knew the man behind the lights, the man who had prepared for us our Christmas morning. Even when I did not find what I expected under the tree, what I did find was always wonderful.

Just so with life ... I cannot see beyond the blinding lights or cold darkness that hides my future, but I do know Who is out there calling me into my future. We may often be uncertain of events ahead of us in this life, but we can always be certain of the One who calls us forth. As Oswald Chambers put it, “Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in---but you can be certain that He will come.” (My Utmost for His Highest, April 29).

Dear Father,

Thank you for calling me into my future and for being there to lead me on.


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