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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Certain in Our Uncertainty

“I’m not sure if I should hang any pictures on the wall.”  That was my friend’s response after I asked him how his new job was going.  He went on:  “All I know for sure is that I am going to get paid next month.  Beyond that, nothing is guaranteed.”

Last weekend I heard an advertising executive say when asked about trends in marketing:  “Anyone who says they know what is coming next and where this is all going is lying.  They don’t.  None of us do.”

This is the new reality.  I don’t know anyone who is able to be certain about their work future, their health, or what is coming down the pike in their life.  In the ancient words of the King James Bible, “It doth not yet appear what we shall be.

Most of us are a bit on edge about all this uncertainty.  If you are out of work, or have received an ominous medical report, you are probably more than on edge.  Terrified maybe, and I would be too.

In the face of this ambiguity, and in an earlier time, Oswald Chambers wrote:

The nature of spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty.  Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life; gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life.  To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may ring forth. 

Certainty isn’t exactly how I would put it.  There are days when my spiritual life is as uncertain as anything, and I wonder (along with the Psalmist and Jesus) exactly where God has gone.  But there are more days when, if not certain of God’s presence in the uncertainty, I trust it.

 I can live without certainty.  But trust?  That I need.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson
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