Is there a different way? Is it possible to find comfort in the face of uncertainty?
Yes, you can. But the way might surprise you.
If you’re like me, you strive for times of certainty. Times where everything is in order and you know what’s going to happen when. Those glorious moments when the world reacts to what I believe the order should be.
Unfortunately, you find this is rarely, if ever, the case. Alas, you and I are not God, and our feeble attempts to control the outcome of events in our lives are exposed to be as far out of our control as they actually are. Removed to the Heavens.
Perhaps it will help you to gain a truer perspective of the world and your place in it. On this, Philip Yancey writes,
“Jane, a character in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, got a letter addressed to her farm, town, county, state, and then, the envelope continued, ‘the United States ‘f America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere;the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God.” Perhaps the Christian should reverse the order.“
Reverse the order in deed.
When you approach your life from that inverted, and proper, perspective, you gain a much clearer picture of why you face uncertainty to begin with. You realize it’s not perhaps the times that are uncertain, but your finite knowledge in the moment which doesn’t have access to the certain future.
It’s that lack of knowledge, or foresight, which brings you great discomfort. Certainly, though, God didn’t mean for us to have this overwhelming sense of discomfort. Surely there’s a way to find comfort.
How to find comfort in the face of uncertainty
My wife and I recently found out our son is developmentally delayed in several areas, mostly related to sensory processing. By the time you read this we will have already begun occupational therapy meetings on a weekly basis to try to work through the delays.
While I have those words to cling to (development delay and sensory processing), the process has been largely uncertain. A phrase that would explain how my wife and I were feeling in the midst of finding these things out would be “frustrated with uncertainty.”
I’m sure you’ve had a similar circumstance. An unsure diagnosis, a close friend dies and you wonder why, a wayward child you blame yourself for.
But I’ve come to find comfort in this simple understanding: I am where I am because God decided this would be part of journey. The same applies for my son: My son is where he is because God decided this would be part of his journey.
This is how you find comfort in the face of uncertainty.
There’s enormous comfort in letting go of all the guilt, shame and stress of your uncertainty. Your life is uncertain because you don’t have access to the bigger picture, that’s all. The sooner you accept that, the easier it will be for you to find comfort in uncertain times.
The Lord is my shepherd
If you truly believe the Lord is your shepherd, as I do, then you need to start letting him guide you. More importantly, you need to start trusting that where he leads you is part of a bigger plan, a better destination.
Coming to that realization brings a quiet contentment, a comfort this world can never give.
Finding comfort in uncertain times is really just finding comfort in general. The longer I live the more I come to realize that all our time here on earth is uncertain. I am promised nothing, not even the next breath. It takes letting go and trusting God to find comfort, something that’s very hard to do.
Step back, and let God be God in your life.
How do you find comfort in uncertain times? What uncertainty are you facing right now?
Photo courtesy: Bhernandez (Creative Commons)
Join me and the community of other parched souls and receive a FREE copy of A Call To Reflection, an eBook that will help you think about your decisions and stop making the bad ones.