The Banishment of Uncertainty

I have been uncertain a bazillion times in my life.

I’ve been uncertain about my husband’s love for me, about my need to eat vegetables, about whether my mom would live until Christmas, about whether I was capable of writing a book.

I’ve been uncertain – shaky, even – of important things, of things that carried great weight. Salvation and forgiveness and grace.

And I’ve been uncertain about silly things – of things that had no impact on life or safety or love or eternity. When I have been uncertain, it felt real. It felt heavy with importance.

Often for me, uncertainty sapped my confidence.

It felt like I was walking on a tight rope without a net below me.

Mary and Joseph were uncertain when they walked into the stable that night, sensing this would be their delivery room.

Jesus sent out 72 disciples to tell of the nearness of the kingdom of God and to talk of Jesus, but do it without any pre-paid hotel reservations. They were uncertain if they would be run out of town, or accepted to preach in the synagogue. They were uncertain if they would have a place to sleep or food to eat.

The people who heard Jesus teach about the sheep and goats were uncertain which field they lived in: the sheep’s giving aid to those in need, or the goats’ who held tight to what was their sharing little or none.

Jesus says he didn’t know the goats. At all.

In the days when Jesus said those words, there was no reproach for the poor. If the richer folks, or the ones in power (usually one in the same), decided to take whatever they wanted, they would. They made their own self-serving rules, and punished those who did not follow them.

If mistreated, the poor had no court to go to that would hear their case. The poor had no way to get justice for being wrongly treated. The courts could choose – either by ignoring wise counsel or being influencing by the bribes accepted – to allow the matter to be brought before an authoritative arbiter or not. Usually, the poor did not win out nor get their day in court.

But Jesus did not come just for the physical needs of the poor.

The rich and powerful were not the only ones whose hearts needed some tweaking. Goats and sheep existed in all levels of that culture, and in ours as well.

Jesus spoke far beyond the flawed court system of the day. He was talking at the individual level, at the level of my heart and your heart and the heart of those who walked past a person in need, ignoring a widow mistreated. The poor of that day had hearts that needed to understand this just as much as those who had wealth and status.

And that is just as true today.

Jesus came to bring justice to all of the uncertainty of this world, not only to the flawed systems, but to all of our flailing, failing hearts. He brought rock-solid certainty to what he did, what he taught, and from that, showed us how we were to live.

He came so that ALL of us – the rich, the poor, the inbetweens – could learn to ‘love mercy, act justly and walk humbly with God’ (Micah 6:8). He came to bring the world to justice – God’s way of certainty living – no matter what the rank and standing.

Still injustice seems to win sometimes. Some days it seems that is all that is winning.

Even so, we can be certain that God has our back. That no matter what things look like here on earth, all will be worked out – justly – when God brings it all to completion.

Uncertainty should exist in our hearts only for as long as it takes to remember this:

Yes, I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)


Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Diane Karchner
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  1. Sarah Robinson on January 15, 2018 at 6:58 AM

    Good thoughts here.
    God’s certain love for us is so reassuring.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Gretchen Hanna on January 15, 2018 at 9:41 AM

    Banishment. Such a powerful word. Love it. What a timely post for our…um…times, Diane. I’m so glad it was published on MLK day. So grateful this goat has Jesus so she can be a sheep in eternity.

    • Diane on January 17, 2018 at 2:24 PM

      Hail to the goats who will transformed!

  3. Rebecca Preston on January 15, 2018 at 1:35 PM

    “It felt like I was walking on a tight rope without a net below me.” Exactly, and sometimes I’m pretty sure that’s where he wants me. All the uncertainty wrapped up a package of trust and faith. Not so great for safety consious folks like me…
    Thanks, Diane, for putting into words exactly that feeling.

  4. Sarah Eshleman on January 15, 2018 at 9:05 PM

    Really good thoughts!

    • Diane on January 17, 2018 at 2:28 PM

      Thanks, Sarah.

  5. Jen on January 17, 2018 at 1:02 PM

    I can become exhausted thinking about the uncertainty and injustices personally and in the world. But then I remember God. “Even so, we can be certain that God has our back. That no matter what things look like here on earth, all will be worked out – justly – when God brings it all to completion.”

    Great encouragement, Diane!

    • Diane on January 17, 2018 at 2:28 PM

      This life is often exhausting, but exhilarating in the next moment. I think the uncertainty of that is when God loves to see us hanging onto him. Sort of like a white knuckled clenching on a roller coaster – we love it and hate it and want to do it again and again! (or at least those who don’t get sick as a dog on coasters like I do!!)

  6. Cole // Cole Smith Writes on January 17, 2018 at 2:15 PM

    Diane, your post goes right along with an interview I watched yesterday. The man said we had to come to terms with the idea that we are all capable of doing great harm, and then choose justice. It’s a humbling message, isn’t it? What power we’ve been given, the power to acknowledge evil but to choose love!

    • Diane on January 17, 2018 at 2:26 PM

      Cole – thanks. We have been given so much opportunity to do good. If we could only be mindful of that with every word we speak, right?

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