The Certain in Uncertainty

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit” —  yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” ~James 4:13-15

Years ago I worked in a hospital in an office on the same hallway as the Pediatric Chemotherapy Department. Every day I saw parents and children trudging up the hallway to go into a world they would never have asked to enter.

The nurses in that office would tell us that the children were amazing. They paid attention and had as much knowledge of their treatment as their parents. They were quick to correct a nurse who they thought was bringing them the wrong medicine or who was trying to administer a drug that had been eliminated.

It seems they adapted to their new reality quickly.

As adults, we tend to resist anything that is an interruption in the plans we’ve already made. The parents were disturbed by the treatments and the new schedules they had to keep, but were also able to question and/or anticipate consequences the children didn’t think about.

The helplessness to “fix” their children’s illness seemed to be the greatest obstacle to overcome for the parents.

But, God.

At the time, I was not a Christian and realize now that I was not thinking about how God might be working in the lives of these families facing such an uncertain time in their lives.

He intervenes in our lives for His glory and our good. He intervenes to test our faith, grow our faith, and/or give us opportunities to magnify His name. In our human state, we often fail to see it while we are in it.

If you are in a time of uncertainty, a diagnosis, watching a loved one suffer, or uncertain of the direction for work or ministry that you are to take, will you ask God what He wants? Pray before acting. Seek Him and His kingdom first, and He promises to add what we need (Matthew 6:25-34).

Some things are mysteries.

We just cannot know the “why” or “when” or “how,” of everything God has planned. Other things He has made clear to us in His Word or He promises us that He has a way (Psalm 142:3).

2018 is a new year, and we go into it with an uncertainty about what the Lord has for us in it. But, He is the One Great Certainty for those who trust in Him. He never changes, nor does the hope we have in Him – no matter what we are facing in this world.

Will you commit now to trust God with whatever He brings? He is the “Certain” in our uncertain times.

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.
Beth Bingaman
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  1. Jen on January 5, 2018 at 8:14 AM

    “As adults, we tend to resist anything that is an interruption in the plans we’ve already made.” I used to think of myself as spontaneous, but I’m the farthest thing from it. I get an idea or a plan set in my head and then when I have to be flexible, I freak out a little inside. I handle the big changes with Isaiah 55:8-9, but I never think about it for the millions of little things that cause those freak outs.

    Thanks for this perspective!

  2. Sarah B. Robinson on January 5, 2018 at 8:36 AM

    Your post reminded me of a time we spent long days in the hospital with our sick baby. Other parents, we noticed, were there everyday, and seemed to be more accustomed to the hospital’s routine. We discovered that their child, maybe two years of age, had cystic fibrosis, and it was not uncommon for them to spend most of their time at the hospital while their child had treatments. The uncertainty we all faced bound us together in sad stares, but I recall later praying with fervency for God’s will to be done. At the most uncertain times, God has been there for us. Thank you for the thoughtful words.

  3. Cole // Cole Smith Writes on January 5, 2018 at 8:44 AM

    Beautiful, Beth. The struggles grow us, don’t they? My family had about 6 years of uncertainty regarding a situation. It was resolved last month, and the perfect timing left us breathless and humbled. We would have hurried it, and we would have missed the glory…

  4. Diane on January 5, 2018 at 8:51 AM

    “He is the One Great Certainty for those who trust in Him. ” Absolutely love that phrase, wrote it on the top of this week’s calendar page. All other ground is sinking sand. Thanks, Beth – and Happy New Year!

  5. Natalie Liounis on January 5, 2018 at 10:38 AM

    Thanks for sharing, Beth–it’s a great reminder that we serve an unchanging God. I am afraid of 2018, but I know that He goes before me. Praise Him.

  6. Gretchen Hanna on January 6, 2018 at 12:14 PM

    Thank you, Jesus, for this post! And thank you, Beth. I need to remind myself to pray for His will and His wishes in a situation, rather than (or at least in addition to) my own. He knows what I want. But He wants to glorify Himself.

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