How to Deal with Uncertainty
By Pastor Tom Anderson
Some good news: the toilet paper shortage we had over a year ago is over! But the uncertainty is not. In fact it keeps growing. Predictability is gone. Your plans are gone. Maybe your health or the health of your loved ones is under grave threat. We chafe at restrictions. We’ve lost control over the simplest details of our daily lives. Some have been in and out of quarantine so many times they’ve lost count. We’ve lost our simple answers and cherished platitudes about how life is supposed to work.
The natural human response to losing things is grief. Unacknowledged grief hangs over our streets and homes. Grief is the pit in your stomach. Grief is the heaviness you feel. Grief is the crabbiness that ignites the squabbling over every detail of pandemic strategy. Grief threatens our mental and emotional health.
Grief often leads to a faith crisis. Many people thought they believed in God only to discover that they only believed in the gifts God gave them. When the gifts disappeared, so did faith. But if you believe in the Giver instead of the gifts He gives, there’s not as much of a crisis.
Look on the bright side. We now have more in common with the people of scripture than at any point in our lives. Read the saga of Abraham and Sarah. Read the Psalms and they will pop for you like never before. So many people in the Bible lived in uncertain, in-between circumstances where they’d lost what was but didn’t yet have what was to come. But they had the One Who Is--and that made the difference.
At one point in the Exodus, the newly freed Hebrew slaves were trapped between the water of the Red Sea and the advancing army of the world’s only then superpower, Egypt. They cried out. They complained. They blamed. They accused. They railed. Moses spoke, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:13-14)
This is God’s specialty. In times of distressing uncertainty and grief He loves to do astonishing things. The Hebrew dilemma gave way to the parting of the Red Sea. The humiliating death on the Cross gave way to Resurrection. Here’s the lesson: when you can’t find the way, trust God to make one. God will make a way through these pandemic times we are in. You may protest that people have died and more will die yet the word declares even death has been defeated.
God will make a way. I don’t know what it is but I’m watching. When the waters part, I’m going through them. When the call comes, I’m going to leave Ur. When the tomb is discovered empty, I’m going to spread the news to the ends of the earth. God will make a way and on this conviction I will build my hope.