Friday, April 29, 2011

Gracious Uncertainty

I've battled some anxiety lately about our future. Come the end of June, where will we live? Where will Jeff work? If he stays at his current job, and I at mine, how will we make ends meet? What is our "purpose" in life? Should we just leave all of this and go to the mission field? Why, then, did Jeff (and all of us) put in the last (almost) 10 years at CSUMB working on his Masters in Special Education....if that wouldn't even be needed on the mission field?   When I say "mission field", where am I even talking about?  Just leave?  Just escape and serve somewhere?  Anywhere?  (That idea thrills me to no end....perhaps it's just my little escape plan in my head to get out of the American mindset.)

Anyway, Jeff and I had a great conversation yesterday that put things in proper perspective for me.  No, we still don't have a plan for our future.  Not an exact plan, anyway.  We still aren't sure what is next.  However, we do know that God has each and every step all mapped out.  We can rest in that.  In addition, I am more inspired than ever to walk in all that God has blessed us with.  This life we live RIGHT NOW is our mission field.  So easy to forget that.  So quick to think it is less than significant.  In reality, we have 3 beautiful little girls that we are responsible for and there is no more personal mission field than that.

In light of all that has been on my mind lately, it's no wonder Oswald Chambers spoke so clearly to me today.  I hope it blesses you, too!  Here it is:

Gracious Uncertainty

. . . it has not yet been revealed what we shall be . . . —1 John 3:2

Our natural inclination is to be so precise—trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next—that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.

Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in—but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.