Each and every day we face uncertainty. It is waiting around every corner and hiding in the darkness of every room. We fight it with all of our might. With jaw set and fists clinched, we stress and strain hoping that through our own effort we can turn that uncertainty into certitude making clear all that was once unclear. Only to realize, at the close of another battle with this unseen foe, that this fight is unending. Uncertainty will always be there. Life's edges will always appear hazy and unclear.
Yet, we still crave certainty. Our hearts burn for clarity in life. We long to know exactly what we will face around life's next bend. We want to know that our actions today will positively impact tomorrow's outcome. So, we try to project and plan the unclear and uncertain out of our lives. We pray that their grip on our mind might finally be broken.
In his outstanding book Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning tells of a man who went to spend three months working with the sick and dying in Calcutta with Mother Teresa. On his second morning there, he met Mother Teresa. She greeted him and asked, "And what can I do for you?" He replied, "You can pray for me." She then asked, "And for what should I pray?" The man said, "Pray that I might find clarity."
To his astonishment and dismay, Mother Teresa said that she would not do that. When he asked her why, she said, "Clarity is the last thing that you cling to that you must let go of." When he told her that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed to have, she smiled and replied, "I have never had clarity, but I have always had trust. I will pray that you trust God."
Life's unquenchable thirst for certainty and clarity finally satiated by a relentless trust in a sovereign God.
Jesus said, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:31-33 (NIV)
I pray that none of us receive the clarity for which we long. Rather I pray that all of us learn to trust in the One who will never leave nor forsake.
by Brian Shivers