I went to a Science High School where at a young age, I gained an appreciation for the scientific method of investigation. The concept of a controlled environment was very appealing to me. In the design of a research experiment, scientists ensure that factors that potentially affect outcomes are carefully defined and controlled, so that the results of the study could be accurately attributed to the experimental intervention alone, and not to some other variable. This approach is the basis for many wonderful scientific discoveries throughout history.
But step outside the laboratory and real life proves to be very different from a science experiment. It doesn’t take long to realize that the conditions and circumstances around us are far from predictable, and this ignites fear and anxiety within us. Sometimes we cope by trying to control people and situations, thinking that it would make life more manageable. At times we choose to withdraw from relationships or responsibilities in order to protect ourselves from the heartaches and disappointments they bring. Uncertainty is messy and we don’t like that.
Thankfully, what we call unknown is only unknown to us but not to our great God. There is absolutely no uncertainty as far as He is concerned. “I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying ‘My counsel shall stand and I will accomplish my purpose'” Isaiah 46:9-10. It is hard to wrap our finite minds around it but the truth is, God has full knowledge and control of the entire history of man and beyond. He does, and we do not. Only the saving grace of Christ can bring about an honest humility in our hearts to acknowledge this. Because unfortunately, our natural bent, way back from the garden of Eden, desires to glorify self. We try to do everything we can to prove that we are strong enough, good enough, wise enough. In reality, only God is enough and our faith in Him – His knowing all circumstances that we don’t understand – propels us to live and love in the ambiguity of this unpredictable and often discouraging world.
In his book A Loving Life, Paul E. Miller writes: “Our world may be ambiguous but our
calling isn’t. Instead of fighting the uncertainty, we can love in it. Faith grows in the rich soil of ambiguity. Because everything is uncertain, we find ourselves praying our way through the day or through relationships. Walking with the Good Shepherd on this journey of love becomes like breathing. Do not put your energy into ordering what you cannot order; simply love in the disorder.”
And by His grace, we shall. Because He who loves us most, knows it all.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13