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Living with Uncertainty

There are times when not-knowing is the cross we’re asked to carry.

Photo by Ykoylu for Thinkstock, Getty Images

I read an article the other day about how to determine God’s will. It was good, suggesting we should search scripture, pray and seek counsel. Something about it niggled at my brain, though.

Photo of directional signs by Ykoylu for Thinkstock, Getty ImagesIt took me a while to figure out what it was: It started with the assumption that we can always figure out exactly what God wants us to do.

Sometimes it’s God’s will that we should live with uncertainty or ambiguity. There are times when not-knowing is the cross we’re asked to carry.

Sometimes when we come to a T-intersection, both choices are fine with God–he’s not limited to either/or options. When there’s no neon sign pointing which way to go, we need to remember that God will be with us on every road we take.

Sometimes God’s will is only visible when time and distance gives us greater perspective. And sometimes I’m myopic because I forget that his will isn’t all about my personal happiness and comfort.

He has other priorities, like having me learn humility, self-sacrifice, and how to turn to him in all situations.

Finally, we are told, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). At times God’s will is going to be completely different than our limited understanding. 

Years ago I worked in a very non-Christian business and pleaded with God to let me go do some kind of more meaningful work for him. He replied, “But if you leave, I’ll have no one here representing me!” I was astonished: I hadn’t thought of it that way.  

So when we come before the Lord saying, “Here I am, I have come to do your will” (Hebrews 10:9) we need to be open to the possibility that GPS-like instructions aren’t going to be forthcoming.

We should indeed search scripture, pray, and seek counsel from those who are wise… and trust that when we treat each person we meet each day as Christ would have, we’re on the right track.

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