Messages from Young Adults

The Certainty of Uncertainty

I hate uncertainty.

That feeling of not knowing. That absence of concrete information. The gray area. That irritating lack of clarity. Define it however you want, but know that I definitely hate it. This is probably a side-effect of my western upbringing where everything is five-year planned, written down in several different documents and signed by several different people before it is actuated. There is no room for uncertainty where I come from. You don’t book a hotel room without paying a deposit or handing over some piece of ID. You don’t start building a house without a specific plan for the structure and for the money to complete it. You don’t open a business before you have the assurance of customers and employees.

But here in the eastern part of the world where I am, uncertainty is not such a big deal. Things can start without a definite plan, and change along the way. In fact, it happens all the time.

It feels a lot like my relationship with God. Except the uncertainty is only on my part.

To be clear, trying to decipher my personal feelings from God’s divine leadings can often be like trying to find a genuine Coach purse on Canal street, New York. You know that it’s possible that there’s a real one there, but the fakes look so convincing that you can hardly tell the difference. And while I am trying to make the distinction between God’s ways and mine, I end up living in a state of extended uncertainty where the future is as clear as a back road on a moonless night.

But what if God wants me to learn to live like this?

What if God doesn’t want me to be sure? What if God’s plan is for me not to have a plan – but rather to take life moment by moment; to pray today for guidance and launch out doing the work for the day – even without certainty that it is in fact the work for today – trusting that if it isn’t God will correct the path. My western nature rejects this completely and fights against it tooth and nail. But my heart which is still being moulded by the Master Planner is learning to live with it.

I recently read a portion from the Desire of Ages where it said Jesus made no plans for himself. Each day He submitted Himself to the plans of the Father. Not each year, nor each month, but each day – suggesting that He only knew on the day what He was to do. To further support this idea, another portion of the Desire of Ages notes that Jesus had no place of His own but depended on the hospitality of His disciples and of friends. Now if that isn’t living in uncertainty, I don’t know what is. But maybe that is where God wants all of us to be.

And maybe living without assurances is a lesson that I am to learn. I’m not sure.

I’m uncertain.


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Comments

  • Janice A. Becca (Author) said:

    so on point Rhonda. can’t wait to hear more about your experiences. God bless you.

  • Chinagozi Nwankwo said:

    wow…..JUST WHAT I NEEDED…GOD IS WONDERFUL

  • Kemi said:

    Oh my word
    Wow
    Okay I don’t know what to say
    I’m uncertain

    But each step
    One day at a time

    Have a blessed weekend

  • Sylvester said:

    You definitely captured my present experience Rhonda! But should we expect God to guide us through every detail of our lives or stop us if our actions dont match His plan? Does God have a plan or a blue-print of our lives with every turn including what we eat, what we do on an everyday basis to career choice and who we marry? Or is the God of the Bible only concerned with our decisions that has to do with us choosing eternal life? For example, does God care if I become a doctor or a teacher or is He more concerned with whether I will serve Him in either capacity? For the past few days I’ve been trying to find a biblical example where God guided someone through a non-salvific decision just for guidance sake where no one’s salvation is at stake. I couldn’t find any. Can you guys think of an example?

  • Kemi said:

    Psalms 139:16 says that before I was born God knew the day I would die.
    I’m uncertain (lol) as to whether this si good,bad or justification for predestination.
    Romans 8 says that all things work together for our good
    So I like to believe that even if I make a mistake because I didn’t hear him correctly he will work it out eventually for my good

    And what is my good
    Phil 1:6 reminds us that He who began a good work will
    Complete it when Christ comes

    So this good of romans must be eternal life and soooo I guess he is concerned with everything we do. And everything we do is relevant to our salvation. Every choice we make is connected to our salvation. It either brings us closer to him or closer to the devil.
    I will stop typing and end with psalms 37 which says that the steps of the righteous man are ordered and that if I fall he will raise me up
    And so I’m at peace with my uncertainty.
    Right now I’m trying to make up my mind between two choices and I have to remind myself that regardless God will work it out for my good and break mii if necessary to save mii and until he comes I will pray God gets a HBB (heavenly blackberry)

  • Rhonda Bowen said:

    Hey Sylvester

    There is no such thing as a non-salvific decision – especially for Christians.

    Like Kemi says I think every decision is connected to our salvation. It is tempting for us to believe otherwise because then we are not forced to examine ALL our decisions carefully. I think about the New Testament where Jesus told the disciples where to go to find the colt and donkey that He was to ride on to enter Jerusalem. His instructions to them were very specific, including what they should say. Did that directly involve anyone’s salvation? No. But Jesus was specific. What about in the Old Testament where the old (unnamed) prophet was sent to deliver a message and was then instructed not to stay there the night and not to come back the same way he went. Was there anything related directly to salvation there? No. But God is specific with us, not always because the act itself is important, but because our response to Him and our willingness to obey is important. Every decision we make will either bring us closer to Him or farther away from Him.

    We also don’t know how our minute decisions will affect others in salvific ways.

    If God numbers the hairs on our head, then I am sure He has a specific plan for each of us. Now does that mean we will be lost if God planned for us to be a teacher and we became a doctor instead? I don’t think so, but I think its a matter of potential. The ability for us to fully achieve our God intended potential is directly related to the level of our submission to Him. He may use us as a doctor to reach 5 people for the Kingdom. But maybe if we had become a teacher as He had intended we would have reached 50.

    I remember reading Letters to Young Lovers by Ellen White (get that book everyone) and in one of the letters to a young man she advised him not to marry a certain young woman, not because there was anything wrong with the woman, but because being married to her at that time would limit God’s ability to use him to do a certain work. The man married the woman anyway and they were happy, but at a later point admitted that Mrs White had been right.

    Ok I am done, but just to say, it all matters.

  • Alexandra Yeboah said:

    This is beautifully written. I know a little something about uncertainty. It’s funny because I tend to be somewhat of a planner, I tend to want to stray away from doing anything spontaneous or on the spot; ask any one of my family members or friends. But gradually, I am learning to abide in something that is certain, and that is Christ. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Rhonda.

  • Clarion Davis said:

    Hi…is it possible to receive Denzia Hush’s testimony on CD/DVD?

    thanks much…happy Sabbath

    Clarion, Calgary…..SDA member here….Calgary Central.

  • Lionel said:

    WOW! This new (old) post definitely hit the spot and the circumstances I’m dealing with right now. I guess God does want us to be uncertain so that we can trust in the One who is certain – Jesus Christ. Maybe thats the only way God can break our stubborness, because we do tend to plan out every single minute detail. We have to step back and realize that Chris is the only certainty we need, especially in a time like this.

    More post please. Got to visit this site more.

    Thanks again Rhonda

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