When Hope and Uncertainty Collide
Written by: Abby Gannon
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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a
voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
-- Isaiah 30:21 NIV
Sometimes things feel foggy.
So often, day after day feels like me trying to find the pieces of the puzzle. Moment after moment feels like me tiptoeing gingerly through the fog - hoping I don’t fall off a cliff, get hit by a car, or run smack dab into something.
Uncertainty - it’s consuming.
And truthfully, for me it has been a pattern I have seen throughout much of my life.
Oh, the torment I put my mom through as a child, standing in the department store for, I kid you not - hours - deciding which color shirt, which size shoes, or which color iPod case was 100% perfect. I was always unsure.
I remember getting angry with friends and family members my senior year of high school when they would ask me what my college major was going to be, because I was unsure.
When I was about to graduate college, I was tormented for months by the decision of staying in my college town and continuing to work for Lane of Roses, or choosing to pursue another opportunity. I was incredibly unsure.
Still, when I think about what I want my life to look like in 3, 5, 10, or 30 years… I’m unsure.
And for years after I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I doubted if I truly knew Him. Over and over again, I would come back to the truth that I had confessed and believed in Him, but something inside of me remained unsure.
I remember describing to my friend once that it felt like when everyone dreamed about their future, they could picture something. Some pictured sitting in a beautiful house with 2.5 kids, a dog, and a picket fence. Others pictured living in a third-world country working with a missions organization. Others pictured working late hours in a hospital emergency room. Whether it was a picture of family, work, or goals, at least they pictured something. I pictured nothing. Fog. I couldn’t make out a clear picture.
Uncertainty - there have been moments when it has truly been crippling for me.
“Come on, God,” I would pray, “Can’t you just give me a timeline? A plan? A clue?”
But He consistently reminds me that He’s not trying to trick me or lead me astray. He isn’t holding out on me. He’s not hiding the puzzle pieces. He’s not blurring out my future.
He’s working, moving, and guiding - even when we don’t see it.
And that’s the hope - the hope in all of the uncertainty - that our God “know[s] the plans He has for [us]” (Jeremiah 29:11). That He is causing “everything to work together for the good of those who love [Him] and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28). That He “bestows favor and honor” and withholds “no good thing” from us (Psalm 84:11 NIV).
And for every moment of our uncertainty - no matter what it’s about - He is never once uncertain. That’s why He can look at an entire nation of people going astray and tell them that though they have remained unfaithful to Him, He will be gracious and guide them. He says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV).
Our hope comes from this: that “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is” (2 Timothy 2:13). Our hope - even in the uncertainty - rests in the character of our God.
That He is good - even when we don’t know if things will turn out the way we would desire.
That He is just and He will reconcile to Himself all things (Colossians 1:20).
That He is the author of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) and He who began a good work in us will see it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
That He is our sun and shield (Psalm 84:11) guiding us and protecting us.
And He’s not asking us to try and make out an image in the fog. He is asking us to look at what’s right in front of us and faithfully walk step by step with Him.
So, where do hope and uncertainty collide?
In the understanding that we don’t have to know… God knows. We can trust that He has always known. And He hasn’t failed us yet!
1. In what area of your life does uncertainty tend to rule? Confess to God your lack of faith and trust in that area.
2. How can you speak hope to that area of your life this week and allow hope and uncertainty to collide?
God, I thank You that You are truly so good! Thank You, God, that You do care about every detail of my life - even the pieces that seem small and insignificant. Thank You that in the moments of uncertainty, I can trust that You have always known the outcome and that You truly do guide me through Your Holy Spirit. Help me to learn to trust Your voice and learn to walk in the way that You show me. I love You, Lord. Amen.
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