“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So, we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.” -Psalm 46:1
I heard someone comment on TV the other day that we are “certainly living in uncertain times.” I thought to myself, “When were times certain?” The truth is that times have always been uncertain. And, another truth is, God has always been absolutely certain.
Uncertainty and difficulty have always been a part of the world we live in: World Wars (a couple of them), countless Civil Wars across the world, economic difficulties, natural disasters, unnatural disasters (Chernobyl, etc.). An article I read listed almost 200 pandemics and epidemics that have hit mankind over the past thousand years.
Franklin P. Adams said, “Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.” We tend to remember the good and forget the bad (and sometimes we do the opposite: we remember the bad and forget the good). My dear dad, born in 1919, used to always say, “When anyone starts to tell you about how great the ‘good ole days’ were, don’t you believe them. Those days were hard and difficult, but the days were good.” As he used to share, those times were good, not because of the lack of difficulty, but because of abundance of faith and family. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” One thing is for sure, if we’re looking to “uncertain times” to be our bedrock, then the shifting sand will be our downfall.
Trust is a huge concept. When nothing makes sense, our trust is in the awesome God of the Universe. Sure, when we win the lottery, we’re quick to give God the credit as we cash in our winnings. But when things just don’t make sense, it’s much harder to believe and trust. The famous French priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, said, “Give our Lord the benefit of believing that His hand is leading you and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.”
Trusting God doesn’t mean we don’t have anxiety, suspense, and confusion. Too often we beat ourselves up for being human. Be honest with yourself and God. Jesus Himself was “distressed to the point of death” in the Garden, but he never lost trust in the Father. And as He went to His Father, God assured Him that all was well and His peace followed.
If you’ve already been having a lack of faith in God, know that you can change your course anytime. Heed C.S. Lewis’s advice, “You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” True faith is believing even when things don’t make sense. Sure, the Coronavirus is slowly fading away, but rest assured, something else will take its place. It always has and always will.
May the “uncertain times” always drive us toward the only certainty that exists: the presence of the Almighty God of the Universe. Even for Jesus, the difficulty of his “cup” took Him to the garden. Of course, it wasn’t the garden that helped Him, it was the presence of the Father in the garden that brought Him assurance and strength. Louisa May Alcott said, “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” We’re sailing well when we run to the garden as uncertainty moves in.
The times will always be uncertain, and God will always be certain.
May we always run to Him.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©