It was uncertainty that taught me how to trust. Like, really trust. Not the kind of trust in God that sounds good in theory but the kind that has no idea what comes next and and is able to be at peace with that. The kind that has finally come to a place where it is fine with not having all of the details. The sort of trust that comes as a result of watching God prove His faithfulness time and time again.
Standing in direct opposition of trust is unbelief. One way that I would define unbelief is ‘lack of foresight’. Foresight is the ability to see past our current circumstance long enough to know that this isn’t the end. And we only learn how to do that after being in situations that require foresight before we even possess it. What enables us to do this is having a point of reference. How many times have we come out on the other side of a struggle and realized that it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be? If God was faithful to sustain us then, why would this be any different? I recently read an interesting article that said dramas depict how people think they would act in a tragedy but when we are actually faced with one, we get in the middle of that thing and realize we’ve got some fighting power.
Romans 15:13 says, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Here is how the New Living Translation reads:
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
What Paul’s words say to me is that any effort to search for hope outside of God is futile. But when I choose to muster up enough foresight to ignore what I see with my natural eye and recognize that God is at work in the background, my anxiety turns into joy and peace simply because I choose to trust in God. Faith doesn’t require details because it simply takes God at His word.
Trusting God in this way has taught me to welcome uncertainty. Rather than shrinking back in fear of her, I’ve learned to allow her to come in and dine with me. Experience has taught me that even if she brings trials and tests with her, all things are still working for my good. Uncertainty is a tool that God uses to bring about an increase of faith because if you can’t see what comes next, it forces you to lean in and lean on the One that can. And when it is revealed that He has had a plan all along, we can’t help but fall more deeply in love with Him. We can’t help but bow down before Him in worship, expressing gratitude for His infinite wisdom. Lean in. That’s what He kept saying to me when I found myself surrounded by a cloud of perpetual ambiguity. “When you don’t understand, lean in”. That is how you survive uncertainty. By leaning in as opposed to running away. With tears running down your face, lean in. In the face of anxiety, lean in. With questions about God’s existence, lean in. Because all of that leaning leads to trusting and that trusting will develop into peace that welcomes and invites uncertainty, knowing that not knowing only means there’s an unexpected blessing just up the road.