23 December, 2010

Certainty in Uncertainty

"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things."—Ecclesiastes 11:5

            I've been thinking a lot about the time of life that I'm in right now.  I know most college age students think about the future quite a bit because "real life" is fast approaching.  I've recently talked with some friends about how ever since we graduated high school, we've been transitioning into the next thing.  Especially when I started college; I felt like I never even had time to think about it and then time disappeared and now here I am, starting my second semester of sophomore year.  We even talked about Winter break and how the entire time is basically a transition period.  The first week we transition to being home, the second week is crazy with holiday festivities, and the third week we are getting ready to go back to school.  Conclusion of all of these random thoughts: My life is uncertain.  I have no idea what the future holds.  And that could be really scary, but being a "look on the bright side" kind of person, I find uncertainty to be one of the greatest things that life has to offer us.  Because the more uncertain my life gets, the more certain I must become of God.  Isn't it so comforting to know that in the midst of the confusion and unknown that we have a Lord who does know and who will reveal his plans to us on his timing?  And I am SO thankful that it is his timing and not mine, because if I was in control and if I got to choose the timing of things in my life, I would undoubtedly screw it up...badly.  Whenever I hear people say, "I wish I could just fast forward to see like five minutes of my life in the future," I instantly think that is a terrible idea.  Not in a harsh or mean way, but where is the adventure in that? This past Sunday at church, the pastor spoke about the Christmas song, "Come All Ye Faithful" and about adoring Christ.  Adoration means to tell someone something, and the dictionary defines it as "fervent and devoted love."  He told us to tell Jesus what we adore about him, and one of my favorite things about Christ is the mystery of him and the adventure he brings.
           Going to college with a bunch of people I have never met before in a different state with a totally different culture than I have grown up in, there are many, many times when I feel misunderstood.  I know everyone goes through it, and initially it sucked to feel like no one truly knew me.  But again, during those times of uncertainty, my certainty is found in the Lord.  The more I feel misunderstood by others, the more I feel understood by God.  It assures me that I was designed to be in a relationship with him and that he is the only one who will never fail me.  And the more I know God understands me, the more I know that he loves me, because he knows the depths of my heart and STILL delights in me.
           The thing that got me thinking about this whole "certainty in uncertainty" thing was from Oslwald Chambers' "My Utmost For His Highest" back in April.  (I know "Utmost" is a cliché pop culture Christian devotion, but you can't deny that it is good.)  He wrote, Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises."  As a follower of Jesus, I no longer live the commonsense life.  I remember someone saying at Summer Staff (Where you work at a YL camp for a month) this past July that we no longer fight worldly battles; we fight spiritual battles.  In another devotion, "Come Away My Beloved" by Frances J. Roberts, he says, "For we labor not in the material realm, and we work not with the elements of this world; but our labor is in the realm of the Spirit, and the accomplishments are not judged by the human eye, but shall be revealed in the light of eternity."  I want to live like I am a citizen of heaven and not of this world, with an eternal perspective and in the Spiritual realm. I can't even begin to imagine the revelations we will see in the light of eternity, but what a gift that we get to see them at all.  Christ is our hope, light, and peace in times of hopelessness, darkness, and restlessness, and that is what I cling to.

"So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the thing we cannot see will last forever." —2 Corinthians 4:18

Winter Break FUNZONE!!

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