One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot lately, has been the overwhelming desire most people have for certainty and assurance. I think it is part of what makes us human. Especially in times of trouble, we tend to look for an anchor to tether ourselves against the storm.
But just because we want something, there is no guarantee that we necessarily get it. Where else in our lives do things work like that?
Spiritual teacher Pema Chodron says, “We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability; always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not-knowing is part of the adventure. It’s also what makes us afraid.”
Fear comes about because we may not believe in God as much as we think we do. When we trust that God walks with us through the uncertainty, it is an act of faithfulness.
She goes on to say that when we realize this, we “grow up.” So the central question is not how to avoid uncertainty and fear, but how we relate to it. This becomes the very definition of faith.
"Doubt and faith are brothers. We are the in between time where the truth as it is has yet to be revealed. but in the mean time we have to have faith that not only is the path we are on the right one, and will lead us where we want to go, but that our guide knows what he is doing and there is someone to greet us at our destination."
It is during this season that we think of Emmanuel, "God with us." God doesn't deliver from the suffering, but is with us in the midst of the uncertainty. The good news is that He is also working tirelessly to bring about his purposes.
"It may seem to the soul that everything is moving in the contrary direction to what it has been led to expect, and yet, even if many years go by, it never loses its belief that, though God may use other means incomprehensible to men, in the end what He has said will come true; as in fact it does." Teresa of Avila