Daily Devotions

Facing Uncertainty

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. (Proverbs 3:5)

I am not a control freak, but I do not like uncertainty. I will work like a dog to provide certainty. When I was in seminary, I was the youngest person in my class. I was intimidated by many of the other students who have already accomplished so much in their professional lives. Some of my fellow students were lawyers, and other professionals. One of my roommates had been an upper-executive with Ford Motor Company. There was uncertainty as to whether I could keep up. My response to the uncertainty was to work harder. I did my classwork, but I also worked in churches 30 hours per week throughout my seminary years.

The problem with this pandemic is that you and I cannot outwork COVID-19. People have lost jobs, not because of anything they’ve done or not done, but because of we are called to stay at home. Individuals can do everything to keep themselves safe, and still get the coronavirus. It is even beyond our control whether a person remains asymptomatic or dies on a ventilator. The uncertainty is so painful.

Rachael Kable, in her article, “How to Increase Your Ability to Tolerate Uncertainty,” provides healthy recommendations for how to face life’s uncertainties. Kable emphasizes mindfulness. She said, “A study published in 2019 found that female students who had higher levels of tolerance for uncertainty and mindfulness were less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.” Mindfulness helps us relax, but also allows us to recognize our triggers. Prayer is an act of mindfulness that forces us to move within and not simply react, but become more proactive. We may not be able to control all of life’s uncertainties, but we can be certain how we will respond to the world around us. 

Today, try to stop fighting our present uncertainty. Instead, focus on what you can control. Through prayer and mindfulness, take back control of your inner being. Be certain how you feel and experience the adversities around you. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you find certainty in your faith and in how you will respond to the world around you. When we do that, life’s uncertainty loses its control over our lives. We face uncertainty with an eternal view of the world. We embrace God’s divine certainty, and we are able to relax and know that God’s Spirit will carry us safely through. Hold firm to that promise.

From Free-dumb to Freedom

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

When I see people out protesting without facemasks and not social distancing, I am beyond frustrated. Just because we are tired of distancing, or struggling with the financial burden, does not mean this Virus will just say, “OK, I will leave you alone now; sorry for bothering you.” Too many of us have become so naive that we pretend that if we wish this Virus away, we can make it happen. The longer we live in denial and self-centeredness, the longer our country and world will suffer.

Writer Umair Haque, in an article, lifted up the phrase “from freedom to Free-dumb.” Protesters who took dangerous weapons into the Michigan State Capital were “free-dumb.” They were free to carry their weapons, but it was dumb. In Florida, many of the beaches are opening and people have the “free-dumb” to congregate in large groups, up close and personal.

This Virus isn’t dumb. It is extremely effective at what it does: making people sick and killing many. It is more effective than many of the illnesses we’ve faced to this point. Even after we get a vaccine – which is no guarantee – it will take time to create the vast number of syringes, and other materials necessary to distribute it to hundreds of millions of people. Then, some vaccines require more than one shot. 

We no longer have the illusion of safety and security we possessed even three months ago.  Free-dumb is now dangerous. It is time to grow up and face reality as it is, not as what we wish it would be. Today, pray for our world to gain Divine wisdom and compassion for all God’s children. To face reality, so we can address our challenges with Divine courage and determination. If we seek and respond to God’s leading, we will be able to overcome this present struggle.

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