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Most of us are pretty good at handling problems. Once we know what the issue is, we can create a plan to solve it.  Or we can start the process of accepting what we cannot change.

Uncertainty is different. When we don’t know what is going to happen, we naturally do one thing – worry.  We think about all the things that could go horribly wrong.  And we don’t stop to consider that whatever we are facing could be a blessing in disguise.

Uncertainty tests our faith in God. I am embarrassed to say that I initially always fail that test.  I forget Jeremiah 29:11:

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

Instead, my first reaction to uncertainty is to think, “Good grief. What now?”  And then I run through all the scenarios of what could go wrong, and I try to come up with a solution for each.  This little routine of mine takes an incredible amount of mental energy.  And it is a complete waste of time.

I faced an uncertain situation a number of years ago, when I was pregnant with my daughter. At the 8-week point in my pregnancy, the doctor sent me to have an early ultrasound.  I was so excited.  I couldn’t wait to see that smudgy black-and-white photo with a little blob that the technician would tell me was my baby.  So, you can imagine how my face crumpled when the technician told me, “I don’t see a baby.”  I went home from the appointment in tears.

After the ultrasound, the doctor’s office tried to reassure me. They said we’d do another one in a couple of weeks.  They said that maybe the baby was “hiding,” as if my uterus was a 20-room mansion in which one could “hide.”

For the next couple of weeks, I didn’t know if I was pregnant or not. My body seemed to be changing.  I kept getting rounder.  So, I kept eating carefully and taking those prenatal vitamins – just in case.  But the uncertainty was hard on me.  I kept thinking about how I would have to tell family and friends that my good news was all a big mistake.  I felt so sad and disappointed.  It never occurred to me to simply go to God.  I didn’t think to stop, pray, and say, “God, not my will, but Thy will be done,” and then release my worry…  Of course, my worry was all for naught. That “hiding” baby is now a full-grown teenager.

Uncertainty is an unavoidable part of life. We all go through difficult periods when we don’t know what the outcome will be.  There is so much in life that we cannot control.

However, we can control our response to uncertainty. While our first response to uncertainty may be worry or panic, we want to find ways to quickly move beyond that.  My strategy is a three-step process.  First, I try to visualize positive outcomes to the situation.  Then I release my worries to God, by letting him know my fears and concerns.  And finally I commit to accept whatever outcome occurs by saying, “God, not my will, but Thy will be done.”

If you are facing an uncertain situation today, know that you are not alone. We all have faced scary situations and wondered, “Will I get through this?”  Know that you will.  Know that God has a good plan for your life.

If there is anything that I have learned over the years, it is this: Life is not a straight line. Unexpected things happen.  Sometimes they are good, and sometimes they aren’t.  But if you remain faithful, God can take any situation and ultimately use it to bless you.  So know that in times of uncertainty, God has not left you.  He is with you, and He is going to use whatever happens in your uncertain situation for your benefit.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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