The crippling nature of uncertainty

This is going to sound hopelessly morose, but it seems like there is tragedy all around me.

Every day, I hear of another friend who has lost a family member, another who has been delivered a terrible diagnosis, another who has suffered great loss of home or security or employment.

It feels like it’s a snowball that’s been pushed down a mountain, and with each revolution it picks up more snow and just keeps getting bigger and moving faster.

It’s like I’m standing at the bottom of the mountain, watching it helplessly, knowing how destructive it will be to anything in its path, but incapable of moving.

There are so many times where I feel incapable of moving. It’s as though the most difficult action I can think of in that moment is picking up one foot and taking a step. Uncertainty does that to me — it completely cripples.

And then the Lord brings to mind verses like 1 Peter 5:9–11:

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

“After you have suffered a little while.” That phrase brings me so much hope, which may sound odd. But it brings me hope because it indicates the suffering must end. The Lord will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you more firmly in Him through the suffering. He doesn’t delight in watching us in pain. He doesn’t want hardship for us.

In our world, the hardship and pain is just there. It’s inevitable. It’s not intentional vengeance for our sin.

So in these times where I am frozen by uncertainty or crushed by despair and sorrow, I can remind myself — I must remind myself — that suffering of any kind is not in vain. It’s not futile. It’s doing something in us. And it will end.

Maranatha.

Maggie Evans

Maggie Evans is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is special assistant to the editor for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. Maggie and her husband, Sam, are members of Iron City Church, Birmingham.

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