Recently I stopped by one of the many kiosks you often find in airports, the ones designed to “entice” us to buy something that we probably don’t need and maybe can’t afford. Because I had some time to fill it was a welcome detour from watching the same news loop on one of the gate monitors or eating more than I should at the food court.
I purchased a nifty earpiece for around $30 that conveniently collapsed into something about the size of a silver dollar. After the sale, the salesperson continued with this pitch: “For eight more dollars you can purchase a two year replacement agreement.” I thought to myself, “Ah, that’s just what I’ve been looking for—a two-year guarantee!” For a price, the vendor offered something certain in the midst of an uncertain world. I did not purchase the extended warranty but the idea stuck with me for some time. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just pay a little extra and buy some certainty concerning everything in our lives? Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.
Instead, the Lord has invited us on this incredible journey of uncertainty and many times we complain to Him about it. He just listens. We complain that we could be a bit more focused if only we knew some of the outcomes. We don’t need to know all of them, but a few revealed mysteries would help. Sometimes we bargain with Him that we really don’t need to determine the future; we just want to know it! Our lives would be so much more at peace and our level of contentedness would rise considerably if He would let us peak behind the curtain of the future. Maybe you have found, as I have, that negotiating with the Lord in hopes of a “two-year guarantee” is an interesting but futile proposition.
I have discovered that the grinding out of life is good for my soul. It not only humbles me but it makes me desperate and dependent on Him. I find that my prayers are more focused and my devotional time is rich with an intensity to discover more about God and His expectations of me. He knows that we are prone to wander and wonder. He’s keenly aware that we have the capacity and tendencies to lean on facts, circumstances, resources, knowledge, relationships and a number of other options before we lean on Him. It’s not easy to confess, but He has sometimes been my last option instead of my first.
Hopefully at some point we discover that there are guarantees in the midst of uncertainty. The Bible declares, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).
Imagine a guarantee from God, in writing. It is peace in the midst of uncertainty. And that’s a deal I’ll be glad to take. Let me invite you to continue on this journey of faith focused solely around one question: “Is the Lord going on the trip?” If so, count me in!
Prayer Focus: Lord, strengthen me in areas where I struggle to have confidence in Your purposes concerning my life. Help me to lead with such surety about Your plans—and Your ability to pull them off—that my faith, steadfastness and courage will allow others to believe You will do the same for them. Thank you for Your shepherding ways and for Your commitment to shaping me into a person who will bring honor to Your kingdom!
By: Glenn Burris Jr., interim president