I collect paper. Words of affirmation is one of my love languages, and I especially treasure written words from others and read them repeatedly. I have a drawer in my dresser that is full of random bits of paper. Chances are, if you’ve given me a card or letter in the last two years or so, I have it in that drawer.
As I was looking last week for a particular piece of paper, I came across a card I received from a former roommate. Inside the card, were a couple of bits of paper with excerpts from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. One of the excerpts in particular stood out:
“Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life; gracious uncertainty in the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God.”
This quote fits my current situation so well, and I am not the only one in a similar place in the journey. As I have talked with people over the past couple of weeks, it seems many of us find ourselves in a place of uncertainty. Obviously nothing is ever 100% certain in life, but I’m talking about a season where it seems like all of life is in some degree of limbo, waiting to see what God will do next.
This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself in a season of uncertainty. In the past, I have faced a number of these seasons with “breathless expectation.” When things I expected to happen fell through, I was left with no idea what might be next on my journey. I just told someone the other day that I often found those times to be at least as exciting as they were uncomfortable because it is a chance to dream big with God. The blank canvas of the future, free of the plans I had made for myself, provided an opportunity for God to give me new visions and dreams of what might be.
Notice all the past tense verbs in that last paragraph? I’m afraid that while I have faced seasons of uncertainty with grace and expectancy in the past, I’ve been leaning a bit more toward the “sigh of sadness” in this most recent season. Finding that bit of paper helped me to recognize the angst I’ve felt in relation to the current uncertainties in my life.
During the past week I have been choosing to feel the excitement and expectancy for what the future may hold. It will likely look nothing like the picture I have in my head, but I am thankful that I can be certain of the One with the paintbrush. He paints nothing but masterpieces.