Friday, May 19, 2017

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on the Certainty of Uncertainty

If there's one thing you can be certain of, it's that life will always be...uncertain.

I realize that even more after the past couple of weeks.

On May 4, I saw a comment on my friend Robyn Niles's Facebook account about the passing of Wendy Jenkins. What?! Wendy (Tuttle) was a classmate of mine all the way from elementary school through high school. She was 50 years old. How could she be gone? I had gotten together with her a couple of years ago when I was in Michigan and always enjoyed connecting with her on Facebook. 

I asked Robyn about it a few days later and found out that she had gone in for a root canal and had some kind of reaction to the procedure. 

I still can't believe it. No warning. No chance to say goodbye.

Another example of how quickly things can change blew in on Wednesday evening. We had been hearing about a storm front headed our way and Gary was busy much of the day trying to figure out whether to cancel the Baccalaureate Service that evening or hold it an hour later, after the weather got past us.

At about 5:00, the power suddenly went out. We looked out the kitchen window and remarked about how black it looked out there. Then the wind started to come up, and then it really blew!

"There goes the basketball hoop!" It tipped over backward, away from the driveway. "Whoa! Look at the tree branches go!" Big branches seemed to be plucked from the middle of our tree and wooshed away to the North.

Gary got on the phone with the school and they made the call to postpone the service, then he went to the bedroom to change clothes. "The camper and boat tipped over!" he called to the rest of us.

"What?!!!" We raced to the back of the house and looked out the windows to see our camper lying upside down in the church parking lot.
Our boat was also up on its side, resting on our neighbor's boat. (Sorry, Carl and Barb!)

Later we found out that Carl had been looking out their back slider and had seen the camper go up and over the boats before smashing upside down. Wow!

After the wind died down and the danger was past, we ventured outside to take pictures and marvel at the strength of the wind. Trees were down all over. Our church garbage can ended up in the backyard of a church member four houses North of the church. 

Nobody got hurt in town, but a man from Dike was killed by Parkersburg when his semi was blown over on highway 57. Again, you never would expect that. A freak storm changed a family's life in an instant.

We can make our plans, but we just don't know what the future holds. Weather, disease, accidents, and even little disruptions to our lives make life very uncertain. 

As a Christian, the only way I can handle life's uncertainties is resting in the certainty that God has everything under control. I may not like everything that happens to me. Sometimes it may bring excruciating pain, but I know that I can trust my God. The Bible assures me of that over and over.

Gary took a picture after the rain stopped. Do you see that little piece of rainbow in the sky? I take it to mean "I will never again destroy your camper with a windstorm." No, I'm just kidding, but it is a really neat photo. 

Gary used it in a message for the graduates at Baccalaureate on Thursday night, reminding them that even when life seems chaotic, God provides hope.

That's something we all need to remember.

"Because of the LORD's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

Have you ever thought about the uncertainty of life? How can focusing on God help you to hold on to hope in the midst of that uncertainty? 


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