The late film critic, Gene Siskel, asked Oprah a question many years ago that she initially couldn’t answer, “What do you know for sure?” She eventually began answering it regularly in the back of her magazine. Today, she asks that same question when she sits down with folks from all walks of life.
I love watching and listening to interviews with people, famous or not, to discover their world-view, how they view life. And I love finding quotes from the living and the dead that speak truth, applicable to our uncertain times.
We want to be certain that we’re gonna be okay so we create a fortress of barriers to protect us from an unknown future. But Celine Dion said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow.”
Who doesn’t shy away from the word uncertainty? We’ll do almost anything to be certain about the future, even something trivial like the weather. Although its beyond our reach, we still try to secure it with multiple umbrellas before the rainy days come. One for job security, one for finances, and one for health, to name a few. But we only have two hands and if life is too much to handle, some of us take medications to help with the downpour of life’s unknowns.
From My Utmost for his Highest, the late Oswald Chambers wrote, “Naturally, we are inclined to be so mathematical and calculating that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing.”
However, faith is a good thing, a very good thing. But the war for peace inside ourselves occurs when our feelings seem to speak louder than the foundational truths we claim to believe.
Chambers goes on to say, “Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life; gracious uncertainty is 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.”
What does the writer of this blog know for sure? I know one day death is gonna swallow me up and my Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) may cause that reality to occur sooner than later. I also know when my five-foot eight frame is placed six feet under, my soul will depart to a new home. And what I believed down here will affect my afterlife. Life is not a dress rehearsal.
In the meantime, what I know for sure is that my God is not some entity far, far away, sitting in some black hole of nebulous space. He’s near, very near. And He doesn’t leave me all alone on planet earth with the uncertainties I face.
Listen to what God told the late prophet, Jeremiah, “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?” (23:23, NKJV)
Maybe you are confused who God really is. Logically, there is only One, hence the name “God”, but from listening to Oprah, it seems there is more than One, without any distinctive attributes that make our One God singular and Divinely unique. I would be confused if I wasn’t rooted in my foundational beliefs, absolute truths that never change.
I know for sure that God is the Creator of the Cosmos. I know for sure that God is the person Jesus, the God-man who entered the world He created for you and for me. I know for sure that God is the Holy Spirit who took up residence within me when I asked Him to, many years ago after admitting my sins, believing Jesus bore them on an old rugged cross.
Some folks have let cracks affect their foundational beliefs due to life’s uncertainties. Yes, you’ll probably get fewer birthday cards in the mailbox as you age, and Yes, the phone may ring less. Yes, friends may drift away like the clouds, and Yes, one day, your health will fail.
There will always be uncertainties that wanna make us look down and question the God we’ve never laid eyes on. But what author Philip Yancey wrote helps anchor hope, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”
The question, “What do I know for sure?” sounds a little arrogant, “What do—“I”—know for sure?” Yancey continues, “Self-sufficiency, which reared its head in the Garden of Eden, is the most fatal sin because it pulls us as if by a magnet away from God.” (Where is God when it Hurts?)
Thank God for the uncertainties He has allowed in your life. God wants you to cling to Him, today, and during all your tomorrows.
pictures courtesy of pexels.com
>>>>Watch & listen to the power group, The Newsboys, sing about their foundational beliefs: