Hard Tellin’, Not Knowin’

3 Aug

Screen Shot 2013-08-03 at 8.26.10 AMSeveral years ago my friend started dating a young woman who had a phrase that I had never heard – one of those quips that both makes sense and drives you nuts! When discussing a topic that had any uncertainty she would say, “hard tellin’, not knowin.’” It’s a true statement, but also frustrating!

We really prefer being able to predict the outcome of events in our lives, to control things to such a point that only the good happens and the bad avoided. But then reality sets in – It’s hard to tell what’s going to happen because we don’t know what might happen! There are things out of our control, things we forgot to consider, things we just didn’t know about. Many times there are more questions than answers.

My wife and I are going through a protracted period of uncertainty, where God has called us out of where we were very comfortable and thriving, to a land where nothing seems to make sense, where no confirmation seems to be provided to tell us whether or not we’re on the right track. Like Abram leaving Ur, we packed up our certainty and headed into the vast unknown. Let me tell you, it’s hard tellin’, not knowin’!

Keeping hope alive during long stretches of uncertainty is no easy task. God tells us to trust Him, to follow Him, to believe that He will never leave or forsake us. But when all is darkness and unknown, the testing of our faith nearly breaks us. Then we are reminded of the words of James:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

When we are overwhelmed by the not knowing we must turn to the one who allows these trials in our life with a perspective that is perfect and purposeful. We must embrace His promise that all things will work together for good in His perfect timing, whether we see that good in our lifetime or not.

Even thought we don’t like it, it is possible to live without knowing all of the details. We look for certainty in earthy activities, but that is unrealistic. Our one certainty is that our salvation is sure in Christ alone, and that we will live with Him for all eternity.


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