Grace, what a wonderful word. Right? What would we do without it?
This quote from Oswald Chambers highlights the notion that spiritual life is often marked by an attitude of “gracious uncertainty.” Individuals who are deeply engaged in their spiritual journey may find themselves grappling with questions, doubts, and uncertainties about various aspects of their faith.
I think it means that we are willing to admit we have no clue about what tomorrow may bring. And when we’re truly honest with ourselves, we know this is true.
I remember the day my husband had a heart attack, and the day my mom fell on the sidewalk at my house. Not to mention many other crises.
Life changed for me, but God didn’t. His grace got me through it all, and I went through a lot of uncertainty navigating the uncertain future.
Grace shows up in uncertainty.
Rather than viewing these uncertainties as a negative or a sign of weak faith, Chambers suggests we can see them as a positive and even a characteristic of a healthy spiritual life. Embracing this gracious uncertainty means being open to exploring and wrestling with deep questions, rather than seeking easy or simplistic answers.
Gracious uncertainty acknowledges that there may be elements of mystery and incomprehensibility in matters of faith. It encourages humility, as individuals recognize they do not have all the answers and are on a continuous journey of discovery and growth.
Fosters a reliance on God’s grace
This attitude also fosters a reliance on God, as individuals trust God is present in the midst of their uncertainties and will guide them through their spiritual journey. Gracious uncertainty invites individuals to seek God’s wisdom and understanding, rather than relying solely on their own limited perspective.
It encourages humility.
By embracing gracious uncertainty, individuals can cultivate a deeper and more authentic spiritual life, characterized by a willingness to engage with difficult questions, an openness to learning and growth, and a humble dependence on God’s guidance.
Again, from Chambers, “We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God.” I think so often we chastise ourselves for what we think is a scarcity of faith because we wrongly think our uncertainty means we are uncertain of God. Others criticize if we dare pray “if it be your will”, when the truth is everything IS dependent on God’s will. That doesn’t mean we don’t do the work we should do , the things God expects us to do.
We should, of course, work at being healthy.
We should, of course, pray and study God’s word.
We should, of course, save money for the future.
But these practices have nothing to do with guaranteeing our future happiness and well-being.
I pray every day that God will protect my family and friends. Yet, there have been many crises that challenged my faith. Does that mean I’m no longer certain of God? Absolutely not.
Be brave enough to admit you are unsure when you are. Don’t let other people’s criticism make you think you are spiritually immature because you question. The disciples asked a lot of questions and were never criticized.
I’ve yet to meet a Christian who truly loves God, that doesn’t question at times. But I’ve met a number of Christians profess to has never doubt anything. They are dogmatic and refuse to learn. And it has been my experiences that dogmatism never won anyone to Christ.
God bless, and have a good day.