by Peter E. Schultz
Navigating America’s vessel has always been challenging. As our most prominent political actors gleefully blast holes in the social and economic rudders of our ship, staying on a safe heading has become even more difficult.
On top of that, figuring out our personal bearings in response to a bunch of erratic national course deviations is a sure path to seasickness. Fortunately, Oswald Chambers (1874-1917) gave us this brilliant compass:
“Our natural inclination is to be so precise — trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next — that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life… Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life — gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises… Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in — but you can be certain He will come. Remain faithful to Him.”1
I crave education and discovery, and I’m particularly bothered by unanswered questions. So, Chambers’ commentary rattled my core.
Just give in to an unseen power that can work everything for good even when I don’t see how all the pieces line up?!?! Turn down my finely tuned analytical skills, stick them in the bottom of my boat, and let God direct EVERYTHING?!?!
Maybe the ultimate irony of this period is glaring at us, silently screaming in our faces. Perhaps the narrow, uncertain rapids of this time are tiny compared to the massive, calm ocean straight ahead. Who will stay the course?
While so many people are entirely abandoning God, you and I can completely trust Him, following His directions.
1 Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (Discovery House Publishers, 1992) April 29.