Tuesday, January 10, 2017

new year, same Jesus

   For me (and quite possibly for you), 2017 comes with a lot of anticipation, a lot of uncertainty, and, for lack of a better word, a lot of  "???!?!?!!!?!?!" I am in the midst of a lot of decision-making and planning. I know this year will be full of great things; I'm just not sure what those great things will be.
   As humans, uncertainty is not generally our favorite place to be. It scares us, stresses us out, gives us angst and apprehension. I totally totally totally understand this, but God has been encouraging me that uncertainty is not always as terrible as I think it is. It seemed relevant to share this encouragement with y'all, so here are three ways uncertainty can be *gasp* a good thing.
   1.) Uncertainty is an opportunity for personal growth. I cannot expect any change in myself if what I do, where I go, or who I meet and spend time with never changes. I cannot grow inside my comfort zone. Uncertainty gets me outside of my comfort zone right off the bat, and changing circumstances allow me to learn and grow and become better. Technically it is also an opportunity to become more fearful, guarded, and skeptical, but God is teaching me to choose courage, love, and faith instead. He is teaching me to focus on Him instead of on myself. This is how I become more like Christ. This is how I grow.
   2.) Uncertainty is an opportunity for an adventure. Merriam-Webster defines an adventure as "an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks" or "an exciting or remarkable experience." By this standard, every single instance in which I encounter uncertainty can be considered an adventure. As someone who has quite vocally proclaimed herself a fan and even a pursuer of adventures, what can I do? I have to at least pretend to be excited about the unknown.
   3.) Uncertainty is an opportunity for God to prove Himself. This is certainly the most important item on the list because the most important lesson I can learn, the most important adventure I could ever go on, is the one where I find out more of who God is. When I feel like I don't know anything, God shows He knows everything. When I can't figure out what's gonna happen or where I should go, God shows me He's already there. When I come to end of myself, I find the beginning of Him. His power is made perfect in weakness.
   Check out 2 Corinthians 12, and you'll see I'm learning the same things Paul learned 2,000 years ago. God never changes, y'all. He is good. He has always been good, and He always will be good. When I don't know what to do, when I don't know what's gonna happen next, He is good. As long as I know God is good, I don't actually need to know anything else.
   So I'm learning to embrace the "???!?!?!!!?!?!" I'm learning to look at uncertainty as an opportunity. And I am learning, over and over, more and more, that God is good.