How can you know what the future holds? Is there a way to peek through time and see what will be? Will knowing all the answers make us happy? Life is full of uncertainty so we need to learn how to be content in the uncertainty of life.
After I got married to my husband I thought that my life was taken care of and that I would now know what direction I was going. Not so!
My husband was working a construction job at the time that took us all over southern Manitoba during the summers and left us hanging for the winter. We moved from town to town in an RV (totally awesome!) and I couldn’t know where we’d be living next or what we’d be doing two months down the road, sometimes not even two weeks down the road!
Now, just so you know, I am someone who likes to have a plan. I like to know all the details and I like to be prepared for upcoming events and whatnot. Needless to say, I have talked my husband’s ear off asking, “What are we doing next month?” “Do you know where the next job is?” “How long are we going to be staying here?” and other questions like it.
I asked and asked, and he just couldn’t answer me!
I would like to say that I was always perfectly trusting and perfectly at peace with all this uncertainty, but I wasn’t. Often times my question sessions would end up in frustration and anxiety. I hardly knew how to live if I couldn’t have a plan! So I would ask and ask and stir myself up into an anxious state.
For five months I lived like that, but that is no way to live.
I remember clearly the day this changed. It was late fall, my husband’s job and finished for the season, and we were renting my his grandparents’ home while they were travelling for the winter. I was standing in the kitchen thinking of the future, again, and going over some dreams of mine and some goals I had, feeling stressed. Because I couldn’t know where we’d be living in a couple months I didn’t know if I should start “this project”, or if I should work on “that goal”, or whatever.
Honestly I felt really lost.
With my contemplation were prayers. I was stuck and didn’t know what to do about my future, so I turned to the One who did know. Then in the midst of my stress and my questions, He spoke to my heart.
“What good does it do to worry about what will happen? Trust me. I already know what will happen and I am looking after you.”
Hmmm. I thought about that for a bit, and it was totally true. My worrying did nothing good for me. It made me anxious, impatient, distracted, and discontent. I could not be content while I was worrying.
Though I tried finding contentment through making the uncertain certain, that was never going to work. Life IS change and life IS uncertainty. There is no way to know the future and I would never find all the answers.
My answer was in learning patience.
The Key to Being Content
James 1:4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing,” (KJV)
The Lord revealed something to me about this verse several years ago. Truly, the concept of patience causing you to be lacking nothing, or “wanting nothing” as the King James says, is quite profound. Patience makes you lacking in nothing because when you are patient you are not striving. When you are patient, you are saying you’re supplied with all you need for where you’re at.
Patience isn’t simply waiting. It’s being at rest in the current moment.
True patience is saying, “I have all I need right now. God has provided for my every need. I don’t have to struggle or strive because I already have what it takes to go through this circumstance.”
The Greek word translated as “patience” is “hupomoné” (hoop-om-on-ay’). It literally means to “remain under” and refers to having endurance or steadfastness. It is having strength to bear the current moment.
And how does this make you complete, wanting (being behind in, or striving for) nothing? And what makes us able to bear our burdens?
Isn’t it Christ?
This could start sounding like a humanistic, “I can do it!” type of pep-talk, but it doesn’t work that way.
All scripture is written to be understood through the lens of Jesus Christ and what His sacrifice means for us today.
I can have patience to rest and endure in my current moment because I know that my needs have been fully supplied through the cross of Christ, which gives me access directly to the throne of God where Jesus stands advocating for me to the Father, the King of the Universe.
If I am looking to Him, knowing He is working for my good, and that he’s already provided everything I need, then I actually can let go and be patient.
Needless to say, having the Creator of the Universe on you side has some amazing benefits.
And trusting in Him will bring sweet contentment into the uncertainty of your life.
From Worried to Content
In that kitchen, in the middle of my questions and anxiety, the Lord spoke this message to me and patience was the word that hung in my mind. I had been holding onto this burden of the future and it was overcoming me. I couldn’t remain under it. It was too heavy for me.
So I let it go.
I gave the future back to God and He gave me the patience — the endurance, the steadfastness — to bear the moment. He gave me rest. Then, and only then, could I be content in the uncertainty of my life.
The truth is, I can’t move a finger to change the future anyway, so what is the use of worrying about it?
Letting go, giving my worries to Him, and simply being patient made me free. I was then able to remain under that reality of not knowing what life would be two months, or even two weeks, down the road.
How do you move forward in your newfound contentment? You go ahead by focusing on whatever is in front of you, and applying diligence to it. When you stop focusing on the uncertainty of the future you become free to live in the now.
After God gave me the message of having patience He also gave me a new focus. I felt Him remind me about taking care of the little things. Instead of focusing on all the unknowns and worrying, I needed to be focused on what was right in front of me and to do my best there. You know, “bloom where you’re planted”.
So I did just that.
And guess what. I found I had more purpose for my daily tasks when I started focusing in the present.
Do you realize that when you’re constantly looking to the future you aren’t able to function to your full potential in the now? You’re actually living a distracted life, and it’s hurting you.
The best way to move forward from worrying about the future is to focus on the present. When the Bible says whatever you do, do it with all your might, it’s talking about this exact thing. All your might means with all your focus, determination, and effort. So if you’re washing the dishes, put 100% effort into doing the dishes. If you’re planning your meals for the week, use all your focus and put your best effort into it.
Focusing on the moment will bring more meaning to your life and will also improve the quality of your work, regardless of what it is you’re doing.
Worrying about the uncertain future will slow you down and bog you down.
So are you struggling with direction in your life? Are there big questions on the horizon like billowing, black storm clouds? Do you feel the uncertainty choking you?
I know you are trying so hard to make something great out of your life. You desire to be a woman who is passionately living every day, being a blessing to your husband and everyone around you, tending to your family, running your household like it’s a well oiled machine, and simply making the most out of your life. But it’s not always easy and things come up that you never expected.
That’s just life.
Uncertainty will always be a part of our lives, and that’s why this is such an important topic.
Do you want to keep going through life trying to hold the future in your hands and bear the burden of needing to make everything turn out right?
If you’re like me then it’s your natural tendency to take on the problems that surround you as your responsibility. Sure, some of them may be, but you have to learn that only God holds the future and our uncertainty is not uncertainty for Him.
It brought me so much peace and rest to realize that I could never know the future, so I could just let it go. I could finally be content.
Those things that helped me be content in uncertainty are the same things that will help you too.
So what does it take to be content?
You need to let go of needing to know right now what is going to happen down the road. Let God be God and rest in the fact that He has it under control.
After you’ve let go of the future, you need to put your focus on the present. Put your best effort into each task you’re doing. If you’re having supper with the family, put all your energy into being with your family. If you’re working, focus on your work. Just put your focus on the present moment.
When you do these things you’ll be able to go through the uncertainty of life without the weight of the world on your shoulders.
If you do these two simple things you will be able to remain under the uncertainty but you will not be lacking in anything.
You’ll be content.