Uncertainties and Outcomes

Sometimes insomnia takes over me.

Sometimes I wonder what the future holds.

Sometimes I can’t help but scare myself into thinking about the ‘what ifs’ of life.

Can I be honest for a minute? I hope that’s okay here.

I’m scared about a lot. I have anxiety about November 3. These constant shutdowns in life are not my friend. I like to know what the outcome will be and right now, I don’t know and I feel like a tidal wave is constantly crashing into me. I don’t know about you, but 2020 and I? We have a lot to work through. Honestly, I don’t have a lot of things figured out. In the past week or so, there has been tears because I feel like I’ve lost a lot, but I also find myself on my knees praying to the Lord and seeing his faithfulness shine through.

We’re halfway through 2020, and my mind is working on overtime wondering how the second half of this year is going to go. If overthinking was my job, I would be a millionaire. The unknown is terrifying, and that is what so many of us are facing right now. We all thought we’d be somewhere different than we are right now. We’re often left wondering what a certain outcome will be. I know I am. Overthinking seems to be my favorite hobby. None of us knew what life would look like on this day 5 months ago. We don’t even know what it will look like in November. It’s easy to say that we all have a perfect vision of what our 2020 would look like or even beyond that.

It’s hard to let go of the perfect vision of what you thought your life would look like 5 years ago, 10 months ago, 5 minutes ago, or even now. If I had it my way, I would be living in my dream city, still have my best friend, and perhaps I never would have to experience such great losses in my life. What a perfect world that would be, wouldn’t it? Maybe. Maybe not. But the perfect world you seem to have always imagined for yourself seem to fade as life goes on. It’s hard to watch something you’ve always wanted or a normal you were so used to just wither away in the wind like it’s dust.

Nothing is perfect but wouldn’t it be so great if they were? If they were, I never would have experienced the excruciating phone call that predicted an inevitable ending. I never would have imagined more losses after the one major loss that changed my life. Life wouldn’t be painful, and dreams would become a reality sooner rather than later. 2020 wouldn’t look like the way it does right now. Our outcomes would be perfect. But dreaming about the perfect can be exhausting and the disappointments that arise from what you though should be are even more tiring. This is frustrating, and things should be better than they are. People should be better than they are. Everything should be better. But you already know that.

We could wallow in our disappointments, but if we do that, we miss out on the good that God is doing in the midst of the turmoil. What if we stopped looking at life’s disappointments and started seeing the good around us? What if we stopped overthinking about the future and the what if’s that surround us? What if we started seeing how God is working in our lives today, this hour, this moment? Because here’s the thing: what I’ve learned in life is that people do disappoint, and they do let us down. Circumstances can suck sometimes but that’s life and the devil has a way of keeping our focus on life’s disappointments rather than the good because God always uses a hurricane for something good in our lives.

“What if, this time, God desires to make something completely brand new? Right now, on this side of eternity. No matter how shattered our circumstances may seem. Dust is the exact ingredient God loves to use We think the shattering in our lives could not possibly be for any good. But what if shattering is the only way to get dust back to its basic form so that something new can be made? We can see dust as a result of an unfair breaking. Or we can see dust as a crucial ingredient” – Lysa Terkuerst

We are the clay. He is the potter. We may think that things are ending whether it’s a relationship or your kind of normal but what if Lysa is right? What if dust doesn’t have to signify the ending? What if dust must be present for the new to begin? We are dust but that’s exactly where life began in the beginning when God formed man from the dust of the ground. Who are we to question his control in our lives? Who are we to question his will?

This is a part of what came with the fall. We are humans and humans get disappointment, our hearts get broken, and relationships are never perfect. But Scripture talks about restoration of the garden in Revelation and it’s a beautiful picture of how God will restore and there will no longer be the piercing angst of disappointment. Hearts will no longer be broken. The lion will lay down with the lamb. We will be with our Savior. What a beautiful picture that is. God is making everything new again. He will restore what was once broken. We don’t live in the new garden right now, but that gives us all the more incentive to wrestle well and lean into the Father who’s plan, and outcomes are always better than we could ever have expected. It’s always better when we lean into the Father whose symphony is always on key.

“There isn’t any timing that seems like the right timing to be shattered into dust. There isn’t any plan God could present where I would willingly agree to be broken into ungluable pieces. I just wouldn’t. And what a tragedy that would be. My controlling things would prevent the dust required for God to make the new He desperately desires for me. And isn’t that what all His promises hinge on? Old becoming new. Dead things coming to life. Good from evil. Darkness turning to light. If I want his promises, I have to trust his process. I have to trust that first comes the dust, and then comes the making of something even better with us. God isn’t ever going to forsake you, but He will go to great lengths to remake you. What if disappointment is really the exact appointment your soul needs to radically encounter God?” – Lysa Terkuerst

When we have insomnia – when we are overthinking - when we are afraid of the outcomes… maybe we should look to the Father. Maybe we should remind ourselves of who God is and how he was faithful yesterday and he will be today and tomorrow. We’re disappointed today but maybe that disappointment is going to draw us closer to the Savior? What would happen if we just trusted him with the outcome?

“ And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. “ – Romans 8:28

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