I have been reminded, yet again, of the uncertainty of the events of life. The book of James reminds us that we should only make plans with the understanding that we will do this or that “if the Lord wills.” That truth was brought home to me clearly in the last two weeks. Loss of a loved one, diagnosis of long-term illness, major accidents – all these change our plans in an instant. But here is the truly amazing thing to remember – each one of our lives is as uncertain as anyone else’s, we just don’t always realize it. To the world around us, uncertainty is to be feared. For those safely in Christ, there really is no such thing as uncertainty because what is uncertain to us is certain to an omniscient, omnipotent and sovereign God. I have been reminded that even though not everything I plan comes to pass, what God plans always comes to pass.
Secondly, I have been reminded of the value of covenant community. I can’t imagine what people without church families do in difficult times. The beauty of covenant community is that we are “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.” That is the truth Paul shared with the Corinthians, and it is true for us. Almost every week someone in our church is going through what I experienced. Right now, someone in our church is in the hospital, preparing for surgery, recovering from surgery, mourning a loved one, the list goes on and on. We must not forget that because we must remind one another that our joy is not in our circumstances. The love of brothers and sisters in Christ is a constant reminder that the kingdom of God is bigger than each of us individually.
Finally, I have been humbled. God is God, I am not. Oh, that is not a truth I just learned, nevertheless I have been reminded of it. Not that I would ever have said otherwise, but my life often preaches a different truth. When we live life as if the world could not continue without us, we are puffed up with pride and our reflection of God’s glory is diminished. I am not indispensable. I am a vapor here for a little while. God does not need me, but I am blessed that he uses me. Here is the confidence in all of this. Jesus will build his church – not me! That is very humbling and very comforting and very liberating and very God glorifying. Time is short – live the gospel. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil,” (Ephesians 5: 15-16).