Uncertainty

It would be hard to find a more seasoned soldier than Elijah. He had seen it all. He stood against the rampant idolatry of Israel during the time of Ahab and Jezebel. He prayed and the rain stopped, then prayed after a drought of 3 ½ years and the rain began again. And we know all about the Mt. Carmel Cook Off.

Why then does a death threat from Jezebel send him running?

I suggested yesterday that his circumstances had overrun his resources. To be more specific, the uncertainty of his situation seems to have worn him down. He probably thought the contest on Mt. Carmel would be definitive in the sense that Ahab would turn back to God and the nation would follow. They did only in an immediate sense, but it was like the dew and quickly evaporated with the heat of the day.

As we all know quite well, living with uncertainty can be taxing—even when you’re not going against an evil king, queen and nation. One way or another, we would like to know how things will work out so we can fashion our expectations, plan accordingly and all those other things we like to do. We just don’t care for this not knowing business—especially when we’ve been used to knowing.

The irony is, we’ve always lived in uncertainty—it is just times like this that we more fully recognize it. After all, does anyone ever really know what will happen tomorrow? We like to think we do, but the truth is, we don’t. We simply live under the illusion that we do and that’s what we’re comfortable with.

We can embrace life’s uncertainty when we embrace its Lord.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." (James 4:14-15)

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