Life is uncertain. If you lived in Florida right now you’d understand this even more. You should see the weather forecasters going ga-ga over a potential hurricane. It’s so very similar to what we used to experience when we lived in wintry Wisconsin. Weather forecasters would absolutely love spending days upon days predicting winter storms that would often fizzle out.
If you look at a map of potential tracks for the possible hurricane it looks like spaghetti over the Gulf of Mexico and state of Florida. Needless to say, there is no certainty whatsoever. We have a forecaster from the Tampa area who keeps things in perspective. In the days leading up to a storm he posts a prediction and then says “Rule #7” (which means “Stop freaking out…until I tell you. We’re fine).
All these unpredictable forecasts are a reminder to me that not only is the weather uncertain; life is uncertain. You never know what’s coming from one day to the next. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. It could be full of joy or it could be full of sorrow. It’s probably best not to even think about it.
But we can use strategies to actually embrace an uncertain life. Here are three ways:
- Expect the unexpected. It’s a great deal easier to embrace uncertainty when you expect it. So we don’t know if or when a hurricane is going to hit. But we do have insurance. We have friends and neighbors who’ve been through them before. Worse comes to worst, we’ll evacuate. In the mean time, Rule #7, right? When you expect the unexpected it’s less devastating when the unexpected happens.
- Lean into educational experiences. When something unexpected happens we really must see it as an opportunity to learn. Right now we’re learning what supplies to have on hand just in case a hurricane comes through. We’re also learning that there’s a great deal of hype. Most of the people we know who’ve been through hurricanes in Orlando have used them for parties. They add beer to their list of supplies. And when one comes through, it’s like a snow storm in Wisconsin: people come out of their homes and help each other out. They learn to be better neighbors.
- Remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When everything else in life is uncertain, there is always one thing that is certain. Since Jesus is God we know that He is the very essence of love. In fact, 1 John 4 tells us that God is love. When the unexpected happens, we have a God who loves us, never leaves us or forsakes us, and does for us what He did for His people of old. He works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). Even though we change, and circumstances change, He never does.
How do you embrace the unexpected?