The Tunnel of Uncertainty
Anytime we go through transition, we go through the “tunnel of uncertainty”. It is usually during this time that we will be tempted to give up and go back to the familiar. As human beings, we don’t like uncertainty. Most of us want to know what’s ahead. We want to know what we are getting into. Being uncertain can be scary, especially for those of us with control issues.
Yet, life is full of uncertainty. When a couple starts dating, there is so much uncertainty. Marriage holds tremendous amounts of uncertainty. Parenthood, for sure, is a journey of uncertainty. All of these are transitions.
Divorce and remarriage hold uncertainty. A new career path is full of uncertainties. Joining a new church or civic organization holds uncertainty. The point being is that life is full of uncertainties. Every transition is a journey into the unknown.
When I was 17 I had my whole life planned out. I was headed to Bible College, had plans to get married, and just knew that by the time I was 40 I was going to be the General Overseer of the denomination I was involved in. Little did I know that God had different plans. At that age, I didn’t understand that other people’s choices would affect my life in such a drastic way.
God told me not to go to Bible College. I ended up leaving that denomination and became involved in non-denominational churches. I went into full-time ministry at the age of 20 and nothing that I had planned for my life worked the way that I had it planned. Looking back now I see a life full of transitions. Some were good and easy. Many were extremely difficult and painful.
Yet, God was in the midst of it all, either orchestrating the transition or working good out of it when it wasn’t His plan.
I am still learning to trust God through the tunnel of uncertainty. It hasn’t always been easy to trust God. And I certainly have had my fair share of faithless moments. But God has always remained faithful.
The book of Exodus tells us the story of the Israelites and their freedom from slavery. They were children of Abraham and had a promise of God giving them a country of their own. But here they were in Egypt being forced to work for Pharaoh. It was not an easy life and they cried out to God continually. God heard their cry and remembered his promise to Abraham.
So, God sends them a deliverer in the man named Moses. Moses comes on the scene with a word from God that He was going to deliver the Israelites. At first, they were excited but when Pharaoh refused to let them go and made life harder for them because of their request, they lost heart. Eventually, Pharaoh did let them go and God delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians.
But, now they were being led in the wilderness having to fend for themselves by finding food and water. They grumbled about this and a couple of times told Moses that they wanted to go back to Egypt. Image that! They wanted to go to back to being slaves to have their needs met instead of trusting God, whom they had witnessed deliver them with mighty miracles, signs, and wonders.
They would have rather had comfortable slavery instead of scary freedom. They didn’t want to live with uncertainty.
It’s much the same way with us. We may not like our circumstances. We may actually hate them, but to take a risk and transition to something else is scary and full of uncertainty. We may hate our circumstances but at least we know what to expect. We may yearn for something different, but we won’t get it because we are afraid of the unknown and will not venture into what we can’t see.
We may not be able to see the future, but God can.
We may not be able to know what lies ahead, but God does.
We may not have the roadmap fully figured out, but Jesus is the way. He is the map.
We will never successfully transition if we get stuck in the tunnel of uncertainty. The worst thing we can do in this tunnel of uncertainty is to go back to the place that God is transitioning us out of.
Every transition that we go through has uncertainty about it. It’s just a part of transition. Uncertainty is simply a part of life. But, as the old saying goes, “I may not know the future, but I know who does”, I can trust that God will work out the details as I trust him through my transitional season.