What if I don’t know?


It is mapped out for you.  It seems simple….right?
 
First, you finish high school in 4 years, and then you go off to college for 4 years. (Maybe 5, if you are lucky!) Next, you find a job in your chosen field.  Perhaps in that job, you move up and get raises and promotions.  
After college you might get married if you have found someone to tolerate you, or within the couple of years outside of school, you maybe meet someone and get married.  A couple of years into marriage you might have kids.  You have the family, you buy a house.  You settle in.  You take vacations, spend Christmas at the in-laws.
It is mapped out for you.  It seems simple….right?
However, perhaps if you are like me, it started in the right direction.  But now your reality is different than the fantasy.  You are in a place of waiting.  You don’t have a next thing.  The marriage didn’t happen, the kid hasn’t been born, the house fell through.  You didn’t get that promotion or you lost that job. What is next then?
Maybe like me, you made choices that you thought were the next thing without really thinking about them and now you are in limbo, waiting to figure out if you made the right decision or just wasted years of your life.
 You fret and toil over what is next.  People ask you, and you don’t know. And you start freaking out “I DON”T KNOW!” Your next thing doesn’t look like those around you and everything seems a little more uncertain.
For me, it is a horrifying feeling to not know.  The uncertainty has me up at night, weeping tears of fear and anxiety.  It isn’t clear.  The future is uncertain and just darkness.
The road map has forks in the road or the road just ends, wilderness and untamed weeds stand in front of you. 
Perhaps if you are like me, you have always been certain, you speak with confidence.  You make decisions and make choices without hesitating.  And to be uncertain seems like a failure.
For me, the road is unclear, the next step isn’t mapped out for me and I have choices to make.  Choices are paralyzing, I don’t want to make a choice, because…..what if I am wrong? What if I make a decision that sets me back on the path?  I sort of imagine it like a board game, that if I make the wrong choice, I have to go back to Start, and roll the dice again.  Suddenly this game of life is a competition, and I am losing. 
Here is the truth though, we don’t have to know.   
We don’t have to know the next step.  Because we have a God that has the road map. 

In fact he made the roads, he made the plans.  He knows the next steps, and will not leave us here. 
This deserves repeating: He will not leave us here. 
If I am honest, as I write this, right now I have a really hard time believing that.  I certainly don’t live or think like this all the time.  I struggle with God, I doubt that he won’t leave me in this uncertainty.  I doubt that he cares.
Often times, this is a truth for other people, not for me.  God will fulfill his plans for others, but not for me. So now, let me preach to myself for a bit.  
 
He is a God that has fulfilled his promises.  He didn’t leave his people in their sin.  He sent his son to atone for those sins.  He promised he would send a way, and he did.  
“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.” (Is. 43:10-11)
He also promised that he wouldn’t leave us or forsake us. He gave us the Holy Spirit.  
“ And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

Even more, let’s remember the others who didn’t fully believe God’s promises: 
 
He promised Abraham and Sarah, and he did fulfill it.  Even if they messed it up and doubted him and made wrong decisions.
He promised David, and David ran. 
He promised Joesph, and Joesph had years and years of trouble and unfulfillment. 
What I love about looking through the stories of the Old Testament is the fact that story after story God is fulfilling promises and dreams in the most unexpected ways.  
So why do I look for God to make the path or the next step clear in an expected way.  Why do I look to God to give me all the run of the mill signs?  Why would I look at the road map, when I need to be looking to him?  
When we don’t know what the next step is, we don’t have to panic, we don’t have to fret.  It is actually the most amazing opportunity to trust God and run to him. And for us to expect great things, and unexpected answers.  And even if we are wrong, God’s plans are not thwarted by us.
Where do you need to expect great things from God?  Where to you need to trust in His promises? Can you be okay with not knowing? 
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