Crisis

My life is in crisis. I have more questions than answers, and enough stress to keep me on the verge of tears at all times. I am experiencing the most intense fear that I have: fear of the unknown.

I fear the unknown more than I fear death. I see death as unavoidable. For some reason, I see the unknown as something that I can avoid by proper planning. If planning doesn’t work, surely prayer will keep me away from the unknown, right? Not really.

The fact is that uncertainty is a part of life, and it cannot be avoided. This is the reality of living as a finite being: you don’t know everything. And as long as we have limited knowledge, there is always an element of the unknown in our lives.

Jonathan said to the young man who carried his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.”    1 Samuel 14: 6

This is an extreme case of uncertainty. In the verse above, Jonathan comes upon a garrison of Philistines, and decides to approach them, not knowing whether God would help him. Jonathan was not afraid of the uncertainty that he faced. He didn’t let anxiety paralyze him. He didn’t take three months to analyze the situation. Instead, he does something that I think is both crazy and admirable at the same time: he charges forward. He faces the Philistines, not knowing the outcome of the situation, not knowing whether he will prevail or be killed.

While I doubt that I will ever be in a situation where I contemplate attacking a fierce army, I do think that I can learn from Jonathan’s response to the unknown. In times of crisis, when fear and uncertainty threaten to smother the life out me, shutting down is not the answer. I cannot just sit and wait for destruction to overtake me. I have to try. I have to move forward. It is scary, but it is necessary. Who knows? Maybe God will work for me. But I will never know if I never try.

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