Last year felt like a year of extremes for me. The highs were really high and the lows were really low. There were wonderful surprises, but there was also sadness and loss.
The saying, “We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.” feels like an understatement. I didn’t see the highs or lows coming until they were already in motion. But in both, I knew God was at work.
The unknown—what if this happens or what if that never changes—might be one of Satan’s most used tools against us. He loves for us to be afraid to take a step in any direction because of what might or might not happen. He loves to get us worked up because we can’t see how a bad situation can get better. He wants us to not enjoy a good day out of fear that tomorrow will be a bad day.
The Unknown of Tomorrow
We call it “fear of the future,” but maybe instead we should call it “the unknown of tomorrow.” There’s a difference, you see.
“Fear of the future” tells us what we’re supposed to do… we’re supposed to be afraid of what the future might bring. But there’s no directive with “the unknown of tomorrow.” Our actions are up to us. Yes, we might very well be afraid of the unknown, but as I learned last year, some unknowns turn out to be beautiful surprises. And if we’re constantly focused on the bad possibilities, we will miss the good certainties.There's a big difference between the fear of tomorrow and the unknown of tomorrow… Click To Tweet
No matter what unknowns we’re facing, what we can know, without a doubt, is that we are not alone.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
Whether we’re brave or afraid, He is with us. When we’re not sure of where He is in our circumstances, He is there. God promises that He will not leave us. No matter what.
During my lows last year, I felt God’s presence. Even when the outcomes were not what I wanted, I knew He was at work in the situation. I saw His love and mercy and I felt how He held me when I was falling apart.
The unknowns hit hard, but I wasn’t fearful because I was focused on Him—and that makes all the difference. When we focus on God, He’s bigger than what we face. But when we lose sight of Him, that’s when life starts to suffocate us.
I know, however, how hard it is to wait when we can’t see our next step. We want to be doing something. We want to feel like we have some control when life spins out of control.
4 Actions We Can Control Even During The Unknown
While there is so much we can’t control, there are four actions we can control.
We can choose to trust that God is at work, no matter what we can or cannot see.
When we decide to trust him, we can control other emotions, like the urge to rush ahead to “make things happen,” instead of waiting. Trusting God is at work means we have to trust His timing. Instead of setting a timeline, we wait for Him to act.
In the meantime, we keep our focus on Him. We spend time in His Word and in prayer. And we pay close attention to how we’re feeling. In my experience, following God’s lead brings peace, while wanting to act right now makes me anxious and panicked.
Trusting God is an action we can take. It’s something we can do when our hands feel tied.
Watching for God at work means we look for Him in our everyday lives, not just in the big things, but also in the little things.
Watching for God keeps our focus on Him. It allows us to see Him in the circumstances we wish we could change, but can’t. It reminds us that even in the lowest of lows, He is with us. The situation may not change, but we know God is getting us through it.
When we watch for God, we will see Him.
Remembering how He’s worked in the past helps us keep moving forward when everything feels so uncertain.
When we watch for God (see #2) we’re able to see Him at work in our lives. Knowing how He’s worked before gives us something to draw upon when we’re questioning the future. Remembering what He’s done in the past reminds us that what looks impossible to us now is totally possible for God.
Remembering what He’s done can bring us peace in knowing what He can do.
Praise isn’t just for after we’ve seen God at work. Praise is to be offered before, during, and after.
Praise Him for Who He is. Praise Him because we know nothing is impossible for Him. Praise Him because He promises to always be with us, even if we can’t feel His presence at the time.
Praise is for the big things, like when and how He makes a way where we saw no possible way. It’s also for the little things, like the sunrise of a new day or the encouraging text from a friend at just the moment you needed it.
Praise helps us keep our focus on Him when everything around us is calling for our attention.
Walking Forward Through The Unknown
How do we walk forward through the unknowns of tomorrow without fear of the future? We Trust. Watch. Remember. and Praise. (And then…Repeat)There is so much in life we can't control… Here are four things we can… Click To Tweet