By Not Known
Ours is an uncertain age. We marry and wonder if it will end in divorce. We bear children and wonder if they will be drug addicts. We enter hospital and wonder if we will return. We go to work and wonder if this is our 'today' for retrenchment,
restructuring or retirement.
James reminds us that life is intrinsically uncertain:Now listen, you who say, "Today
or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business
and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is
your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (Jas 4:13-
While life is uncertain it is not chaotic: Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." (Jas 4:1 5). Life's uncertainty and
unpredictability are lived within the will of God who moves all things to his good
purposes (Eph 1 :11) and who works for the good of his people in all things (Rom
Many respond to uncertainty with anxiety. Anxiety attacks seem to affect more and, more people and cause real pain and behavioural disorder. Jesus sets our anxieties in perspective:Therefore l tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or,
drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food
and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not
sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are
you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single
hour to his life? (Mt 6:25-27).
Anxiety is misplaced when we are anxious about things that we cannot change or
anxious about unimportant things. Perhaps the real issue is to put our anxiety in the
right place: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt:10:28).
This links to his earlier word about seeking God and his kingdom as our fÃrst life
concern: But seek first his kingdom ond his righteousness, and all these things will
be given to you as well. (Mt 6:33).
So, let's recognise that life is uncertain and learn to live with it. Let's live with life's
uncertainty and lessen our anxiety by seeking God first and submitting all our plans
to his will.