Clueless Together

Clueless Together

Feb 25, 2015

Pastor Scott Hausrath

North Loup SDB Church, NE





In this world, things don’t always go the way we think they “should” go. A child should not get a brain tumor; a 23-year-old should not have a stroke; the son of God should not be nailed to a piece of wood. We make these assumptions because that’s the way our minds work. In order to make sense out of life, we look at overall patterns and make assumptions based on those patterns. Sometimes, however, a person’s experience will be the exception to the pattern. We cannot escape the truth that expectation and outcome are often very different pictures. Life is full of surprises. Sometimes they are wonderful surprises of financial blessing or career opportunity. We have no problem accepting these surprises. Sometimes, however, life surprises us with unfathomable loss or unspeakable injustice. Is there a way that we can prepare for surprises like these?

I find tremendous comfort in the aphorism, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know Who holds the future.” The first clause reminds me that I don’t know exactly how life will unfold in the next year, 5 years, 20 years. The only one who has access to this knowledge is God, for He is not stuck in time, as we are. God transcends time. From His perspective, there is no future or past. It’s all the present to Him.

In my ignorance about the future, I join every other human on the planet. This lack of knowledge actually forms a bond between us. There’s a sense that we’re all in this together. Let’s embrace our cluelessness. Link arms with one another and together make our way through the darkness, one step at a time. Let’s lift those who have fallen, and let’s allow others to lift us when we’ve fallen.


Hands in sky


The second clause of the aphorism, however, reminds me that I’m not as clueless as I might think. I do know Who holds the future, and I believe that He is a benevolent entity. For example, He sent a letter to His people who had been kidnapped and taken to Babylon. In this letter He told them that He had plans to bless them, to give them hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). I believe that His love for me and you is just as strong as His love for them, so of course He’ll bless us too. He will also give us hope and a future.

Not only is God benevolent, wanting to bless His people, but He is also infinitely powerful. In other words, His ability to bless us matches His desire to bless us. This means that God can take any surprise, whether wonderful or tragic, and He can use that surprise to benefit us, and those around us. No, five years ago I was not expecting that I would need shoulder surgery. But because of that operation I was able to work with some wonderful people in the Physical Therapy department of my local hospital. These are precious connections that I probably would not have otherwise experienced. What I had expected my life to look like last year, and how it actually did look, were radically divergent. What came out of this surprise, however, was a richer life than I had expected.

Another truth that helps me move through life’s surprises is seen in Romans 8:28-29: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” Many of us have memorized verse 28, with its encouragement that God works out all things for our benefit. How many of us, however, also include verse 29 in our thinking? God’s purpose for each of us is to take those “all things” (often surprises) and use them to shape us more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. This is an amazing truth! God uses uncertainty to bring about certainty. He uses the unknown to make us more like the known.

Though we don’t know what surprises we will face tomorrow or next year, we do know Someone who will take those surprises and make something wonderful out of them. The Someone we do know always trumps the something we don’t know.

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