Trusting God in a Time of Uncertainty
The Rev. Laurel Hart, Deacon
Scripture: Genesis 9:8-17
Wow, it has been a challenging several months – certainly over 40 weeks if I were to count them. During this time, we have experienced a worldwide pandemic unlike anything we've ever suffered in our lifetime. Far too many lives have been lost. The local, national and world economies have suffered. People have lost jobs and their sources of income and maybe their health insurance, others have lost businesses, some have lost housing, and most of us have lost peace of mind. The truth of our society’s systemic inequalities for people of color have become even more clearly visible during this time. Then near the end of last summer our state had a horrific wildfire season, with the dangerous flames coming way too close to our home for our comfort. Only last week the worst ice and snowstorm in over 40 years descended on the region causing chaos all around us. Our grandson has promised that he’ll never again pray for snow.
As human beings, we seek to make sense of our world and where we fit in it. We love to find explanations to bring meaning to what's happening around us. Early civilizations created stories about endless seasons of rain long before the science of climate was understood because they needed to know why it was flooding. Part of what makes the world intimidating is that it's full of the unknown in our daily living where we want assurances. We want to know what will happen – what to expect around the next corner. Yet, life is teeming with the uncontrolled and the unexpected. We are asked to embrace uncertainty during times of stress and anxiety with the hope it will bring us closer to God. But exactly what is it about uncertainty that brings us closer to God. One answer is trust.
To truly be close to God we need to be able to trust in God. We cannot exercise trust when we are only surrounded by certitude. The doubts, the fears, the struggles which we deal with in our lives; each one can be liken to a rainstorm that could last 40 days and 40 nights. God has promised they won’t - but remember the proof of the rainbow doesn't appear before the storm. Lent is the chance allow the doubts and unknowns that trouble us to rise in our awareness. Can we pause occasionally and see them as opportunities to trust in God's promises to us? How is trust built? Just as between friends and lovers trust is built on honest communication. Even when it’s difficult to reveal our deepest fears and secrets; to grow into a richer, more trusting relationship with God means we must be able to share with God the things we find unlovable about ourselves and trust God to love us anyway. Lent is not the only time to face uncertainty in our world and within us. However, it can be a season to embrace a new routine or a point in time to renew the spiritual practice of once again being vulnerable with God. Trusting that God will always respond with love, thus bringing us into closer relationship with our creator. Remember what God promised Noah, “this (bow) is a sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.” Amen.