"You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown, only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”— so says, James T. Kirk in a Star Trek movie. While he is a fictional character,
the statement is thought provoking. I have to say that I have been the victims of my own irrational fear. I don't know about you, but the unknown drives me crazy! I am not comfortable with the things I do not understand. What does the future hold? How will things work out? How can this possibly turn out good? The waiting, the wondering and the not knowing often bring anxiety, fear, and frustration, but I love the thought that the unknown is only temporarily hidden— that someday the thing I do not currently understand will suddenly become abundantly clear.
This week Rodney and I will travel to MD Anderson to explore the (not so) great unknown. I am scheduled for scans, bloodwork, a biopsy, and multiple consultations with doctors. We are looking for answers that are currently hidden. As we wait and wonder it is easy to let anxiety creep in. There is a battle of the mind in moments like these. You feel it, too. It may come in the form of uncertainty about your job or what you want to do with your future. Maybe you are unsure about the future of a relationship or a problem you are facing as a family. Some of us have no idea how we're going to make ends meet this month or how we help our kids through problems they are facing. Some are dealing with loss and have absolutely are completely unsure how things will ever be okay again. None of us are exempt from the unknown so the question becomes how do we have faith in moments like these?
I once heard it said that faith and fear both grow from a place of anticipation. We anticipate bad news - it powers our fear. We anticipate loss, rejection, defeat, and pain and the fear-meter climbs. Fear stems from the anticipation of the terrible happpening. Yet there is another side to the coin; anticipation is also the fuel for faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (YET) Did you see it? Faith is the anticipation that the unknown will become unhidden. And greater yet, there is a promise that it will somehow come together to work for our good. How can we trust that? Well, Romans 8:28 says so: "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." It is a promise and time and time again I have seen it played out in my life. The things that I thought I couldn’t survive, the things that seemed completely overwhelming, have all somehow made me better. So then a choice is to be made — do we focus on the unknown or the soon to be revealed? Do we choose faith or fear? When I ask myself that question it is like the Rocky soundtrack starts playing in the back of my mind and I get fired up. I won’t live my life in fear.
A sweet friend sent me a text this morning with a quote from Puritan Prayers that read, “Prayers arising from my needs are preparations for future mercies” . I LOVE THAT!!! When struggles arise we can pour out our needs to a God who loves us and ANTICIPATE future mercies. Faith. We can know that while a struggle may exist, the outcome will be for our good. Faith. We may face unknowns, but mercy will show up. Just in time. Faith.
We are all facing the great unknown, every single one of us. We choose to let the anticipation power our faith or our fear. If we do no make a conscious choice we will make an unconscious one and human nature will choose fear. Don’t settle for that. Fight Fear! Choose Faith!