“Pastor, I don’t know; I just don’t know,”
the elderly congregation member told me as I sat down for a visit.
I had heard it before. This long-time believer had plenty of time to think in the nursing home, and he carried a great deal on his heart. He was concerned about children who had drifted from the Lord and wondered what would become of them. His health was tenuous and his finances meager. He found it difficult to absorb all the changes he had witnessed in ninety-plus years. There was so much uncertainty in his life, so much he was unsure of.
I can relate. Perhaps you can too. There is so much I don’t know.
I don’t always know what to say to people who need help. There is much I don’t know about technology and the geopolitical scene. I have no idea what the housing market or the broader economy will do or whether I’m saving enough for retirement. I’m oblivious to the schemes Satan may unleash on me. I don’t know what challenges and opportunities the Lord has in store for my congregation or our church body. As James comments regarding our plans: “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow” (James 4:14, NIV).
The Old Testament believer Job had the same uncertainties.
The sudden, catastrophic loss of family, possessions, and health left him reeling, yet he held onto one rock-solid conviction. One thing he knew. He was sure of it. Nothing that could happen would ever change his mind. “I know that my Redeemer lives!”
And really, in the big picture, that was all he needed to know, for his Redeemer would take care of everything else. His Lord would pay the required ransom to win Job’s freedom from sin and death. He would offer the sacrifice to turn away God’s righteous wrath and establish peace between God and man. Job did not know whether he would live to see another day on Earth, but he did know that one day he would see his Redeemer with his own two eyes. “I myself will see him…I, and not another” (Job 19:27, NIV).
How much do you really need to know?
How much do you need to know to get along in this world, to be happy, to be secure?
It is not so much a matter of how much you know, but whom you know. By faith we know Jesus and that He is risen, never to die again. We don’t worship a dead hero. We praise the victorious, living Lord of all.
That truth is our certain confidence in every one of life’s uncertainties. I don’t know how many sins I have committed in my life, but I know that my Redeemer lives and therefore all my guilt is gone. I don’t know what joys and trials lie ahead, but I know my Redeemer lives and that we are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NIV).
I have no idea whether I will see tomorrow’s dawn, but with Job I know I will one day see my Savior in amazing glory.