When Things Are Uncertain

A week or so ago, the television was playing although I wasn’t paying too much attention to it. I heard, “When things are uncertain, we turn to the most certain thing there is.” I spoke aloud, “God!” Contrary to my response, the spokesperson said, “Science.” It was a commercial for Pfizer, a pharmaceutical drug company. I’m certain that made sense for them and if we didn’t value science before, we sure do now. However irregardless of the requirements for sheltering we are undergoing, I still choose God, in certainty, uncertainty and all the space in between.

It’s not easy. I’d be lying to myself and you if I said that it was. Watching people battle something that has no determined cure, hearing accounts of people being turned away from testing and hospitals, all to loose their life has been heartbreaking. Witnessing students who were on track to graduate after working so very hard (and in some cases, not at all) miss proper farewells, proms, award ceremonies and commencement is disturbing. Worshipping and praising only at home and not giving God glory with other believers feels isolating and simply off. Not being able to embrace others, share time and space and air with humanity seems surreal. As if this wasn’t a comprehensive enough listing, we are further inundated with people demanding to return to life as they knew it, seemingly unbothered with the impact of actions without social distancing and safety in mind. As the song goes, “Make me wanna holler and throw up both my hands.” But in our “throwing up,” might we consider doing so in the direction of God?

Listen. Although things appear to seem uncertain, I can’t help but wonder if they never were. Have we become so comfortable that we neglected the extent to which God was uncomfortable with how we’ve failed to care for each other, be concerned for each other, and love others as we’ve loved ourselves? But perhaps that is the crucible. Perhaps we’ve not loved ourselves properly or as God intended. We overly concern ourselves with things that only God can work out. We pray yet still worry. We overextend ourselves and then become short with those closest to us. We’ve gotten in debt and then complain about the church asking us for offering. We are angry when we help others and they appear ungrateful. If I’ve learned one thing during this sheltering, it’s that God expects more of us – and we certainly have the capacity to meet the expectation.

John 14:26 reads, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Now is the time to remind ourselves of what the Lord has said. The fact that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6); To cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved (Psalm 55:22); that He said, I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11); and the blessing in Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” These scriptures provide the certainty amidst the uncertainty. Now more than ever, we must hold fast to what He said. This doesn’t mean that we don’t take precautionary measures, because the Word of God also declares in Matthew 10:16 to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Simply put, we need to be intentionally smart in our ways and methodology. Yet that doesn’t mean that we can’t also be intentionally smart in believing, knowing and accepting that God will see us through.

How do I know? Because this isn’t God’s first rodeo. I’ve seen Him work when the cards were stacked, resources nonexistent and not even my mother who is at the top of Jesus’ list could intervene. And, I’m not alone. You too have experienced the “way out of no way God.” I am certain of His ability, His character, His sovereignty, to be Himself…again. No matter what. We need science. We could really use a vaccine. We desire that not one additional loss of life happens. Our responsibility in the space as we wait is to encourage one another and profess of the certainty of who God is and has always been. In times of uncertainty, let us collectively return to that which is.


  • Bea Anthony

    As always, this was powerfully written Dr. Helms-Pickett!! Thank you for affirming our consistent Certainty in these uncertain and challenging times.

    • Stephanie

      He has most certainly got us Elder Anthony!!!!! Thank you so much for reading.

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