It is difficult to live in a world where uncertainty can be quite scary and uncomfortable. Uncertainty can affect illness – what will today be like? Uncertainty can affect loneliness – is there someone out there for me to spend my life with? It can affect futures – what is my career path? It can affect stability – will I find another job to provide for my family? Uncertainty is uncomfortable for many people; I am a person that struggles with this as well. I never get used to uncertainty and often when I am uncertain, I forget how to handle the situation. Many times, I call my mother for advice, talk to friends, or shove “uncertainty” under the rug so I do not think about it. This reading brought me back though to how to really deal with uncertainty – I need to let God in and let myself go and trust Him.
I am an example of the typical tightly-wound, female, college student. I can barely breathe and my stomach tightens when thinking about living my life without getting to prepare a step-by step life plan and instead letting God in and letting Him provide. I have been raised to be an independent human being, but I realized during this reading that does not mean I cannot ask for help from God (which can sometimes simply be asking advice from our mother, father, family, friends, neighbor, etc.). However, what I recently learned (from a talk from another University student on a retreat through our Campus Ministry) was that after I ask God – I need to listen. By listening, I will know God is there. I think it is generally easier in life to trust in someone, especially someone that promises to provide, when we know someone is actually there. One way this trust can develop with God can occur through a dialogue - asking but taking the time to listen as well.
In addition, this reading is placed strategically during Advent season - a season focused on sharing joy with others. Joy is reflected on in this reading as well. Joy stems from not only accepting God, but also in accepting that He will guide us through our uncertainty. His provision in life should help us be able to breathe. Advent season is still full of joy today – a couple of thousands of years after Christ’s original birth. It is as if every year, we really are preparing for the birth of a baby and within that preparation is uncertainty for what will come – but also joy as we celebrate the rebirth of Christ but life for each of us as well. Each day has uncertainties, but we can all take a breath, close our eyes, ask God about our hopes, fears, and dreams – and then listen. Listen and follow in the ways He believes are our paths. Through this listening and acceptance, we can all celebrate every day and live in joy because God is there every step of the way, and then, I believe that it will feel like “Upon every high mountain and lofty hill there will be streams of running water…” and “The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater like the light of seven days” (Isaiah 30:25-26).