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The Myth of Certainty

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

The last 7 days have seemed like dog years. Over this last week, the state of Ohio has quickly moved to "stay in place." For many, this means working from home. But, for me where I live and work, it means "business as usual". We have 27 residents in our 3 housing programs who are still depending on our ministry to continue.

Some of our housing participants are losing their jobs or are having hours cut. Some are waiting to find out if daycares are closing, forcing them quit jobs to take care of children. The uncertainty is difficult.

We are witnessing the pain participants are facing by being separated from family in other parts of the state. We are taking calls from worried women in the prison who want to be sure they still have a place at Rachel’s House when they are released.

The rains and flash flooding last Thursday caused 2 of the basements of our housing properties to flood, including a foot and a half of water in my basement and several of the neighbors’ basements on my street. On top of an already uncertain week, flooded basements and water-damaged furnaces certainly added to the burden.

This morning, I have been able to catch my breath and I was getting caught up on my "Lenten Postcards: Daily Devotions Inspired by the Book of Common Prayer". I read about the "myth of certainty" and how easy it is to make certainty an idol without even realizing it. Usually we are not aware of it until tragedy or something out of our control happens and we want instant answers. In our efforts to control situations or manage the fear that settles in our heart when we realize we are not in control, we find ourselves "clinging to anything that feels solid."

We may find it easy to say that Christ is our solid rock and all other ground is sinking sand when life seems easy to navigate. But how easy is it to say now we have little control over our circumstances? These last 7 days have been a test for me. I am encouraged to reflect on where my stability comes from during the uncertainty we are experiencing in this season.

I have been praying this prayer from the Lenten Postcards devotional that is fitting for me today: "Lord, we confess that at times we have served the false god of certainty instead of You. We are afraid and full of doubt and so cling to anything that feels solid. Forgive us. You do not call us to flawless faith without question or doubt. You call us to lean into you and your persistent presence, regardless of circumstances or outcome. Soften our hardened hearts, that we might see you at work among us and join you there."

- Emmalyn Jerome

Director of Rachel's House

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