My kids have been hearing about the new virus that’s dominating the news cycle. Like many adults, they hear the word “death” and they are immediately afraid.
“Are we gonna die?” they asked.
I talked to them about statistical probabilities and they just hid their faces in pillows. I told them that many more people have died of the flu, and now they’re just more afraid of the flu.
But then I remembered that the bottom line for me is not whether or not the odds are in my favor. The bottom line is that I choose not to be afraid because I choose to trust that God is in control of it all, including my life.
Can we feel secure among the unknowns?
Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and statesman, was the developer of what became known as the scientific method. Empirical evidence was his game. He was also a devout Anglican, who believed in special revelation from God that can’t be studied in the same way as the natural world.
He understood that our grasp of the earth and the human body is limited. At the same time he is quoted as saying that he had learned to be content with the unknowns. Something in his faith allowed him to be both a seeker of truth and at peace with all he couldn’t understand.
Living with uncertainty has never been my forte. I like things that are sure. As a kid, I was not one to fling myself out over a river on a rope swing until I had seen many other people do it without dying. And even then…let’s just say I spent more time on the shore than flying through the air.
However, if you’ve been alive for a second you know that no matter how much we avoid risk or hedge our bets, life has a way of uprooting us.
Sometimes when we feel most certain of our path, of our health, of our relationships they get shaken up. When the news headlines go wild over viruses, nuclear missiles, or rumors of war (sound familiar? Matthew 24:6), we get to decide how we respond to things we can’t control.
We get to see how sure our spiritual footing really is.