Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life– gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises.
— Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

I am a “quote junkie.”  I believe better and wiser people before me have pondered more important things than I can possibly conceive and have written about them better than I could ever hope.  A quote like this, from uncle Oswald, can fuel my conversation, writing, and inspiration for quite some time.  I have used this one recently:

  • In a prospective client meeting
  • In an invocation to start an Executive Board meeting
  • As part of a devotional on the second day of a two day strategic offsite
  • In several conversations where I am encouraging/inspiring other leaders

Most notably, it came up with a dear and valued friend who is on the spiritual adventure of his life.  Confidentiality prevents me from revealing too many details, but let’s just say that the most strategic problem solving mind that I know has been invited by God into the rescue and ransom of one of the most precious people in his life.  Ironically, however, the Father has made it incontrovertibly clear that his only weapon in this fight is his prayerful submission to the divine process.  All the cunning, guile, and intelligence that typically helps him solve any problem, were useless in this battle.

We’ve talked almost daily as he shares the remarkable play-by-play with almost breathless expectation.  Each chapter of the story seems more extraordinary than the last.  He is faithfully inviting others into the story and helping inspire them to act in the unique ways that God has revealed that they should.  He told me on Friday that he awakens each day with incredible anticipation for what surprises the Father will bring.

The posture of his heart in this story is born of the freedom of not needing to be the answer and the chief solver of the problem.  It is the peace of knowing that God is in control, intimately invested in this story and inviting him to play a crucial role in a manner far different than the one he typically plays.  The certainty we all usually find in our commonsense life is of no value here.

It reminds me of an idea I frequently quote from Augustan:

Without Him we cannot. Without us, He will not.

As He has invited us into being co-heirs of His Kingdom work, He enlists us in important and essential ways.  The reality is that He is the great magician; both Creator and Healer of all things.  But we are His hands and feet… we have a crucial role to play.  In this case, He is writing such an unbelievable story and inviting my friend into playing such an essential role, that I am awaking each day awaiting the next set of surprises as well.

You see, when one submits to the adventure of God’s larger story in their life, it beautifully permissions the rest of us to do the same.

Do you awaken each day with the expectation of His bringing you surprises?

How do you think your life might change if you did?

What burden have you been carrying around too long that you need to hand back over to Him?