"Known Versus Unknown"
December 27, 2014
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7
When was the last time you looked under your bed for the scary creature that lives there? When was the last time you slept with the lights on because you were afraid of the dark?
When I've asked those questions at a Bible study, most of the time the reply sounds something like, "I'm an adult. I once had such fears, but no longer. I'm not afraid of the dark."
When I hear that, I smile. Now it may be true we have outgrown our fear of unknown things in a dark closet, but that hardly means we have outgrown fear of the unknown.
* When sailors first made their way across any unknown body of water, they were afraid.
* When the first pilgrims hacked out a small piece of property in the New World, they were afraid of the unknowns, which were hiding in the dark and seemingly limitless forest.
* When people go to the physician with an unexplained lump, a fever from an unknown cause, a bit of unexplained forgetfulness, they are often afraid of the unknown.
* Political parties are swept into and out of office because of the electorate's fear of the unknown, which stretches out before them.
At any age, the unknown can be frightening. It's frightening when you don't know if your job is secure; it's frightening when you don't know if you have enough set aside for retirement.
Are you worried about the unknown direction your child is taking? Are his friends less than friendly? Is her mouth less than respectful? Is his health on shaky ground? Are you uncertain how to deal with family problems? These are frightening unknowns.
Truly, I don't know what unknown has popped into your mind, but I'm pretty sure you have one, and the fear that comes with it. If that is so, then we need to take another look at the passage above. In the book of Proverbs the Lord takes all of our unknowns and puts them on a scale to be weighed. On the other side of the scale, He puts the one known thing of which you can be absolutely sure.
That one known thing is Himself.
That's right. All of our unknown fears and frights are more than balanced out by the Lord's concern, His care, His compassion, His Son's sacrifice.
Because Jesus has come to live, suffer, die and rise for us, we can be sure the Lord's love is solid and will help us successfully conquer or carry all of life's unknowns.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we sinners are very near-sighted when it comes to seeing what tomorrow will bring. As a result, the fear of the unknown can be very real for us. Grant that we may see You and Your love most clearly. Then, having seen, may our unknowns be put to rest as we are guided by You into our tomorrows. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries