Uncertain times

By Mary Ann Hughes

Grace Notes

We’ve all had them. Times when we didn’t know what was next. Times when we couldn’t even see the fork in the road.

My dad died when I was 17 years old. He died suddenly, and he died far away from home. I didn’t even know that he was sick.

His death left an immeasurable gash in my life, and the few plans that I had evaporated because I was plunged into poverty.

I don’t consider myself a planner. I can plan, and did it for many years when I was in the workforce; but I don’t think it’s part of my nature.

Sometimes, it’s just easier for me not to think about the future.

For nearly a year, I’ve tried to structure my days into something that makes sense. Something that includes prayer, laughter and exercise. It’s been a challenge.

The days are easier. There’s always plenty to do when you have a home. Laundry. Bathrooms. Groceries. And there’s gardening in the warmer months.

The evenings are tough for me. That’s when I worry. And I’m good at it. I could get awards for my level of worrying, but prayer helps a lot.

Here is a beautiful prayer that I love. It’s one that I have shared with people when they find themselves in difficult circumstances, when they are worrying and fretful.

“And I said to the angel who stood at the gate of the year, ‘Give me light so I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand in the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way’" – Author unknown.

I happened upon the prayer recently when I was struggling with my worries and cares. Reading it in 2021 had the same effect on me that it did years ago when I first found it.

It was a chilling reminder to me that I’m not in charge of much, and that God is in charge of all. That has been a life-long lesson for me, one that I keep having to relearn.

Of course, living in a pandemic helps that learning curve a lot, doesn’t it?

The words in Proverbs encourage us to trust in the Lord with all of our heart and to not depend on our own understanding. Sometimes that’s easier to do than others.

I’m reminded of the days so many years ago when my toddlers were learning to walk. I held out my arms to them, I caught their eye, and I encouraged them to head my way. They didn’t know that they could walk, but I did. And so they did.

I pray God our loving Father will fill each of our hearts with trust in Him. Especially now.