Keeping it Real: The Misery of Uncertainty

Uncertainty . . . it can easily wreck our resolve and shatter our hope.

My husband used to say, “Nothing will kill you quicker than insecurity.” Full disclosure: he coined this mantra while we were dating. My guy was steady and sure. Me? Not so much. I kept one foot in the relationship and one foot out. Young and immature, I didn’t know what I wanted, so I kept him on a perpetual rollercoaster ride. He often lamented that the uncertainty tormented any sense of self and future.

Good news . . . although I didn’t know what I wanted, he knew what he wanted, and he didn’t stop pursuing me until my uncertainty became abundantly certain. We celebrate 37 years of marriage this year, so it all turned out ok. 

Today, uncertainty prowls the earth in unprecedented ways, seeking to wreck life as we’ve known it. An invisible germ trespassed our borders and is wreaking havoc on us. As I pen these words, our world has literally shut down. By the time you read this, there may be more clarity. But for now, no one knows how long this standstill will persist. It’s all simply that uncertain.

It’s difficult enough to be quarantined in our home for days and weeks on end. Practically overnight, our routines radically changed for the foreseeable future. In such days, insecurity can leave us entirely desperate to return to the way things were before this upheaval. But truly, I can think of few things more tragic than a return to exactly who we were. What a waste! Prayerfully, we will emerge from this season with lessons learned and a deep assessment of our souls.

Think about it. Were things before this outbreak really what we envisioned for ourselves? Some of us stood right in the middle of circumstances that agitated the dickens out of us. We took umbrage with situations, relationships…we didn’t even like ourselves. Yet, now, the desperation of this quarantine can create a craving for “familiar,” no matter what it looked like.

We simply tend to prefer the certainty of misery to the misery of uncertainty. Read that again. You know it’s true—incredibly sad, but true. Uncertainty makes us say and do crazy things. When this crisis abates, I pray we reenter the world differently, but there are no guarantees.


Our ducks will never remain neatly in a row, folks! Trying to keep everything in your life “the way it once was” binds you. It sets invisible limits. It creates habits so predictable that you check out and merely go through the motions. Remaining in that stubborn “certainty” stagnates you, while others with passion run right past you.

The truth is, sometimes everything that can be shaken will shake. Life just has a way! Only one thing will never teeter or totter . . . God’s Unshakable Kingdom! Ironically, we neglect this one dependable thing in our lives, the One who made us and calls us His own; yet we spend ourselves clinging with all our might to all the other things that prove so fickle and fragile.

Listen, fellow control freaks: Certainty is not our security. Jesus is!

God will not accommodate our craving for certainty. But He surely responds to our craving for Him. His Word repeatedly promises this. He always delivers! And as He responds, all of a sudden, I sense all the security I need.

“And you shall be secure and feel confident because there is hope; yes, you shall search for Me, and you shall take your rest in safety.” (Job 11:18)

Friend, hear me again: Certainty is not our security; Jesus Is! With Him, you can stand in uncertainty, confident in your rising and settled in your resting. With Him you are Secure! For comments or prayer, contact Dr. Lanier at



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