Uncertainty = God’s wisdom on display1
A builder of skyscrapers must work with wisdom and understanding, or bad things will happen. The architects and contractors must prepare for fire, wind, and a wide array of things which we non-skyscraper-building people cannot even conceive. These men and women work from a position of knowledge, of experience so that we can go into those buildings without fear.
Why would God do any differently? The fall of humanity wrecked his creation, but he knew this was coming, and knew how to fix it. He picks up the shortcomings of fallen people and turns those deficiencies into tools for improvement. Think about that and let it grow out in your understanding. God puts broken things to good use.
Notice how God never excuses bad behavior. The decisions we make in life matter, and God never wavers on that. No excuse is ever made for sin. At what could be termed infinite cost he invested himself in our redemption. That solved sin, but it did not solve tendencies. We have to die and be remade for the tendencies to be cured. In the meantime, he has given us a means to be good, to be godly. We are still weak and to that God motivates with uncertainty. That is no accident; it is love at work.
God is gentle with our shortcomings3
At Augusta University I am the training director for nine physicians. They are called residents and are in the last three years of their education before they can go out and practice eye surgery on their own. As make schedules, sort through squabbles with our educational curriculum, and oversee vacation requests motives get acted out. Typically, those motives are very self-oriented. Some of my residents I believe are Christ followers, but unfortunately, they are not immune from “me-first” initiatives. As I uncover these shortcomings, I find myself saddened and angered, not necessarily in that order. My colleagues on faculty and myself are also infused with such shortcomings. It is the way people are.
When God looks upon all of us, he has no difficulty unraveling each of our shortcomings. Then he is gentle with them. God is not up in his place all angry because we are not perfect. He does not dismiss us because we are weak but aims to lead us out of them. Our behavior matters, but we are not strong to that end. Rather than chastise us, he writes words like, “Soon I am coming, and I am bringing my reward with me.” He does not grab his hair and scream things like, “You stupid people! You are never, ever good!” He does not even say, “be good or else.” Rather, he says, “I am coming with a reward to repay each of you.”