August 23, 2021

The Unknown

James 4:13-17

You do not even know what will happen tomorrow.

—  James 4:14

My kids and I like to watch a TV show about unsolved mysteries and hunts for lost treasure around the world. Sometimes it’s just fascinating to learn about faraway places and people and events we have never heard about before. But sometimes the unknown can be a bit frighten­ing. As the host of the show crawls through tight tunnels and scrambles through ancient ruins, the unknown can be a little scary.

James says that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. That’s true, of course. The future is wholly unknown to us. We can plan and think that we know what we will do, but in the end, all of our planning and hoping about the future doesn’t promise anything. Even the best laid plans can fall apart. We simply don’t know what the future will hold. It is out of our control, and that can be frightful.

But what isn’t frightening is knowing that God is in control. As Jesus says when he teaches his disciples how to pray—and James echoes that here—“God’s will be done.” And God’s will will be done. So whatever fear you might have about the ­future, you can be assured that God not only knows what will happen but is also in control of it.

God holds us in his hands. We don’t need to fear the ­unknown.

God of the future, help us not to fear what is to come. Help us to remember always that you hold the unknown in your hands. Amen.

About the author — Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is Director of Faith Formation at First Church in Denver, Colorado, and has served churches in Michigan and California in youth, emerging adult, inter-generational, and educational ministries. Bret and his wife, Julie, have two children, and he enjoys hiking, disc golfing, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs.

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