The Anxiousness of Uncertainty

Being a sports fan can be brutal.

How many times has your favorite team broke your heart? How many times did they “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?”

When I moved to Minnesota I became a Vikings fan. I was warned by lifelong fans, those who’d seen their share of heartbreak, I’d regret it.

Following them over the 14 years I lived in the state left me with a condition I’ll call “the trauma of uncertainty.” Not knowing the outcome of any situation can be nerve racking, but it’s even worse with a bad defense.

One could make the argument I’m placing too much emphasis on a win, after all, “it’s just a game,” and you wouldn’t be wrong. But there’s a difference between a win in the pre-season and a loss in the post-season.

But yes, it’s still “just a game.” There are bigger things in life than football.

Much bigger.

The uncertainty of life can be exhausting. People struggle everyday with real life issues having nothing to do with a pigskin. Cancer, divorce, the death of a loved one. And the list goes on.

For years I was trapped between two thieves. The one on my left, the thief of yesterday, was a continual taunt as I looked in the rearview of regret. The one on my right, the thief of tomorrow, created an anxiousness with the uncertainty of what that day would bring. It was a “tag team” of emotion that robbed me of God’s peace in the present.

In some ways it’s easier getting passed the thief on the left because what was going to happen already has. The thief on the right scares us the most.

We all worry, some of us more than others. Telling someone who’s struggle is greater than yours “not to”, may illicit the “Thank you Captain Obvious,” response. It’s not like it’s something we want to do.

So how do you get passed it? Is it even possible?

We give more power to the thief on the right than we should. We can become paralyzed by uncertainty, and it robs us of the peace God intended.

I once heard a story of two friends watching a football game, who lived in separate cities. They were experiencing the game over the phone. One of the friends challenged the other to start betting on who could predict what was about to happen. As they lined up for a field goal, friend #1 predicted a miss. Sure enough, he missed. 3rd and long, would they convert? Again, friend #1 was right. He was in fact right every single time! It was as if he knew the future.

What friend #1 knew that friend #2 didn’t, was that friend #1 figured out friend # 2 was on a 5 second broadcast delay. So friend #1 saw everything that transpired 5 seconds before friend #2. It wasn’t knowing the future that made friend #1 win every bet, it was a 5 second delay.

God knows the future. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows the outcome of every situation we will ever face in this life.

He’s already seen the tape.

I used to wish God would show me the future. Reveal to me what my life would look like in 20 years. But soon realized if He did, I would most likely not want to get out of bed the next morning.

The future is a mystery to us, but not to God. He already knows when we’re going to fumble, throw a pick, or get that touchdown called back. He knows the heartbreak of that “wide left” (thank you Vikings) field goal that keeps you out of the playoffs. He already knows the victories and defeats.

So why do we worry?

Because we fail to place our trust in the One who already knows the outcome of all things, and live on a 5 second delay.

As Christians, we sometimes miss the obvious. If there were any one passage I could point someone to, especially in the light of what’s happening in our world today, it would be Matt 6:25-34. (emphasis mine) “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (v.32b-34)

One final thought…

You may be living in the “whys.”

Why is the world imploding? Why does it seem evil is winning? Why does God seem silent?

When Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side of the sea, He didn’t tell them of the impending storm He knew was to come. In the midst of this great storm they feared for their lives, and also lived in the whys. Why, if we obeyed the request of Jesus are we now faced with the uncertainty of death. Why would He bring us to this place? Why would He allow this?

They asked Him, “Don’t you care that we are going to die?” Jesus rebuked first the storm, and then the disciples. “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-41)

Jesus never promised you a life “stormless” life. He will in fact lead you into, and through them. There are those who will teach otherwise, but they’re living on a 5 second delay.

Put your faith in the One who is omniscient. The One who knows all things. The One who knows the end from the beginning. The One who’s already seen the tape.

And you’ll get to the other side.


  1. Debbie Nelson June 2, 2024 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I need to read this everyday.

  2. Karen Gray June 2, 2024 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Very timely Word! I so appreciate your teachings Dan, thank you so much for your obedience to “preach the Word, in season and out of season” II Timothy 2:4-5. Blessings on your day🙏♥️

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