When we relocated from the northeast to Florida, one of the things we missed most was the change of seasons. Native Floridians quickly advised us that instead of winter, spring, summer, and fall, our seasons are snowbird, love bug, summer and hurricane.
While the calendar tells us the first day of spring was March 20, our weather didn't appear to get the message. Still, we're not complaining about the cooler temperatures this week. We just look for signs of spring in other ways.
One of those ways appeared in my own backyard a few days ago.
Last month, I wrote a blog post about extending your love past Valentine's Day. In that post, I described a pair of sandhill cranes that had frequented our backyard for the past year. I also expressed my sadness at the apparent loss of half the pair. I hoped the missing crane might simply be tending her nest and would soon reappear.
She did. This week, we watched the whole family foraging for food: daddy, mommy and two precious sandhill crane chicks.
When I first noticed the single crane, I had assumed the worst: his mate had died and he would be alone for the rest of his life.
Why do we do that? Why do we jump to conclusions and assume terrible things before gathering all the facts? We allow ourselves to become anxious over what appears to have occurred, only to discover it has not happened. In the end, we prove the adage, "Worry is the interest paid in advance on a debt you may never owe."
I know better, yet I can fall back into old patterns of behavior. Uncertainty is an opportunity to trust my heavenly Father. But my actions don't always reflect what I claim to believe. I need to remember rock-solid truth when the future appears to be sinking sand.
The Bible has much to say on this subject. Perhaps these verses will be as helpful to you as they are to me...
Therefore, I say to you, take no thought about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they do not sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? Who among you by taking thought can add a cubit to his stature?
"Why take thought about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: They neither work, nor do they spin. Yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed like one of these. Therefore, if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is here and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matt. 6:25-30).
- "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you. Therefore, take no thought about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought about the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the trouble thereof" (Matt. 6:33-34).
- "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).
- "Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7).
Good words. But if these words are to help me, I must do more than just read them. I need to own them. Remind myself of them daily. Process them so my understanding and application is more than a mere academic exercise.
I need to live them.
It's not always easy. And I expect there will continue to be occasions when I'll regress. Still, I'm grateful my heavenly Father does not give up on me. He provides reminders that during seasons of change I don't need to jump to conclusions or expect the worst. His Holy Spirit encourages me so that I don't have to yield to worry.
And, occasionally, He sends me a family of sandhill cranes to remind me He's still in control.
How do you handle uncertainty?
Ava Pennington is a writer, speaker and Bible teacher. She writes for nationally circulated magazines and is published in 32 anthologies, including 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also authored Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, endorsed by Kay Arthur. Learn more at AvaWrites.com.
This article originally appeared at avawrites.com.