Will you like the old person you will become? Is God remaking you in His Image?

In the past ten days, I have spoken at two women’s groups and used the story of Rahab, the pagan prostitute of the Old Testament, working in the flax on her rooftop as she waited for the Israelites to come to destroy the city of Jericho as an illustration of how to handle uncertainty. I stressed to both of these groups of women that the inspiration of Biblical stories is not primarily in the character or achievements of the human personalities occupying the foreground, but in the boundless grace, mercy, and forgiveness of the Heavenly Father who is working in the background. The blessing of biblical stories, I reminded them, is that they show us God’s faithfulness through people’s struggles and through the uncertainties of their lives.

In His word, God gives us many examples of His concern for us in EVERY situation we face as weak and needy human beings. Yet all of us STILL struggle. Too often, even as devout Christians we face our uncertain future with worry and anxiety. We are fearful, overwhelmed and sometimes angry. We feel frustrated and depressed. How can we have a correct understanding of who God is and what He is like – and believe all the right things about God – and still lack faith?

Exercising perseverance in the face of obstacles and disappointments is one of the hallmarks of a faithful person. Many of us who avoid selfishness, anger, and impurity –– fall prey to discouragement and despair. Yet, despair is, in a very real sense, denying that God is good, that what He chooses for us is good, and that He is able to fulfill all that He has promised.

Our postmodern culture sends messages to people about seizing control of our lives and learning to control others. We are told to achieve personal fulfillment through our own determined efforts. But when life falls apart – as it inevitably will – we need God’s strength; our own efforts are feeble indeed.

One of the challenges of our lives is to trust God when things seem hopeless or overwhelming, when it appears that there is no way out, when our dreams have died, when life seems empty and when everything is falling apart.

Yet, precisely at that point – He is there. He will walk through it with us.

Ultimately, He will bring something good out of it all, if we are faithful and obedient. And, God is so great and so creative that no matter how tragic the events that we may encounter in life, He is able to take any tragedy and transform it into good.

Rahab’s life serves as a guideline for us when we face uncertainty. She illustrates the importance of putting one foot in front of the other when the pathway is uncertain and God’s leading unclear.

Rahab began the long, tedious process of developing fabric from flax even though she was convinced that her city was doomed! Logically, that didn’t make sense. But, perhaps, it was her way of coping with the uncertainty and sense of impending doom – “just doing the next thing.” Putting one foot in front of the other is sometimes the only thing we are capable of doing in the face of an overwhelming crisis – and sometimes that is exactly the right thing to do. Whatever prompted her to begin the flax project, Rahab teaches us that when we face uncertainty, we must be diligent and pursue excellence while we wait with confidence for God to work things out according to His plan for our lives.

At some point later in her life, perhaps in the quiet of the midnight hour as little Boaz lay nursing at her breast, Rahab may have been able to look back and marvel at the intricate beauty of God’s plan. But you can be sure that – in the midst of it all – she was racked by the same uncertainties that you and I face too often in our own crises.