A local colleague of ours asked me one day, “What do you think, I have to go to (a neighbouring country in Central Asia) for my medical check-up. Do you think I will get the Coronavirus?” Many people here have heard about the Coronavirus on the news and are worried about what would happen should the virus make its way here. They know that the facilities and systems here are not able to deal with an epidemic. Now, along with the other uncertainties that life in Central Asia brings, there is another worry.
In preparing to come to Central Asia, we had to work through our theology of risk and suffering as we knew that we were going to a difficult place. While this has helped us through challenging times here, our experience over the years has shown us that we also need a “theology of uncertainty” to be able to navigate life here. What does the Bible say about uncertainty? How do we live in a way that honours God through the uncertainties of life? If we say that we trust in a God who loves and cares for us, what implications does that have on how we live in times of uncertainty?
As we navigate the uncertainties in our lives, Psalm 46 gives us hope:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea (though conflict is all around us, though we deal with the fear and uncertainties that come with the Coronavirus or bushfires and floods)… Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Our clear certainty in the murky waters of uncertainty is that God is in control. He is the only one who is powerful enough to hold all our uncertainties and fears in His hand and to give us peace and hope. We need to be reminded that His will is being done here on earth no matter how despairing our circumstances may be. We need to pray and wait expectantly for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
The author is an Interserve Partner in Central Asia.