Unknowns and Assurances

The long hallway looked daunting. I clutched my Garfield lunchbox as a parent volunteer pointed me in the direction of the last door on the left. It would be a long walk to my third grade classroom.

This was my first year in this large, dilapidated, one hundred-year-old building. Gone was my cozy primary school where I knew every face and floor tile. My eyes quickly searched for my twin brother but he was gone. I breathed and stepped forward into the unknown.

A brand new school year stretches out before us. School supplies are labeled, uniforms laid out, classrooms readied. There is the excitement and anticipation about the experiences ahead. However, the beginning of a new school year also brings apprehension, anxiety and fear for children, parents and faculty alike. Worry can seep in quickly when we come face to face with many unknowns. 

Will my child make friends at school? What if my child struggles in his classwork? Will health concerns keep my daughter out of school? Which colleges will my child apply to? How will our family handle the busy schedule? How will I teach all the material to my students this year?

So here we sit, perched on the edge of a new school year, filled with many uncertainties. We and our children often find ourselves in difficult situations—both inside and outside of school. Some are minor and expected, others are on a much larger scale.

We face unknowns as individuals, families and as a school community. Maybe you are returning to Lakeland Christian for another year. Maybe you are new to our school this year.   How can we move confidently through the unknowns and cling to the assurances and promises of our Heavenly Father?

  1. Recognize that unknowns are for our good and God’s glory. 

    If we are following Christ and training our children to do the same then we shouldn’t be surprised when we find ourselves dealing with a variety of difficulties, hardships, sufferings, and situations. However, we struggle to reconcile these unknowns with a good God. God permits trouble into our lives. They are a means to which God works to accomplish His will in our lives. It has been written, “God’s presence in the trial is much better than exemption from the trial.”  God knows his people worry and fear.  He knows we can not see the road ahead. When an unknown future lies before us God promises to walk with us no matter what. He is glorified when he provides deliverance for his people. “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1).

  2. Respond to unknowns in trust, step by step.

    When we don’t know what to do in the unknowns, we can take the next logical step of faith and do the next right thing. “Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 ESV. We are called to trust God and allow him time to work. Waiting for and trusting God in the unknowns means resting in his promised security. We have a personal God that sees us and cares about our hurts and fears. We can wait expectantly to see what God will do. We can seek truth in scripture, confess unbelief, pray, and share our journeys and stories with other believers. We can resist anger, fretting, and complaining. “By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalm 42:8 ESV).

  3. Reveal God’s assurances to our children and students. 

    Charles Spurgeon wrote, “The Christian knows no change with regard to God. He may be rich today and poor tomorrow; he may be sickly today, tomorrow he may be distressed- but there is no change in regard to his relationship with God. If he loved my yesterday, He loves me today.” His promises do not change. He never leaves us or forsakes us. Is our first response as parents to attempt to explain or even fix the unknowns? Or do we point our children to Christ and teach them that faith grows stronger in the seasons of waiting and trusting? We can share God’s assurances with even the youngest of children as they go about their school day. “Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 ESV).

We all struggle with change and the unknown. God grows our faith in these places. He bestows His truth to us and grants us peace. Unknowns, yes. Assurances, also yes.