Wednesday, October 25
Day 3: Praying in Times of Uncertainty
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.”
– Matthew 5:3, The Message
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10, NIV
Before C.S. Lewis became a follower of Christ… Before he wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity, or The Screwtape Letters… C.S. “Jack” Lewis was a nine-year-old boy who lost his mother to cancer. He was a pre-adolescent and teen who spent many unhappy years at boarding school. He was a twenty-year-old man who joined the British infantry and battled in the trenches of France during the first World War.
He was an atheist.
After nearly 15 years of spiritual struggle, Lewis converted to theism, and eventually to Christianity—partly due to the influence of writers, friends, and colleagues such as J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton, and certainly due to the work of the Holy Spirit. Lewis’s life experiences and journey to faith in Christ eventually would compel him to risk his freedom and his life to speak publicly about Christianity on BBC radio during World War II (talks that were eventually compiled into his famous work, Mere Christianity). His hard-won faith, knowledge, and wisdom led to profound works, some of which are very relevant in light of current world conflicts.
“Lewis reassures us that fear and anxiety are a normal human reaction to times of great stress, reminding us that ‘No man—and specially no Christian who remembers Gethsemane—need try to attain a stoic indifference about these things.’ However, this does not mean that we are left alone to cope with our distress. Rather, to quote Lewis once again, ‘A more Christian attitude, which can be attained at any age, is that of leaving futurity in God’s hands. We may as well, for God will certainly retain it whether we leave it to him or not. Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord”. It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received….’ Lewis encourages us to realize that this very uncertainty can be a blessing if it causes us to depend upon God more fully…. In his classic work Mere Christianity… Lewis found himself admitting to God, ‘You must do this. I can’t.’” (“In Times of Uncertainty: Encouragement from C.S. Lewis” by Marjorie Lamp Mead)
Jesus, we know our world and our times are uncertain, but you are not. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You hold all things—each one of us—in your hands. No event in history or in our current times has taken you by surprise. Because you are all-good, all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, we can trust you. We ask you to provide our needs for today, and we ask you to help us entrust the future to your faithful hands. The news is heavy and our world is dark, but you are light and life and the darkness will never overcome you. So as we think of Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, and other war-torn places, we ask for peace and healing, and we echo C.S. Lewis’s prayer: “You must do this. We can’t.”
In your good and powerful name, Amen.
By Stacie Miller
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