For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
As Hurricane Isaac approached our state last week, I noticed a new (or new to me) weather term that I had not heard before: “Cone of Uncertainty”. When I first heard the phrase, I had to laugh. Really? Who makes this stuff up? Isn’t that something from “Get Smart”? I was convinced a comedian first coined the phrase until I went to Wikipedia to discover that on the contrary, “Cone of Uncertainty” is a scientific phrase invented by engineers. It describes “the evolution of the amount of uncertainty during a project. At the beginning of a project, comparatively little is known about the product or work results, and so estimates are subject to large uncertainty.” It was first used in chemical engineering and cost analysis, but is now used in a lot of different fields. In weather forecasting, it means that the farther out a storm is located from land, the less likely it can be predicted with certainty where it will make landfall. In layman’s terms, try as they might to make us think that they know what they are talking about a week or two before a storm, they really have no real idea. Not too comforting, but at least honest. I think we put too much pressure on forecasters to predict the future when even the most modern equipment is flawed. I live in a Cone of Uncertainty beyond hurricane season. Yes, I work and work to plan every detail of my future, but in reality, nothing is guaranteed. As much as I want to depend upon myself, if I am not careful, I let fear dictate my choices. I put my faith in unreliable things. Health insurance, buildings, retirement plans and jobs are all insecure, yet I count on them to protect me in the future. I cling to them. When one fails me, I am as helpless as a weather forecaster, and I have to rethink all my preconceived ideas. Could I live without health insurance? What would happen if the state pension system fails? Is my job secure? Will a storm wash away my house? When I start worrying about the future, I let fear keep me from making sound decisions. It is easy to get caught up in the Cone of Uncertainty. The only way to allay the panic is to put my trust in the One Who never fails. Like the arrival of a hurricane, my life could be turned upside down in an instant. But, no matter what the future holds, I can be certain that God is in charge. He loves me and will bring about the best for me. Whether I have a house, I will have a home. Whether I have a job, I will have a calling. Whether I have an income, I will have provision. Whether I have health insurance, I know the Great Physician. When I remember that, I am no longer living in the Cone of Uncertainty, but in the Security of His Certainty.