In life, we hold quite firmly to many assumptions about what is certain. For example, when you get up, you believe, as you swing your legs over the bed, that your legs will hold you up, and that the floor beneath you will not shift. You automatically assume that your car will start up, that the sun will rise, that your shower will have hot water, and that your radio station will play the same genre of music as always. As you eat breakfast, you take it for granted that that your body, without any awareness on your part, will process and assimilate the food you take in. When you get to work, you are fairly sure it will be business as usual; you're not expecting a pink slip on your desk.
You make plans for the future, for years in advance. You think about next year, 5 years ahead, ten years from now.
As humans, we love and crave patterns and routines. It's part of the image of God that He stamped on our souls. When Adam sinned, God's image became twisted and marred. We end up trusting in what we think is certain, worshipping that order and routine, our plans and assumptions. We want things to go the way we've planned them - and our plans don't include illness, financial difficulty, natural disasters, relationship problems, or death.
However, God has a way of turning those plans upside down. God can (and often does) change what we take for granted at any moment. We are surprised, blindsided, shocked, or irritated when this happens. What you'd always thought was certain is really not so secure anymore. It's as if the ground is giving way underneath you. It's like the roof is being taken off your home. It's all unsure, and seems so fragile - in a moment, everything you always counted on could vanish, be gone, destroyed.
When things are uncertain, where does your faith rest? If your faith, consciously or unconsciously, is in the ground you walk on, in the possessions you own, in the job you have, in the body your soul inhabits, in the people who surround you, then you will find yourself continually disappointed, discouraged, and distraught when things change.
But if your faith is in Jesus Christ, God who became man (John 1:14), who, by His life explained to us what God is like (John 1:18), who became sin for us so that we could be made right with God (II Cor 5:21), who died for us and now lives and intercedes for us (Romans 8:34), then, when things change, you will not be moved.
You may be afflicted, but you will not be crushed. You may be perplexed, but you need not despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but never destroyed (II Cor 4:8-9). Indeed, we will overwhelmingly conquer through Jesus, for there is nothing that can separate us from His love (Romans 8:37-39).
A man named Edward Mote who lived 150 years ago said it much more poetically than I can when he penned these words:
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness,
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name.
"When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace,
In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.
"His oath, His covenant, His blood, support me in the whelming flood,
When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.
"On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand, all other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand."
In times of uncertainty, when the ground under us gives way, when we see the fragility of life, the temporal nature of this world, we ask, "What is certain?" The answer: God alone. We must cling tightly to Him, and our faith must always rest in Him alone. Everything else in our life is temporary, a vapor, shifting shadows, but God will never change. Cling to the Solid Rock, and not in sinking sand.