When Paula D’Arcy lost her husband and young daughter in a drunk-driving accident back in 1975, as you can imagine, she thought her life was over. Only in her twenties at the time she was a young wife and mother and pregnant with another child. “I was young, my arms filled with dreams,” she writes in her book, A New Set of Eyes, “my heart innocent and trusting. Then the reality that I alone had survived. Their lives were over. And my heart’s vigil as that knowing cut through me, appearing to be powerful and consuming.”
Life is filled with uncertainties, is it not? Paula had no idea the tragic fate awaiting her on that day many years ago, any more than you and I can predict what awaits us tomorrow or the next day, good or bad. Wake up on any given day and the headlines will be filled with events that too often catch us off guard; for despite our best efforts at creating stability and predictability life is at best, as it always has been, a topsy-turvy experience. So how do we maintain our sanity in such an uncertain world? What is there to cling to, what and who can we depend on?
For Paula D’Arcy the answer eventually became clear when she began to realize that the only real certainty that exists is God, but not just in some sort of intellectual belief of simply knowing about God, but in actually “knowing” Him.
Oswald Chambers writes, “We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. If we are only certain in our beliefs,” he explains, “we get dignified and severe and have the ban of finality about our views; but when we are rightly related to God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy.”
Knowing “about” God has certainly influenced my own belief “in” God, yet I have to say that the deepening of my faith – to actually “know” God – has had little to do with any sort of philosophical, intellectual, or religious belief system. Rather I, like Paula D’Arcy and Oswald Chambers, through the years have come to know God by experiencing Him, and through that experience realizing He is the only certainty that actually exists – and the only certainty any of us ever really needs.