The Blessing of Uncertainty

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I’m almost finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring so I decided to take a small break tonight to watch one of the behind the scenes documentaries on the Lord of the Rings extended edition DVDs.  I’m glad I did because I got to hear Dr. Patrick Curry give this definition of despair:


Despair is for people who know beyond any doubt what the future is going to be. Nobody’s in that position. So despair is not only a kind of sin theologically; it’s also a simple mistake because nobody actually knows. In that sense there always is hope.


A while ago I shared Andrew Peterson’s definition of hope as the belief that “something good is coming.”  It makes sense that Dr. Curry’s description of despair is the exact opposite: the belief that you are 100% that nothing good is coming ever again.

But NO ONE can be sure with absolute certainty what the future holds. When things are at their darkest and it looks like all is lost, you can find hope in the uncertainty.

It may feel like you’ll never love again, but how can you be sure?

It looks like the weight of your depression will go away, but is there even a small chance that it does?

If you’re not ready to believe that something good is coming, then maybe, for the moment, all you need is uncertainty to poke holes in your despair. And maybe the holes will be just big enough to let some hope shine in.