“Mama, when can I go back to school?”

I don’t know.

“Are grandma and grandpa going to be okay?”

I don’t know.

“When will my work furlough end?”

I don’t know.

“When will it be safe to fly again?”

I don’t know.

“Will there be _______ (fill in the blank: TP, eggs, yeast, meat) in the market today?”

I don’t know.

When will this pandemic end?”

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

The questions are limitless, aren’t they? So many, many questions to which the only answer in these COVID-19 days is: I don’t know. And all the I-don’t-knows create and heighten a loss of certainty. It doesn’t matter where or how we live; we all have paradigms and templates that provide us a sense of certainty and security. It doesn’t matter if we live in the south of France or the slums of Mumbai, there are things that happen every day that we know we can count on. Even people in the most abject levels of poverty have things they know are certain in their lives. We know the confines of our unique spaces in the world.

And then, COVID-19 arrived in our world. Our knowing became unknowing. Our certainty, uncertain.

Some countries are beginning the recovery process, while in others, we are waiting for the outbreak-peaks still to come. And while the curve may be flattening, the stretching out of our days—and the wait for answers—are creating “peaks” of uncertainty. New COVID studies of what the researchers are calling ambiguous loss are emerging. It’s a real deal. It’s a real loss. And we find ourselves in this time of disequilibrium fighting to return to sure footing.

In Psalm 27:13, David reminds us of one thing that is certain: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (NASB). Several translations put it, “I am certain that I will see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living” (HCSB, emphasis added). Then David tells us to wait for the Lord. Be strong. Be brave. We will see His goodness.

ACTION: What questions would you add to the list above that are challenging your own sense of certainty in these days? Try standing on one foot for a few moments. What do you notice happening in your body as you then put both feet back on the floor? Feel the ground under your feet. Sure and stable. With both feet firmly planted, take a moment to thank God for the things that you are certain about. Where do you see His goodness in the land of your living?


Day 4 - Loss of Assumptive Belief: Who am I?
Day 6 - Loss of a Loved One