by Alicia Bruxvoort via Proverbs 31 Ministries

I couldn’t see the tears streaming down her cheeks, but I could hear the muffled cries seeping beneath her bedroom door.

Summer vacation had come and gone, and when the dark gave way to dawn, we’d welcome a new school year. Some of my children had climbed into bed with eager anticipation, but 9-year-old Hannah lay in the dark with quiet consternation.

Change was difficult for this child, so we’d been diligent about preparing her for a smooth transition into fourth grade. We’d explored her new classroom and played on the playground. We’d connected with her teacher and located her locker, traversed the hallways and visited the cafeteria.

But on that long-ago August night, my daughter wasn’t comforted by our intentional preparation; she was wracked by irrational trepidation.

“I can’t go to school tomorrow,” she whispered as I walked across the room and sat on the edge of her bed.

“Why not?” I gently asked.

“Because I don’t know where the bathroom is,” Hannah confessed.

“You’ll find it tomorrow,” I assured.

“But what if I don’t?”

I could wrap my arms around my girl’s trembling frame, but I couldn’t calm her shaking heart. So, eventually, I changed my strategy.

“You may not know where the bathroom is,” I conceded, “but you do know that your locker is Number 14 and that your teacher has a great smile. You do know that your desk is beside the pencil sharpener and that the purple slide is the fastest.”

I let my words dangle between us. “You may not know everything about fourth grade, but you do know something.”

My little girl nodded, and together we rehearsed what she knew until her sniffles were swallowed by sleep.

It’s been years since I’ve sent a child to fourth grade. But my conversations with God often ring with an echo of that dialogue I once had in the dark with my daughter.

God, I don’t know how You’re going to keep Your promise, but I do know that Your Word is reliable and true.

God, I don’t know how to do this on my own, but I do know that You are with me; I’m not alone.

My words aren’t just wishful thinking. They are a discipline of faith I’ve learned from a man after God’s own heart.

When David penned Psalm 27, he was fleeing from a crazy king who sought to destroy David’s destiny. His present was perilous, and his future was shaky. Yet David chose to focus on what he knew rather than fretting about what he didn’t.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1a)

David didn’t know how his dark situation would turn out, but he knew that the Lord was his light of hope.

“The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1b)

David didn’t know if he’d have enough strength for battle, but he knew that God was the stronghold of his life.

As David shifted his focus from his personal doubts to God’s perpetual dependability, his concern was quelled by confidence.

And with this newfound assurance, he was able to replace his “what ifs” with “even ifs.”

“Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.” (Psalm 27:3, NLT)

When we follow David’s example, our response to uncertainty changes, too. Instead of ruminating on all we don’t understand, we find ourselves rehearsing the Truth on which we stand.

We may not know everything, but thanks to God’s Word, we do know something:

God is good. (Titus 3:4)
God is faithful. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
And God is with us. (Matthew 1:23)

And when we walk in the light of that unchanging Truth, we find surety for today even if we don’t know what tomorrow will hold.