Living in the Cone of Uncertainty

For five days now I’ve been living in “the cone of uncertainty.” In the path of Hurricane Irma, my fellow South Carolinians and I have been glued to the National Weather Service updates. We want to know whether this monster storm is going to smash our homes and drown our state. 

As Irma charges across the Atlantic like a fat kid on a diving board, her first cannonball has swamped the tiny islands of Barbuda and Puerto Rico. The Florida Keys are next. Then Miami? Palm Beach? Tampa? It’s the cone of uncertainty. 

Spaghetti models wiggle their way from Cuba, to Miami, to Tennessee and all parts in between. The wide path of possibilities have half the South queuing up in long lines at gas stations and grocery stores. The other half has hit the road searching for safety. 
We stock our kitchens with enough food to feed the evacuees who have arrived on our doorsteps, while wondering if we’ll have the electricity to refrigerate and cook it. Again, the cone of uncertainty. 

We tie down lawn furniture, top off the grill’s propane tank, and eye the stately oaks we normally adore with a wary eye and a fearful glance. Will the roof hold? Will the trees topple? Will the streets flood? Curse that cone of uncertainty. 

The irony strikes us – while we prepare for possibly the worst weather of our lives, we enjoy the best weather of the season. Cool nights, low humidity, and clear skies. A breeze whispers in our ears, and we wonder, has it begun? Dogging our steps is the cone of uncertainty.

You might not live in the path of Hurricane Irma, but you may still be experiencing the cone of uncertainty. You might be asking questions like: 

Will my marriage survive? 

Will my prodigal come home? 

Will I find a job? Will my cancer return? 

Will I ever get married, have a baby, finish school? 

The cone of our uncertainty is as wide and varied as the squiggly spaghetti models. We’re sure God knows the path our lives will take, but wish he’d unfold the map and give us a peek. 

How do we cope with life’s cone of uncertainty? The only way is to set our anchor on the bedrock of God’s promises. Here are five of my favorites: 

1. Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 

2. Romans 8:38-39: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

3. Psalm 138:7-8: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever . . .” 

4. Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” 

5. Revelation 21:3-5: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ And he that sat upon the throne said,’ Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, ‘Write: for these words are true and faithful.’” 

Whether your cone of uncertainty involves a hurricane, a husband, or a heartache, God wants to meet you there. He is your anchor. He is your deliverer. He is the rescue boat in the storm. Run to him and find safety. 

And if you’re in the path of Hurricane Irma, please know I am praying for you. If you'll leave your name in the comment box, I can pray for you by name.

To remind you that God is in control, here's Ray Stevenson's "Eye of the Storm." 


If you're reading by email, click here to see Ray's "Eye of the Storm" music video.

If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe? I'll send you twice-weekly 5-minute devotions to help nourish your soul. 
Because women need to connect with God in the craziness of life. 

Enter your email address and VALIDATE the Feedburner email sent to your inbox.

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. My friend, Gena Booher, after weighing her options and studying the forecasts, decided to stay put in Ocala, FL. Please pray for her, her husband, four dogs, and two horses. I'm going to tag her in the comments on fb and share your post. Thanks for reminding us God is more powerful than any storm.

    1. Father, I pray you will hide Gena and her family and pets in the hollow of your hand. Keep them safe, meet their every need, and use them to glorify you in the days to come. In the strong name of Jesus I ask, Amen.


Did this devotion speak to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below and join the conversation.