How many of us can live in mystery? I have a hard time with it sometimes. I want to know things. I have an inquiring mind. Maybe that is why I am first a listener and then, if needed, a speaker. In our age of Science we want to know things. We don’t like mystery. Nothing wrong with Science because I believe Science is God’s magnifying glass on our world. Most Science classes in High School were my favorite. I also believe God gives mystery so that we can find out what is hidden or not known yet. Adventure and pioneering. I believe there are mysteries and books that have been shut up for our time. Interesting term to be shut up because the Greek word for mystery is mystērion which derives from muo which means to shut the mouth.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says
God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It’s up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation. (MSG)
I like this version because it says God will take care of the things we don’t know about. But what we do know about belongs to us and is our business. When it says “business” I don’t think it means “mind your own business” but “we mean business.” This is why I don’t always like revelation hunters because they hunt and seek the next best revelation without doing business with the current. We, I, haven’t attended to what is already revealed. I haven’t walked through my current step to reach the riser of the next. We can overextend ourselves in the spirit and life but taking on too much. Knowledge with the label, “Revelation” can puff up.
So I am learning to live in the mystery. Graham Cooke talks about living in the question. Walking with God in mystery knowing He has got it covered. Covered in both aspects: covered as in hidden for time being and covered as in it is under His care.
But why are things covered, hidden, and mysterious? That which has already been revealed has been twisted, stolen, misused, slandered, and altogether refused in different sects, cults, and denominations. I say this in love but maybe God is not casting His pearls before swine. Not saying people are swine but when mystery is not attended to, the enemy(swine) can steal it. Maybe mystery is looking for a landing pad where it’s can be known and still covered? Maybe mysteries will be given when they can be attended to or cared for? Maybe mystery is looking for a house to live in that is secure? Not easily broken in to? I’ll get off my soapbox in regards to this aspect of mystery. I didn’t plan on writing about this particular side of it but I felt led to add that. So back to living in mystery.
If we could figure out God and how He does things then He wouldn’t be God but just another figment of our rationalism. Mystery involves the freedom of trust when the future is in the hands of Someone greater than your ability to comprehend the present. Rationalism leads to a cold bed without covers, while living in mystery offers warmth. It offers freedom of expression. It meddles with theology and offers the comfort of new things above the sun. God wasn’t meant to be in a box. The ark was used due to lack of relationship. The same as our boxes. How many have their own personal arks where He is locked in? How many of us go back to basics time and time again because we can’t live in not knowing something (see Heb. 6:1-3). Basics are good but are elementary. But if you don’t have them down then stay there until the foundation is laid and set.
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself. – C. S. Lewis
God is building a mystery within us to be revealed at His timing (see Rom. 8:19). It is our job to attend to what we already know. Like what C. S. Lewis said, we thought He was building a cottage but the mystery shows that He is building much more. The much more will be revealed when we are trusted with and can attend to it.
When we can’t understand, we trust. We ask, seek, and knock and it will be revealed but in His timing. Live in the mystery. Live with the mystery. Live in seeking the answer. Live in not having the answer. Live in not needing the answer. Live in Him where all mystery hides and belongs. If you have had a mystery revealed then attend to it because it now belongs to you. Tend to it like a garden. Keep it and cherish it. If you have received a pearl then keep it safe. If you see a pearl then maybe you need to sell all to buy it. .
Live in mystery. Live with mystery. Live with answers. Live without answers. Live without needing an answer. Live knowing that God holds it all and you are firm in His grasp along with it.