I love a good mystery. I’m pretty sure I’ve read every single Nancy Drew book. Oh, and you can’t forget The Boxcar Children and the Hardy Boys. And of course everything written by Agatha Christie. I don’t get around to reading mystery books as much as I used to growing up, but most of the shows I watch are of the same nature. And to be perfectly honest, I think I’m pretty well qualified to be an FBI agent solely based on my extensive background in mystery books and solving television crimes. The thrill is in figuring it out – in finding clues and connecting dots and knowing when to trust those gut instincts.
But I only really like mysteries I can solve. Why? Because I know I can figure them out, because I know I can have all the answers. In books and television, you know there is always a favorable ending where you figure it all out. But what about with the mysteries of life? And no, I’m not talking about things like, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” I’m talking about real stuff, y’all. Tough stuff.
Will I ever have a permanent job? Will I ever have children? Why doesn’t anyone believe I will amount to anything? Why do I keep having miscarriages? When will I be out from under all this debt? How did I get cancer? Will I ever get married? Why did this relationship have to end? Why do good people suffer? How did I end up in an abusive relationship? Why does my innocent child suffer from this illness?
These are just a few of the mysteries of life. They’re of the “unsolved” variety (AKA: the kind no one likes). When we come to the realization that our lives are just one big, unsolved mystery, things get scary. And suddenly, mysteries aren’t fun anymore.
But then there’s this:
“but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…”
“…he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be.”
Just to refresh your memory: King Nebuchadnezzar (let’s call him Neb, for short) was plagued by a recurring dream. He wanted answers. But he wanted to be able to trust those answers. So he demanded not only an interpretation of the dream, but also a retelling of what his dream entailed. The wise men in his council responded with the following:
“There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean. The thing that the king asks is difficult, and no one can show it to the king except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.”
But the Lord revealed the dream and its meaning to Daniel who then went to the King and shared what had been revealed to him. It’s important to note that Daniel at first, says the same thing as the wise men of Neb’s court:
Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked
And here’s where verse 28 comes into play: “but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries…”
In case you didn’t get the memo, that “God in heaven who reveals mysteries” – yeah, He’s the same God we serve today. And trust me when I say this: He is still in the business of “revealing mysteries.”
Neb’s wise men commented that their gods did not dwell with humans. But y’all, do you realize that our gracious and merciful God sent His Son to dwell with us for 33 years and THEN sent His Spirit to dwell within us until His return? That’s a pretty big deal! The Holy Spirit directs our paths, leads us, prompts us, comforts us. And as we start to recognize this, we start to realize that more and more of those “unsolved mysteries” get placed on the “solved” stack. It doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes it takes months and years. But the Lord is always faithful to answer us.
As we go through this life, as struggles come, as the mysteries pile up, it’s easy to become disheartened. It’s easy to think that God receives some satisfaction in our suffering – because why else would He allow the struggles to endure, right?
He doesn’t find joy in our pain and struggle. He doesn’t keep us from having all the answers simply because He likes to watch us squirm. No, if we ever find ourselves waiting for a mystery to be revealed, it’s because the Lord is using that situation to grow us and make us more like Him. When we go through struggles, we are forced to learn to depend on the Lord for sustenance, strength, wisdom, and courage. When things don’t go as we expected, when our desires aren’t met, we have to remember that the Lord’s desires are paramount. He is preeminent. And if He desires to withhold something from us, it’s for our own good. If we endure trials, it’s to teach us perseverance. If we are plagued with illness, it’s to foster a grateful heart. Everything is purposed.
Mysteries are meant to be solved. But sometimes it takes a lifetime to solve them. Find comfort in knowing that “there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.” In His timing, He will reveal His will for us. All we have to do is seek Him.
When things were getting rough for our friend King Neb, he desperately sought answers and relief. He went to people first; they didn’t have anything to offer him. But the God in heaven who reveals mysteries took his file and placed it on the “solved” stack.
Friends, desperately seek Him. Take your questions to the Lord. People can’t give you the answers you’re looking for. All people can do is sit and question everything right along with you – and that will only foster more bitterness and cynicism. But when we desperately seek Him, He answers. Maybe not today or tomorrow. But I promise, He hears you. And even if His answers are less than favorable in your sight, trust Him. If you ask Him to reveal the mysteries of your life to you, He will certainly do it. But be prepared to obediently follow wherever that road leads. Mysteries aren’t as fun when we’re living them, but they make us all the more thankful for a God to whom all things are known. And since He knows us, knows all, we can trust Him wholeheartedly. May we echo the prayer of Daniel and offer all glory, honor, and praise to our God in heaven who reveals mysteries:
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons…he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you…”