Traditionally a mystery is something that is hidden, with the motive being to keep knowledge from being gained. Sherlock Holmes was a great one to sniff out deceit and no matter how deep the deception, no matter how convoluted the clues he always got his man.
But there is another mystery that does not require a super sleuth to solve. This mystery, as the Vine's Expository Dictionary states is not that which "In the ordinary sense is a 'mystery' which implies knowledge withheld; it's scriptural significance is truth revealed". This mystery is ours as Christians for the taking. It is ours to know if we but ask. As it says in Matthew 7:7, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you".
This is a mystery that is just waiting to be revealed. This mystery is about an Omnipotent God, a loving Son and the ever-present Spirit. It is about a Father who asked His Son to make the ultimate sacrifice, to lay down His life for our sins, and to make the way for the Spirit to come reside in us and lead us and comfort us until the day we enter into heaven.
There is a time and place appointed for that mystery of salvation to be revealed to us. God is sovereign and His timing is not our timing. His ways are not our ways. I know I pray for people and then wonder why answers don't come to pass right then. I pray for the salvation of loved ones and then question why it hasn't happened yet. But then I have to go back to that mystery of God; as Vine's states about that mystery, "it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the English word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, dto those only who are illumined by His Spirit." His ways, His timing.
I cannot explain why it took until I was in my twenties to come to that knowledge of Jesus and His sacrifice. I cannot even tell you what specifically it was that led me to finally say yes to that gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit, but I do know that His word says all things work together for my good. That no matter what I went through before salvation, God can and will use it. And He has. He has used those life experiences to allow me to empathize with others. I understand the child of an alcoholic. I can relate to someone who has gone through an abortion. I can fully comprehend what it feels like to have no love for oneself, to give yourself away in the hopes that you will feel even a little bit loved. I can sympathize with someone who never felt good enough, but I can also tell you what it feels like to finally know the love of the Father. To be able to bask in the revelation that I am loved, not because of who I am or what I have done, but because of Whose I am.
One of the attributes of a good mystery is to see all the clues, but to still question, have I put it all together? That is the amazing thing about God, we will never know every answer. And that in itself will keep us seeking after Him. I still am astonished by His love for me. How can this Divine Creator adore me? But His word says that He does. How can He care what happens to me day to day? How can He forgive me for all my sins, once and for all? How can He love me enough to give me gifts and talents that He wants me to use to bless others? How can His Spirit lead and guide and teach me? All these questions and more.
The thing about solving a mystery is that you have to dig for the clues. God and His ways are no different. He wants us to, as I stated in Matthew 7:7 above to ask and seek and knock. That implies a continual action. By the day, the hour, the minute. We are to keep searching for clues. Where, you might ask? In His word. Read about who He is. Read about what He has done. Read about His promises concerning us. Pray and ask Him for answers. Go outside and see His glorious creation and get another glimpse of who He is. As it says in Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." (NIV)
Many of the mysteries of God can be known. But that knowledge does not always come easily. It takes a detective to find the clues and put them together. A good detective has many skills; being methodical, patient, organized and logical. Persistence even when lacking understanding. Being curious and asking questions. Learning to embrace routine. Cultivating informants and sources of information. We can become spiritual detectives. Spiritual sleuths. We need to first and foremost know that our primary resource is the Word, the bible. We must become methodical and organized in reading His word and searching out the clues as to who He is. We need to have persistence when we do not understand what we are reading. A good dictionary, the Strong's concordance, more than one version of the bible. Learn to embrace routine and make it a habit to read the Word and study it. More than anything though, a detective loves the chase. He loves the hunt for clues, he lives for the apprehension of the facts and above all being able to ferret out the truth.
Here is some of what I have learned in seeking the truth as to the mystery of God...
God is love
God is merciful
God is faithful
God is powerful
God is glorious
God is boundless
God is holy
God is generous
God is trustworthy
Now it's your turn to be a detective. It's your turn to find the facts, to search out the clues and solve that mystery. Case closed.
All scripture King James Version unless otherwise noted