Mystery Unsolved


Is your curiosity piqued by a real life mystery? Some mysteries that have puzzled people the world over have been solved, or are nearing a solution, recently. There’s been no end lately to speculation about the Titanic sinking as we’ve passed the 100th anniversary of the tragedy. One of the newer and most intriguing to me was the theory that weather conditions created a kind of mirage on the horizon that both prevented the crow’s nest from seeing the iceberg sooner and prevented the closest ship, the California, from understanding Titanic’s signals for help.

Other mysteries have been solved definitively. For years all we knew was that author Antoine de St.-Exupery had flown out on a mission in World War II, and his plane was never seen again. Now the wreck has been found. A few years ago the hidden and shameful burial of the Russian royal family was found, ending any possibility that the “Princess Anastasias” who surfaced later were true escapees of the massacre.

I find these unhappy endings especially sad because it stops all the “what ifs” and the hopes for a better, if improbable, conclusion. There was always some comfort for me, however imaginary, that St.-Exupery had once again found that landscape from the end of his book The Little Prince where the little prince had appeared to him, and that his diminutive friend had come back for him, taking away the inevitable fate of an unfound desert crash. And it was wonderful to hope that somehow Anastasia had escaped her family’s fate at the hands of the firing squad.

The Little Prince Landscape

For other people who are perhaps more level headed than I, a mystery is a nagging question that must, at all costs, be solved. It is too insufficient and galling for circumstances to just trail off into the mist. All endings must be completed, and all doubts and incorrect theories put to bed. The true answers settle history for all time, even when the loved ones and people most concerned with those answers are long gone and the conclusions only satisfy the curiosity of onlookers several generations removed.

The Mysteries God Doesn’t Solve

This need to solve all things can spill into Christianity. How much time has been spent making philosophical “proofs” of the existence of God? Or trying to define the Trinity? Or resolving how Jesus could be truly man and truly God? If we’ve come to “know the Lord” we can sometimes feel that we should know everything about Him and be able to explain everything with a concise theological answer. It can be embarrassing if someone asks us a question about God that requires faith because it cannot be explained in a way that fits into our minds.

If a tragedy or difficulties befall us, I think we all wish we knew why. Sometimes the answers unfold for us later on. Sometimes we carry the question with us on through the years. “If you could ask God one thing…” many of us would want the answer to why something unfolded in our lives the way it did.

Remaining Unsolved

Whether our mysteries are theological or personal, we end up confronting the fact that some things God has shared with us about Himself and some things – not. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8 & 9

He is our Father and loves us so greatly, yet He does not tell us everything. His character He reveals to us, His creation, what He has done for us in sending Jesus to die for our sins, but He is not sharing all that He is thinking or doing. The apostle Paul told the Athenians, “Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.” (Acts 17:23c) The Athenians then learned of God as Creator and Savior that day – but they did not learn all the thoughts of God.

Can We Live with the Mystery?

Perhaps some of you are saying, we have to live with the mystery. There is no choice. At some time or another, we’ve all been advised to spiritually drop our mystery into the Lord’s hands. But accepting this advice is not always easy. If we have theological questions, can we really let it rest that somehow the Trinity is three, and is one? Or that God is Sovereign, and man has free will? Can we let it go that we’ll never know God’s purpose in the car accident that changed our lives forever? By itself, just saying “It’s God’s will” in no way makes it easy to let go.

We live with some of our nagging mysteries better than others. In the course of looking at the vastness about God that we don’t know, I think I’ve found something that made these things easier for King David. Mystery revealed – on Thursday.

Categories : God's Ways

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