The purpose of mystery


I turned in my dissertation on Tuesday. I'm on pins and needles waiting to find out if I passed the written portion, so that I can travel down to South Carolina to do my oral defense. I was trying to describe written and oral defense to my kids while we celebrated on Tuesday evening, ice cream dripping down our chins. Rosy looked at me, confused, "What happens if you don't defend it, Mama? Will they tear it up?" While I laughed uproariously at this little 7 year old statement, inside I was wondering the same thing. What if they DO want to tear it up?

And why always with the waiting, God? Sometimes I feel as if I'm a professional at waiting. I'm always in the no-man's-land: waiting for news of cancer blood tests, waiting to get my hearing back, waiting to de-clutter my house until the dissertation is finished, waiting now for news of whether I passed or failed.

And so I ran to the Word this morning, trying to calm my nerves. And in the devotional book I'm reading right now (The Place of Help, Oswald Chambers - a book you'll only find in used bookstores these days), the title of today's reading is "At God's Discretion".

I pause, and say those familiar words from the Word, "Not my will, but thine be done." (Luke 22:42)
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past tracing out! (Romans 11:33) The purpose of mystery is not to tantalize us and make us feel that we cannot comprehend; it is a generous purpose, and meant to assure us that slowly and surely as we can bear it, the full revelation of God's will be made clear.