2018-06: Embracing Mystery
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“For my hope is that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in unselfish love, so that they may have all the riches that come from the full assurance of understanding the joy of salvation, resulting in a true and more intimate knowledge of the mystery of God, that is, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge regarding the word and purposes of God.” Colossians 2:2-3 

I like a good mystery novel, a ‘whodunnit’ or a mystery adventure. As a teen I voraciously read this genre, and even now a good mystery - either on television or in a book - will draw me in. What is it about mysteries that has that kind of drawing power for so many? The adventure. The seeking of clues. The tying together of patterns revealed in the clues. Trying to find a link, solve a problem - it’s not unlike a treasure hunt.

Mystery evokes curiosity, the desire to discover and understand. Having then discovered one aspect, we find there is yet more to uncover, and again our curiosity spurs us on. This adds a sense of awe to life and cultivates an adventurous spirit — a desire to explore, a pursuit of knowledge and understanding. We only know what we know. Indeed, in reality, we only know what we think we know, and, in actuality, we don’t really know how much we don’t know!


How are you with mysteries? In particular, how are you when you’re in the midst of an unsolved mystery - when you encounter things you don’t yet understand?

I was musing on this recently as I was reading 1 Corinthians 13 which tells us:

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete. But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away.” (v9-10)

That same week I was also leading the beautiful hymn, “I Cannot Tell”. The hymnist writes of numerous things about which he “cannot tell”. This is not a case of the writer not being able to ‘tell’ because he’s promised to keep silent or to protect a secret. Rather, it expresses his inability to fully fathom and explain the ways of God. 

He muses on such things as: 

Why does God love us?

Why would He search for those who wander away from Him?

Why would Jesus choose to suffer in such a horrendous way and die for such fickle beings? When and how will He come again?

What will happen in the future?

This and so much more! 

The writer then goes on to say: “This I know…” [To read the lyrics to this hymn click HERE]


There are things that the Lord makes clear in His Word. There is a level of understanding that we can attain through study and revelation. Additionally, and powerfully, there is another beautiful level of knowing Him that only comes by ongoing, everyday, personal experience of, and relationship, with Him.

Yes, we are a part of a glorious mystery. Too often, despite our finiteness, we try to explain God and His ways and His work. How very arrogant we mere humans can be — attempting to theorise and analyse the infinite workings of an infinite God with our finite minds! When we attempt to rely on our meagre intellectual reasoning we can be led into confusion or useless circular reasonings and arguments — arguments that are not edifying or helpful. How can we suppose to explain all the ways and works of God from the past, in the present and for the future? 

“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognise, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn entirely away from evil. It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones.” 

Prov 3:5-8 (Amp)

The mystery of God is alluring. The mystery of God keeps us seeking. The mystery of God calls us deeper into the adventure of following Him. We realise there’s more to know about this Person, more to understand, discover and fall in love with, and even more to behold when we move from this life to the next.

There is much I can’t explain about the ways and works of God — past, present and future. I’m OK with that! 


Because of my "...but this I 'knows’” (as the hymnist puts it).

This I know: I am known by an indefatigably good and loving Father. I know that all that happens in my life is overseen by the all-knowing One, and consequently, I don’t have to worry.

This I know: My times are in His hands. He has my best at heart. He holds me. He watches over me unceasingly. He is always sheltering me and providing for me. 


This I know: His character is unchanging. His strength and capacity are unequalled. His desire to heal and redeem is unshakeable. 


This I know: There is more about Him to know, and that means life is, and never will be, boring! I’ll never grasp it all, and that is reassuring because I need a God that is far beyond me, and far beyond what this world offers. I know that there’s more of Him to experience and be involved with, more to love, and more of His love for me to encounter. 


This I know: I’m in the midst of a great mystery. Life is a real page-turner. It’s exciting. And… I am His.

Be ok with mystery. Embrace it. Some things are not meant to be fully understood on this side of heaven. Trust, faith, hope, love — let’s whole-heartedly pursue Him with these.

“For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:12-13 [Amp]



Belinda Tigell is an Australian singer-songwriter, speaker-teacher, worship leader and author. Find her regular blogs on belindatigellministries.com. 
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