It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. Pr. 25:2
My family and I watched the Super Bowl with a two-hour delay on Sunday. Half-way through the game, my daughter, who had been texting her friends, inadvertently found out who won. She didn’t care much, as she was really only watching for the commercials, but with a sly smile she raised one eyebrow and tauntingly asked the rest of us, “Do you want to know the outcome?” We all energetically said “No!!” Of course we don’t want to know how it ends! That would spoil the game! The fantastic thing about XLVI was that no one knew who was going win right down to the very last second! (Wow, what a finish!) That’s what made it so awesome! Inside information would have spoiled it.
Years ago I picked up “A Tale of Two Cities” and was immediately engrossed. I was completely enamored by the genius of Dickens’ writing skills. I didn’t just love the book – I loved the experience of reading it. Unfortunately, at one point while I was buried deeply somewhere in the middle of the book, I casually glanced at the back cover and read the blurb. To my utter astonishment and horror, the inane publisher had for some inexplicable reason decided to reveal a major climactic plot-twist from the end of the story! I was flabbergasted and I was furious! It completely sucked the joy out of that literary moment. (You know my pain if you’ve ever watched a movie with a loud mouth who’s seen it before.) (I still haven’t forgiven that publisher!) The point is:
Don’t tell me the ending! I don’t want to know till I get there!
So why in the name of all that’s holy do I get so bent out of shape when I don’t know how my loving Father is going to solve my day-to-day problems? Why do I pray so desperately for clarity? It’s like that Third Day song (which I really love): “Give Me Revelation/ Show me what to do.” Those words really resonate with me. I so often find myself in frustrating and difficult situations and everything in me wants to cry out, “Lord! What are you doing? Why is this so difficult? How are you going to solve this? What am I supposed to do?” It’s like I desperately want Him to tell me the end of the story. To give away His plot twist.
But that would ruin it!
His stories are all awesome because the endings are always a surprise. No one likes movies that are so obvious that you can guess the ending after 20 minutes. Where’s the joy in that? A great and godly friend of mine has been going through real rough waters in his life over the last few years, and in a recent phone call he admitted that he still doesn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, or how his circumstances are going to turn around -- despite hours and years of prayer. But the man is an overcomer. His attitude blows me away. He said to me, “I used to pray for clarity, but you know what? clarity is overrated.”
The world is filled with awesome mysteries: plot twists, Hail Mary passes, surprise birthday parties, unexpected gifts, strategically pixelated sonograms. Sometimes the joy is in not knowing. So thank-you Lord, for being the God of mysteries! Thank you for keeping secrets! And please help me to learn the joy of living in suspense!