January 23, 2017
God loves a mystery. He lays down a mystifying puzzle before us, then He gives us cues and clues as to what the solution is and how to solve it, little by little sometimes. We get so proud of ourselves—and He gets proud of us too—when the little pile of findings and solutions begins to grow, the jigsaw puzzle picture begins to fill out, and we begin to understand it and solve it.
The Lord loves a mystery, and I bet you love a mystery too! Mystery stories are some of the most popular stories in the world. Even the Bible is full of mysteries and conundrums.
I think God likes to almost tease us with these mysteries, because it makes us pray to find the solution, to find the answer to the puzzles and conundrums that He sets before us. He sometimes allows that when we are trying to find His will, as we contemplate many options and have a lot of opinions.
My mother used to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle when she was trying to decide on something. Column one would be “for” and column two would be “against,” and she’d list all the things in favor of doing that option and all the things against it, all the good and bad aspects of that choice.
God sets choices like that before us all the time. This whole game of life is choices, constant choices. We have to make thousands of them every day, decisions about almost every aspect of the day. We get into making the same kind of decisions so much that they become a habit. We can get in sort of a rut, to where we eventually don’t have to make so many decisions each day.
My father-in-law used to get exasperated by how we never knew what we were going to do next; we seemed to have a rather disorderly schedule as far as he was concerned. He would say, “You have to make so many decisions every day about what you’re going to do. All these years I’ve done the same thing every day. I got dressed, ate breakfast at the same time, and went off to work at the same job for nearly 50 years.” Personally, I really like the variety, even the mystery and uncertainty and excitement!
People love suspense, and they go to see suspense movies and thrillers. They’ve got movies classified as suspense, thrillers, and mysteries, and it seems to me that variety is the spice of life! That means having a variety of choices, answers, and alternatives as to what you want to do or what God wants you to do, or what God even suggests that you do.
He doesn’t demand that you do a certain specific thing. He usually gives you a range of choices between certain options, similar to how you have a range of choices of frequencies on a radio in which you can choose what station you want to listen to. You can’t go any lower than a certain spot and you can’t go any higher, but within this range He gives you a variety of choices.
People like mysteries, and we’re excited by guessing games and puzzles, riddles, conundrums. Nearly all games have a certain element of that, or of unexpected chance.
Gambling games are mysteries; they’re guessing games. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out. You don’t know how the dice are going to fall. You don’t know where the little ball is going to land on the roulette wheel. You don’t know where that Wheel of Fortune is going to stop. You let the wheel roll, and you wonder where it’s going to stop; and if it stops on the right number, you get a prize.
The Lord likes seeking games, guessing games, mysteries! I can even give you a scripture for it: “Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; ask, and ye shall receive.”1 He likes you to have to hunt for it before you find out which door is going to open; and when one opens, He likes for you to have to ask for it. This is all exercising your faith in Him and His Word and His divine guidance and magnanimity, His parental love. It shows you trust Him when you seek Him and follow His lead, even if you don’t know what’s at the end of the road.
God has filled life with puzzles and problems and mysteries and excitement and suspense to challenge our intellect, spirituality, faith, and trust in the Lord, to challenge our spiritual fiber and muscle.
When we play games with our children, we have fun with them, and they have fun with us! God has fun with us, and we have fun with Him in playing this great Game of Life with all of its mysteries and challenges and clues and cues and different cards and rolls of the dice. There’s one thing you’re not doing—you’re not gambling or taking any chances if you trust the Lord, if you’re following Him.
He’ll give you clues and cues to lead you step by step, but just like on those pathway board games, you don’t know what’s going to happen next till you land on the next stop. He’s not going to tell you all the hops and jumps you’re going to make and the spots you’re going to land on ahead of time. He leads you step by step to find His will.
He likes you to exercise your faith. He likes you to go ahead in what some people call “blind” faith—actually it’s seeing faith, in a sense, because you’re seeing God! You may not see the answer, you may not know the solution, and you may not even know the place He’s leading you to or what you’re going to find, but what did Moses do? Like Abraham, he went out not knowing whither he went, but trusting God to fulfill His promises.
Moses went out not knowing where he went. It says that he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of seeing—pleasures of the season—because he had respect unto the recompense of the reward, as seeing Him that is invisible.2
We have to trust God even though we can’t see Him. We have to go ahead and follow Him even though we can’t see Him or exactly where He’s leading. We just have to follow His little mysteries and His little hints, cues and clues that He drops along the trail and that He leaves behind.
God loves a mystery. Do you?
Originally published September 1981. Adapted and republished January 2017.
Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
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