How to Live with the Unknowns

“Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.”  Daniel 4:9

King Nebuchadnezzer demanded interpretation of his dream OR ELSE. After all, his kingdom could be at stake! He finally found a man of true wisdom in Daniel. Approaching the king, Daniel spoke with authority,

“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,

For wisdom and power belong to Him.

It is He who changes the times and the epochs;

He removes kings and establishes kings;

He gives wisdom to wise men

And knowledge to men of understanding.

It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;

He knows what is in the darkness,

And the light dwells with Him.

To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,

For You have given me wisdom and power;

Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,

For You have made known to us the king’s matter.    – Daniel 2: 9, 20-23

I’d much rather identify with Daniel in this story, but it’s the king I relate to right now. My kingdom is MUCH smaller, but I have mysteries I need to understand and secrets I long to see revealed. I’m crying out for someone to explain to me the way, OR ELSE! I too have the Spirit of the Holy God in me… so why do secrets trouble me?

Daniel, whose Babylonian name meant “favored prince of the straitened’s treasure,” walked into that favor and straightened that vague parable right out.  His dream interpretation resonated with Nebuchadnezzar, who then became enlightened to the nature of God, calling Him “the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets.” (Daniel 2:47)  What wonderful names!  I also love with the way Daniel said it:

“However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed –  Daniel 2:28

There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. I need this God. Certain treasures have been obscured from sight. I can sense something needs clarity, needs to be straightened out. When I stop to listen, I hear a deep yearning for mysteries to be revealed.

Do you know the feeling?

The feeling that you are holding a treasure map pocked with X’s but there are no roads, no legend, no compass to help you get your bearings? All these treasures hiding like winter hides new life just under its surface…

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…Until the light shines and life comes out of hiding.

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This God of Daniel, Revealer of Secrets, He is my God and He is yours. This means He wants us to seek out the mystery and listen to His wisdom. The Truth wants to be found, and He makes Himself known to His friends.

The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,

And He will make them know His covenant.    – Psalm 25:14

I’m on a treasure hunt these days, searching to turn parables into plain speak, to make a home for them in my heart and grow them into a fruitful life. I believe God put a map legend inside His Word, and inside me when He made me, and again when He sealed me with the Holy Spirit, and He’ll show me how to read my map. I’m learning to love mystery and live in tension with wise understanding in one hand and mystic mystery in the other. How does that work?

I barely know. Somehow it worked for Abram, who uprooted his entire household because God spoke one word of mystery to him, linked with a promise:

Now the Lord said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,

And from your relatives

And from your father’s house,

To the land which I will show you;

And I will make you a great nation,

And I will bless you,

And make your name great;

And so you shall be a blessing;

And I will bless those who bless you,

And the one who curses you I will curse.

And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

So Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken to him.  –  Genesis 12:1-4

Could the directive have been more broad and distant? God was ridiculously short on details and mighty long on mystery, yet somehow these words were enough for Abram.

Then a few thousand years later, all the families of the earth DO become blessed through Abram’s seed when Jesus makes His secret entrance. He grows up and speaks in parables everywhere He goes, and no one understands. One day He says to His dear ones, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God…” (Mark 4:11)

To us has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God.

I am beginning to see this truth in a new way: we’ve been given a gift – the gift of mystery. The breakthrough comes as we learn to receive with joy and gratitude this gift we can’t quite make sense of. This gift who is the person of Jesus: both Mystery and Wisdom embodied. In Him we have the honor of learning how to embrace both at once. The question and the answer, the hidden and the seen, the unknown and the understood. They are a package deal. When we ask for understanding, we’re also asking for deeper mysteries.

A life hidden in Christ is a life wrapped in mystery and revelation all at once.

A life hidden in Christ is a life wrapped in mystery and revelation all at once.-2

…that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love,

and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding,

resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.         Colossians 2:2-3

For wisdom is better than jewels,

and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.           Proverbs 8:11

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, 

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.          Proverbs 9:10

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I want to know God the way Daniel and Solomon and Paul knew Him, as the Source of all understanding who gives wisdom to those who ask, so that no secret troubles me. To be friends with the Secrets of Heaven. God hides Himself not to tease or belittle us. The secret is not an unbreakable code but rather proof that the treasure exists. The mystery is not a convoluted mess but rather an invitation to walk in the path of the Straightened’s Treasure, in the way of righteousness (where all things are made right and set straight), walking straight into the heart of God.

And the further in we go, the more we get to know Him and stand in awe and reverence of Him. Such a posture sets us in a position to receive wisdom and understanding, knowing its value and source, saturated in the nature of God, able to be trusted with the weight of His riches in glory IN Christ Jesus Himself. This explains why “He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding.” The more we come to know Him, the more we we realize what a Gift of Mystery He is. Those higher ways have a way of humbling us, don’t they?

If you too are seeking wisdom and understanding, hungry for more, dissatisfied by the wisdom of the world, you are not alone in your journey and you have not been set up for failure. Don’t give up! Join me and a host of saints in asking, seeking… and finding. Our Revealer of Secrets promises we won’t be disappointed.

 

Holy One,

I’ve been overwhelmed with the unknowns in my life. I’ve grown weary and frustrated by all this blurred mystery. I invite you Holy Spirit, Word of God, to divide between the blurred vision of the world and the beautiful mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. Help me put off the old glasses and put on the new. I ask for a new lens to see the treasure map you’ve prepared for me. Life is an adventure, and you are my guide, and you promised you would not fail me. You promised those who seek will find. You promised to fill my treasuries with the finest treasures of wisdom, so I align myself to adventure with you in the finding.

Where I’ve gone off course, God, correct me. Search my heart and see if there’s a hurtful way in me. Renew a right spirit within me. Make me know your ways; lead me in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. I give You permission to straighten out my crooked places.

I have all these questions I need (want?) answered. Teach me to live joyfully with the ones to be answered later. I choose to be grateful for the mystery, to embrace it just as I embrace You, Jesus.  I want to know Your heart. It’s the wisdom from above I’m seeking… it’s You, Jesus. You are the One I long for. In You are unfathomable riches of wisdom and understanding. In You are beautiful secrets. The deeper I go into your heart, the more I know it’s going to be okay, and You will reveal what my heart needs to know, out of Your great love for me.

I’m grateful, Lord. I’m leaning in. I love You.

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One thought on “How to Live with the Unknowns

  1. Reblogged this on Beauty Runs Deep and commented:

    I keep coming back to these thoughts on HOW TO LIVE WITH THE UNKNOWNS, on how to hold questions in one hand and wisdom in the other. Turns out, both are promised to us. So there must be a way to live with the tension and mystery of the kingdom. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts – do you think God promises to answer our questions? How do you seek answers? What do you do with the un-answered? How comfortable are you with mystery?

    Like

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