I was reminded today that the age of reasoned faith has passed and we are now living in the age of the Spirit…the age of mystery. And this means that the church needs to be not only ok with talking about the mystery of God, but encouraging to those who are longing to experience the mystery of God.
When I was younger (I know, some of you are thinking “Rebekah, you’re still young!”…but I mean 20 years ago – when I was in my late teens), I used to be scared of thinking of God as a mystery. I was at a time in my life when I needed to KNOW about God. I needed a strong, resolute, knowledge-based faith. And the last thing I wanted was anyone giving me room for doubt or for not-knowing or for not-having-all-the-answers. I was afraid of the mystery. (I love the line from the Caedmon’s Call song “Shifting Sands” that says: The only problem I have with these mysteries, is they’re so mysterious!)
But something has happened over the past 20 years. As I have journeyed forward in faith, and as God has been at work in my life, as I’ve grown up and as I’ve changed… I am no longer afraid of the mystery. The words “I don’t know” have become some of my favourite words. Maybe I’ve figured out that I don’t have it all figured out. Maybe I’ve figured out that it is ok that I don’t have it all figured out. Maybe I’ve realized that God doesn’t need me to have it all figured out. That I don’t have to have it all figured out, to still have faith.
Because God IS mysterious. He does things we don’t expect. His timing isn’t what we think it will be. If we think we’ve got it all figured out, we’re probably about to go into a serious faith crisis. Because sooner or later we will bump up against things that are bigger, tougher, and more confusing than anything we think we have figured out.
God is bigger than you and me, bigger than our plans, bigger than our solutions, bigger than our fears and bigger than our doubts. Bigger than the things we think we know.
Except for this one thing that I am absolutely, unshakably sure of: God loves me, and God loves you. And that one things is so powerful, that all the mystery in the universe cannot overcome it.
Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6:19-20 NIV