Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Living Inside the Mystery

     You know how sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't explain some things?  When I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, people said some pretty crazy stuff and asked some pretty crazy questions.  Some people didn't know what to say and stayed away.  One question I got asked a lot was "Why do you suppose you got cancer?"  My response was "Why not me?"  It was hard for me to explain to people why I didn't feel like I should be immune to a life threatening illness.  My relationship with Christ and the incredible family and friends he blessed me with are what helped me make it through.  I remember a few friends being upset because I wasn't healed like they thought I should have been.  We prayed; it should have happened...right?  It was hard for me to explain how I saw things: God is God and will remain God regardless of what happens.  His character never changes.  His love for me never changes. 
     A few weeks ago I was reading a fiction book, Canary Island Song,  by Robin Jones Gunn.  One of the characters, a one time, self-avowed "hard-core agnostic," described his salvation experience as "having to be willing to live inside the mystery." His explanation is such a nail-on-the-head description of simple faith.  With the author's permission (Thanks, Robin!), here's the quote by Bryan on page 180 of Canary Island Song:
"Some things in life will never make sense.  They won't be made right or explained.  at least in our lifetime.  They float around in a swirl of mystery.  I wanted God to explain all that mystery to me before I agreed to trust him.  But I discovered it doesn't work that way.  He is God, and he doesn't have to explain anything.  When I understood that, then I could surrender to Christ and step inside the mystery instead of stand back and resist."
    What a powerful faith statement from a fictional character.  Proof of how God uses the talents of people like Robin to minister. 
     During the past few weeks I've been constantly reminded of the importance of being willing to live inside the mystery.  How hard do you suppose it was for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be willing to live inside the mystery to the point of saying, "Our God is able to rescue us, but even if he doesn't we won't bow" and trust God with their fate? (Dainel 3)  I love how Ray Stedman put it in Adventuring through the Bible, "God is at work in human affairs, and anyone who sees beyond the visible to the invisible and acts accordingly will find that God provides all the strength and support that is required for success."
     Do you have any opportunities to live inside the mystery?  I recently ran across a quote by Corrie Ten Boom that sums up this post nicely:
"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off.  You sit still and trust the engineer."
     Let's trust the Engineer!

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