My wife and I like reading mystery novels. It is enjoyable reading all the clues as the story unfolds, attempting to determine before the big reveal at the end who the culprit is. Sometimes we are correct; other times we are way off the track.
People love to solve mysteries. There is a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment when all is revealed. However, if the answer is left hanging, or if the mystery remains unsolved, there is a sense of frustration.
Since the onset of scientific reasoning centuries ago, people expect to have answers to every question that arises. Science has answered many questions. The intricacies of DNA and genetics, the exploration of the vastness of the universe, medical advances, and technology are all wonderful. Delving deep into the questions and mysteries of life has brought about fantastic answers and advancement to humanity.
Mystery after mystery has been solved. With the solving of one mystery, more questions arise that beg to be answered. People keep researching and digging deeper until answers are found.
Some people are relentless in their pursuit of answers, with the exception of one mystery. It has baffled scientific minds for generations, and its answer defies logical conclusions and eludes scientific method. It is a mystery that cannot be solved through hypothesis, research, experimentation, and results.
This mystery is God.
God cannot be put into a test tube, placed under a microscope, or dissected with a scalpel. God cannot be figured out and then pigeonholed to fit neatly into the vast data banks of scientific knowledge.
Because God defies all scientific and logical examination, many refuse to believe in him. He does not fit into the nice, neat, tidy boxes where so many want to place so much of life, checking off those things that have been understood and, in essence, conquered.
God is a mystery. God will never be fully understood, or fit into a nice, neat package tied up with a bow. That is one of the great aspects of our Creator.
However, God does reveal more and more of himself as people grow in faith and understand in their mind and heart how God is presently acting in their life.
The more we experience God, the more we learn. The more we learn, the more we understand. And the more we understand, the easier and more exciting it is to live without having all the answers.
Don't expect God to fit into your expectations of who he is or what he does or will do. That will severely limit your experience of him. Allow yourself to live with the fact that God is a wonderful mystery beyond your comprehension, and rejoice in the freedom that not having all the answers brings.
Science says, "Open your mind to the possibilities," except when it comes to experiencing God. Faith says, "Open your mind to the possibilities," especially when it comes to experiencing God.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.