Solving a Mystery

The basis of any good detective story is seeking to understand why. Digging deep into the past, sorting through the intricacies of the present and hypothesizing how the perpetrator hopes to influence the future are the foundations of any good Who Done It? Without these, all we have is a beginning and an end that lack depth and ultimately leave us unfulfilled. To know what happened and who did it is nothing without the why. But what if you were never told the why? What if you knew what happened, knew the history before it happened, knew who did it but never found out anything more than it was the right of that character to do it that way? So unsatisfying. So unfulfilling. So irritating.

We are naturally curious beings so sometimes we create an explanation so that we can live with some sort of certainty to fill the void even if we didn’t really know for sure why it happened. How long before our hypothetical explanation becomes the most probable reason? How long after that does it become the accepted truth? How long before the mystery is considered solved based around the most probable explanation we can come up with? It really doesn’t matter as long as we are no longer confronted by the unexplained. So long as we are no longer left with a mystery.

The God given desire to seek answers?

I am incomplete on my own. I would not know this if God had not placed in me the desire to connect with Him and placed all around me clues to His existence. That being said, Satan, the father of lies, takes the holy and perfect plan of God and perverts it for his own gain. It is the oldest profession. I know we have been led to believe otherwise but if your profession is your job then Satan has been taking what God intends for good and twisting it for his purposes since the garden. God created us to avoid wrong and embrace what is right. Satan took the role of God, revealer of right and wrong, and tempted Eve to be the one who knew good and evil. In each one of us is the need to know what is right and what is wrong however God planned to be the one who revealed this so that we would rely on His perfect discernment not our own imperfect attempts to distinguish between the two.

It didn’t stop in the garden.

The further away we get from the introduction of sin into the lives of God’s creation, the further we get from God as the one who provides the answers. The further we get from God the more reliant we are on our own answers. The more we rely on our own abilities to answer the more we recognize that if we can’t answer we can’t feel safe because we have nothing and no one to trust in the absence of answers. And so the perversion of the God given desire to seek leaches into every part of our lives. The evil plan of Satan that started with convincing Eve that she must know good from evil now leaves us seeking to know, to explain what cannot be fully known what cannot be fully explained, God’s ways.

Is it God or Satan that drives our need to solve the mystery?

When it comes to a great novel, movie or even real life crime, enjoy your intrigue. Let your curiosity push you to find out more. Continue to be unsatisfied until you know who done it and why?  When it comes to your faith there are things that should remain a mystery. God is calling us to know Him, to understand His ways. I can find no fault in the desire to know what God is calling us to do, in searching the scripture to find what is right in His eyes and what is wrong. At some point we must stop. Just like in the garden Satan is trying to pervert our God given needs. Through his lies Satan is trying to convince us that we can truly fathom what God has done, is doing and will do based on the doctrines we create because Satan wants us to think we can figure it all out.

What is wrong with mystery?

Somewhere we went from “my [God’s] thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my [God’s] ways, declares the Lord Isaiah 55:3 (NIV) to declaring we know how God works as we join forces with other Calvinists or Arminianists or proudly state how we know all about the end times or can fully define the workings of God’s Spirit. Camped out in our armies with our carefully selected Bible verses as ammunition and our favourite pastors and theologians as shields against the opposition, we wage war on other Christians. Satan is overjoyed by our arrogance, he rejoices in our belief that we have it all figured out. Once again he has tricked God’s creation into thinking that they can know all they need to know sidelining God and making human knowledge all powerful.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes3:11 (NIV)

I love a good mystery but I must remember not all mysteries need to be or can be solved. Do I trust God’s perfection enough to let the way He chooses to work remain a mystery?


  1. As a short story writer, I can relate to the idea of seeking to understand the why in a story. The desire to solve a mystery is what drives the plot and keeps the reader engaged. But, as the post points out, it’s important to remember that some things may remain a mystery. In our faith, it’s important to seek understanding but also to accept that there may be aspects of God’s plan that we may never fully understand. The idea of embracing mystery in our faith adds an element of intrigue and keeps us on our toes, constantly seeking to know more about our creator.

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