Although it may come as a bit of a shock to many here at RGC, I’ve always been very cerebral. My mind never rests, constantly wrestling with questions of varying nature: social, political, theological — whatever the poison, my mind is drinking it by the bucket. Deuteronomy 29:29 has therefore always been one of the most frustrating verses to me simply because, as someone who wants so badly and strives to understand everything that I can, it’s difficult to accept that there are things that belong to God and God alone; mysteries into which I may never, for all eternity, be given insight. If this sounds like a commendable trait, you are very gracious. If you see the pride and lack of trust in the Savior that it implies, you are very discerning. Often, I get tied up in the first part of the verse that I forget that the majority of that verse tells me that that which has been revealed belongs to me, to us, forever and for a purpose: so that we may do all the words of the Law.
Either I am a brain absent a body, only seeking knowledge, or I am a body absent a brain, doing without understanding. In either case, frustration has been my only reward.
Granted that the Law has been fulfilled by Christ, as of the past year, I’ve been hit repeatedly by the connection of mind to body. We receive knowledge of who God is by faith, revealed by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit then gives us understanding and from which should spring consequent action. Yet so much of the past year has been filled with me trying desperately, feverishly even, to do one without the other. Either I am a brain absent a body, only seeking knowledge, or I am a body absent a brain, doing without understanding. In either case, frustration has been my only reward.
The way it’s played out is always, “why did this happen? Why am I going through heartbreak, frustration, fear, anxiety, whatever?” followed by “well, maybe if I do, do, do, I can fight my way out of X, Y, and Z.” It seems only recently that understanding — TRUE understanding — has begun to sink in. Why do these things happen? Why do I seem to be met with loneliness and failure at every juncture?
Nothing Else Will Matter
The secret things belong unto the LORD our God. I don’t need to know why. The incessant need to know why, to know exactly what end suffering and even blessing will achieve is only an ill-fated and thinly veiled attempt to be in control, to replace God. Instead, it is my struggle now to believe and trust that He is good and that because He is good, He has provided for me all that I need and more. I have already been given revelation beyond what the saints of old were given and it has been given to me to keep, so that I can be obedient and faithful. I’ve begun to learn that nothing matters save this alone: to stand before God blameless with great joy at the onset of that Last Day, and to hear “well done, good and faithful servant.” All of life’s goals can be boiled down into these two future realities. And in the face of that joy, that supreme joy which surpasses all understanding and brings peace above and beyond what anything in this life could amass, nothing else will matter. It won’t matter if I was married or not (which is a big deal for young men and women), just as it won’t matter how much or how little money I made (which is a big deal for everyone); I’ll have Jesus forever. Having Jesus forever means that at the doorstep of eternity, I won’t ever look back and say, “thanks Jesus for dying for me, but boy I wish I could have done this or been that or had this or experienced that before, you know, I got to enter into my Master’s rest.”
So what have I learned? There might always be pain in store for me. Poverty might always be my possession. Uncertainty and mystery need not keep me up at night. Struggles with sin and pride will always be constant. But so what? What’s truly important is to continue fighting for faithfulness, for obedience, and to know that as constant as the struggle is, our Heavenly Father is yet more so and it will be Him who makes me able to stand in the presence of God’s glory blameless with great joy when at long last I enter my Master’s rest.