As John was leaving for church one Sunday morning, he grabbed his shoes by the front door and slipped them on. He came out to the kitchen and said,
“There’s something wrong with my shoes- one of them is too small!”
“What?! That can’t be…you wear them every Sunday!” I said.
“I know…but look. One is smaller than the other,” he said.
To my amazement, one shoe appeared to be a half-size smaller. After cogitating way too long, we laughed at the weirdness of this mystery, and he found another pair of dress shoes to wear that day.
Here’s another shoe mystery: I had a favorite pair of shoes in 1970 called Wallabies. They were genuine leather, came up to the ankle and went with everything- by “everything” I mean jeans- which was pretty much the only thing anyone wore back then. One morning, I got up and looked where I’d placed them the night before, near the foot of my bed, but they weren’t there. I searched everywhere and was nearly late for the bus. I never found them.
Mysteries. Life is full of them. Things that just don’t make sense. If we could view them from the top of the universe, we’d say, “Oooooh, so THAT’s what happened.” My husband John imagines heaven will have an IMAX screen in which we’ll see behind-the-scenes action films. Like, “This Was Your Life,” or “The REST of the Story” or “Solved Mysteries.” Until then, I trust.
It’s nothing much to ponder the small mysteries of disappearing shoes, but some of the biggies in life can really hang us up. Why did I lose our first-born, and another later on? Why were we the ones to witness a murder in that out-of-the-way place and as a result, have our lives threatened? Why have some of my dearly loved children struggled so? The list goes on and on.
Often our children did not understand our actions:
“That’s not fair!”
“Why CAN’T I do this?”
“OWWW! You’re HURTING me!” As I pull yet another redwood splinter from a little hand.
And, perhaps the hardest any parent faces:
“Can’t you bail me out just this once?”
Not necessarily from jail, but any number of other situations in which we allowed natural consequences to teach what we couldn’t. It did hurt us more than it hurt them- though I’m sure they weren’t convinced. And sometimes, it WASN’T fair for the one. But it was JUST in light of the ultimate goals for the family.
There’s a whole lot that simply does not make sense this side of heaven. Am I willing to admit I have a finite mind that will not and can not understand? Can I be content entrusting those unknowns to the God I do know? I expected it from my children, can I do the same as a child of God?
We solved the mystery of John’s shoes. Earlier in the week, we’d hosted a worship night at our house for a large group from our church. They all dropped their shoes at the door, and somebody accidentally took John’s shoe. That somebody had the larger shoe, and apparently hadn’t noticed the difference of a half size. We sent out an e-mail inquiry, but no one responded. The mystery was eventually solved, but it took awhile.
As for the other mystery, my shoes were never found. We lived in a very rural area, and I finally surmised some animal had come in and smelling the leather, had stolen them- maybe a raccoon?
So too, the Lord allows us to know the answer to some mysteries and we are privy to some secrets (though not nearly as many as I’d like), as we follow Him. It’s one of the many benefits of obeying His Word. More times than I can recount, we’ve been forewarned of thing to come, and instructed on what action to take.
For instance, I knew two years in advance John’s life would be threatened, but I didn’t know how. The action was to pray, which I did, but I also took things in my own hands and nagged John about his eating habits as I thought maybe the threat would be a heart-attack or something- which, in my case, is probably why the Lord keeps most things to Himself. I’d FREAK if I knew it all!
Lord, help me be content to act upon the mysteries You has revealed, and entrust You with all the rest.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.You are my friends if you do what I command.
I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t CONFIDE in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. John 15:13-15
The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. Duet. 29:29
But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 1 Cor. 2:10
You have heard my predictions and seen them fulfilled,
but you refuse to admit it.
Now I will tell you new things,
secrets you have not yet heard. Isaiah 48: 6