Friday, January 14, 2011

The 29:29 File

Some times in life we have to "file things away" that we don’t totally understand, knowing that one day we will be able to open that file and understand it. This is true with simple things like our will, and even truer in our relationship with God.

Recently my wife and I had our wills redone, with the help of an attorney. I don’t totally understand all the legal language, but now that the wills are done, I have properly filed them away. One day in the future I may have to bring out the file, and then, with the help of an expert, I will be able to make sense of it all.

This is similar in our relationship with God. There will be some things in our journey with God that have to be filed away, knowing that in the future God will help us understand it all. I call this the 29:29 file. The 29:29 file is based on Deuteronomy 29:29 which says, “the secret things belong to the Lord, but the things revealed belong to man.” When I can’t make sense of something, I have to chalk it up as one of those “secret things” that God will reveal to me one day in the future, even if the day He reveals it to me ends up being in heaven.

The area of greatest perplexity and struggle for me is healing and death. Because Jesus performed so many acts of healing and God’s Word has many promises about prayer and healing, I believe God still heals today. I believe we are to boldly ask and believe God for healing when someone is sick. However, when you do this and a close friend dies, it can challenge your faith. When you see someone die of cancer at the age of 46 and leave behind a wife and two daughters, it can be hard to swallow. When you see someone in the prime of ministry taken from the mission field of life on earth, it can cause you to question, “Why?”

And yet, I have found that it isn’t fruitful to linger for long on the “why?” question. Some questions won’t be answered until we get to heaven because “now we see in a mirror dimly, then face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12). It is when the “why?” question is not answered that we need to file it in the 29:29 file. We do this by exercising faith in God’s sovereignty, goodness, and love (which the Bible repeatedly affirms) even when things happen that frustrate and disappoint us.

Someone wisely told me once, “Don’t doubt in the dark what God has clearly revealed in the light.” In other words, He has clearly revealed that He is in sovereign control (Mt. 5:45; Eph. 1:11), works all things together for good (Rom. 8:28), loves us with an inseparable love (Rom. 8:31-39), and uses tragedy and hardship to accomplish His purposes (Gen. 50:20) even when things happen that we do not understand or like.

What is it in your life that needs to be filed in the 29:29 file? It takes faith in God’s Word to do so, and when we do, He will give us supernatural peace and power to move on.