Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
8:18

Mystery revealed

Mystery revealed

This is the perfect place to make mysterious.

If only the weather had cooperated.  Drat that sun.

Planning out a long drive home, I saw on the map a historic house named Grey Towers.  It’s the property of a former governor and not the castle home of J.R.R. Tolkien, which the name suggests.  Darn.

But, still, it seems like the perfect place to capture some moody images.

It’s funny how we equate mystery with creepiness.  I suppose that’s because we often attach murder to the concept.  Then, to solve a mystery is to untie the knot of a crime committed.  It is to navigate through the ruses and lies to find the culprit, lurking in the shadows.

That sleuthing is often left to one individual, that gifted detective, who alone can put the puzzle pieces together.

This is not how the Bible portrays mystery.  In Scripture, particularly in Paul’s writing, a mystery is not something for man to decipher but a reality for God to reveal, either in the present or the future.  Paul, for instance, calls it:

the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Colossians 1:26–27, ESV)

This long run-up is pictured perfectly for me by a dramatic strip of a pool in a garden.  It took ages for God to uncover his answer to the great conundrum: how would the sinful nations (and for that matter, his disobedient people) ever be brought into his righteous kingdom?  The answer, of course, is Jesus.

Through his death and resurrection, Christ can indwell even the Gentiles (the you in “Christ in you”).

At the end of the garden is a strange house.  Called the Bait Box, it is a playhouse the governor built for his only son.  (The name refers to their love of fishing.)  It looks more like a mausoleum than a fun hideout.

Of course, the door is locked.

I think about the mysteries that remain in my life.  I’ve walked the long approach to the answer, only to find myself waiting at the door.  At times, I find myself playing the sleuth.  And God does indeed expect us to act on the truth he’s already unveiled.

But what about the remaining questions?

Nearby, there is a patio with an amazing trellis overhead.  In the center oval, the sky breaks through in brilliant blue.  I have captured, in my slightly somber monochrome images, our common concept of mystery.  But here, in living color, is the Biblical reality.

We work, we speculate, we wonder, we discuss.  But ultimately, God reveals.

That revelation is what every life – indeed, all of history – is moving toward.

Jesus, you are the mystery of God, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  When we are burdened by our personal mysteries, teach us to turn to you.  For through you, all unknowns will ultimately be known.

Reader: I’m just curious – what’s your mystery?  What’s the riddle you’re waiting for God to reveal the answer to?

Email me about it at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. And consider sharing this with friends via the social media buttons above.

Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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