One of my dear friends in New York got engaged on Sunday night. But, two days before that, it was looking like she and her boyfriend might not make it.
On Friday night, my friend Jill knew that something was “off” with her boyfriend Jack. He was acting strangely on the phone and thought he was lying to her. When she asked what he was doing, he said, “Nothing.” When she asked where he was, he said, “Walking around and heading home.” But, she heard a woman’s voice in the background and lots of noise. Then, after telling her that he’d call when he got home, he didn’t call until 4 am.
What Jill didn’t know was that Jack was on a layover in the Dallas airport on his way to her parents’ house in South Carolina to ask her father for permission to marry her. The woman’s voice that Jill heard was the airport announcer’s voice. Jack called at 4 am because, due to delayed flights, he was spending the night on the airport floor. On Saturday, after he asked her dad for permission, he boarded a flight again and headed up to New York with the ring in his pocket.
In planning for the proposal, Jack did not miss one step. He sought out a beautiful ring, planned a diversion for Jill on Sunday night, and made reservations at an old Rockefeller home upstate for dinner. He did all of this out of his immense love for Jill and his desire to surprise her.
Yet, she doubted him. And, for seemingly good reason. After all, he was lying to her.
How often is this the story of our relationship with the Lord? He longs to lavish us with his love and, in order to surprise us (or because we wouldn’t understand anyway), he keeps things hidden. And, yet, we get frustrated because we don’t have the entire picture and we want to know NOW. Yet, in Deuteronomy 29:29, we read,
The secret things belong to the LORD our God. NIV.
The secret things belong to the Lord because he understands how every single movement on this earth has a ripple effect throughout time and he can see how those ripple effects impact eternity. So often, when something happens to me, I try to make heads or tails of it and, although I may come up with one or two reasons, God has a million reasons for how that particular situation is going to turn out the way that it will. My pea brain wouldn’t be able to understand it even if he tried to explain it to me!
What is the lesson? We should be extremely slow in indicting the Lord with bad purposes or with a lack of love for us. Just like Jack had his own secrets from Jill that were meant to shower her with love, God has the same secret things with the same purposes. And, these secret things belong – not to us – but to him, so that he can disseminate at the proper moment. And, how loved we will be when he presents us – not with a ring – but a crown!
*I used fictitious names to protect the innocent lovebirds!