Friday, September 2, 2022

Mystified by God - Martin Wiles

"What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” John 3:4 NLT

My wife and I were both mystified.

“Where’s my key fob?” I asked her one day when I needed it to unlock her car.

“I don’t know. You had it last.”

Then came the mystery. Two weeks earlier, we had attended a teacher’s conference in Concord, North Carolina. I don’t usually carry the remote for her car because I rarely drive her car and because I detest the large bulk in my pocket. But this time, she wanted me to carry it—in case she lost hers.

I used my fob to drive to the conference, but when we arrived, I gave it to her. Where she put it—or where I put it—I couldn’t remember. I thought I had placed it in my backpack. The conference happened, and we returned home.

One week later, I needed the fob again, which wasn’t on my dresser where I usually kept it. That’s when I asked her where it was. I searched our suitcase. Nothing. I searched my backpack. Nothing. I looked in every pair of pants I had worn. Still nothing. I checked the case where we carried our toiletries. No dice. My wife swore she didn’t have it. She had given it back to me. Every few days, I’d look somewhere else—to no avail.

Another week passed, and my wife texted me a picture of two fobs sitting side by side. “Want to guess where I found it?” she asked.

I knew the answer—I had figured it all along but hadn’t said anything to avoid an argument. “Your pocketbook?”

Her pocketbook is so large she could hide the kitchen sink in it, but I wasn’t going to ask her to look. In searching for something else, she had solved the mystery.

Nicodemus was mystified for another reason. Jesus told him he needed to be born again. He couldn’t understand how a person could reenter their mother’s womb and do that. Jesus, of course, had a spiritual concept in mind.

The Bible shares the results of our being born again: forgiveness, acceptance into God’s family, abundant living. But the process is a mystery. 

How exactly God does all this remains mysterious. How He changes our natures. How He gives us new desires. How we suddenly want to obey Him rather than disobey Him. How we find ourselves aching inside when we do or say something wrong.

This mystery will remain until perhaps God explains it in eternity. But, in the meantime, we can enjoy the results of experiencing it—and invite others to share it also.

Learn to be mystified by God by enjoying the fruits of the mysterious new birth.

Prayer: Father, though mystified, we praise You for performing Your new births. 

Tweetable: Have you been mystified by God? 

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