What is a secret?
It is hidden knowledge kept from or by someone. Maybe it’s a surprise birthday party! Maybe it is that strange-shaped package under the Christmas tree.
Sometimes we need a lot of help in keeping a secret or help to keep from trying to discover other people’s secrets. My Grandma Knight was one of the most vibrant, excited-to-see-you women I have ever known, and she couldn’t keep a secret to save her life. At a turning point in her health when sugar was restricted, she giggled one day when I came over as she pointed to her secret stash of sweets hidden behind the cornstarch and flour.
“Grandma! What big chocolate bars you have!”
“Shhhh, don’t tell your mother. Hee hee hee!”
I told my mother. (But hey, I was 10!)
What the Bible Says about Secrets
In the Old Testament, we learn that some things God wants us to know, some things he doesn’t.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” —Deuteronomy 29:29.
What was the very first secret God kept from mankind? In the Garden of Eden, God, because of his kindness and mercy, hid knowledge of good and evil from Adam and Eve. It was not theirs to know, and when they ate of the tree, they became consumed with the burden of sin. They devoured the tasty fruit. But that fruit turned around and devoured their life of perfect communion with God.
There is other information that God keeps a secret. He knew us before we knew him. (Psalm 139) He knows how long we are going to live. (Job 14:5). Can you think of others?
While there is a lot we don’t know, the Lord has let us in on His biggest secret ever, the thing that “many prophets and righteous people longed to see and hear.” The prophets really tried to find out when Jesus would come and suffer (1 Peter 1:11). It just wasn’t their time. But the disciples saw and heard Jesus face to face! You and I see and hear about him through the Bible.
Waiting on Secrets
The Israelites waited a long time for this secret to be told to them. It’s hard to wait, but waiting on things such as that college acceptance letter gives us a tiny taste of what it would have been like for the Israelites’ long, long, long wait for their promised savior, their promised king.
Do you like to wait? What makes it hard about waiting on these secret things? Do you go looking for presents in closets? I don’t mind waiting to get a cavity filled, but it is very hard to wait to open a present.
Often it’s not the waiting that is so hard but the not knowing what we are waiting for that is hard. It is hard to wait for your older children to come home from college but at least you know the day. For military wives, it is very hard not knowing when their husband will come home from deployment. Especially as that date changes again and again.
Secret of the Holy Spirit’s Help
There are a lot of unknowns in our days, and some require more strength than others. But a hidden thing that God has so kindly revealed is that we will have help. He says in John 14 27: “The Holy Spirit is the Helper.”
And there is no request too small for the Lord’s concern. I don’t know what is for dinner tonight. “Help.” I don’t know how to resolve this conflict. “Help, me Lord.” My friend is sad but she can’t tell me why. “Help her. Help me help her.”
We don’t know if tomorrow is going to be a good day or a bad day but we do know that the “Spirit abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:19).
Aren’t you glad God hasn’t kept that a secret?
Kelli Clifford is a seminary graduate, pastor’s wife, and mom to three little ones in the Washington, D.C. area. A lover of words, she also serves as social-media coordinator for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and blogs at The Drinking Rock. (And if you’re a close friend, she cheers you up with daily puntastic posts on Facebook.)