Small Beginnings: How well can you keep a secret?

Lisa Schappell

Secrets are tricky things arenít they? Sometimes we inadvertently become the owners of information that we arenít supposed to possess and then we are just as suddenly implored to keep it to ourselves. You know what Iím talking about. You are engaged in conversation with someone you know, a friend perhaps or a family member and out of the blue they begin sharing some confidential little juicy nugget of gossip about someone else. Before you can stuff your fingers in your attentive ears or run away protesting, you have the whole scoop memorized and then, you are sworn to not breathe a word of this to anyone else. The funny thing is, the original tale bearer was probably also sworn to secrecy, but that didnít work out so well did it?

Why is the keeping of such secrets so difficult for us at times? Something just makes us want to share the news whether it is good bad or indifferent. We tend to spill the beans, especially if the beans are somewhat scandalous. But there are other types of secrets that are not really gossip related but equally important to be kept. These secrets are connected to surprises like baby or bridal showers or sometimes birthday and anniversary parties. Celebrations that are being planned for some special occasion which include the element of surprise require a high level of secrecy. This is difficult to pull off at times. Especially if my husband is in on the secret. He is notorious for hating surprises and therefore he presumes that no one else wants to be surprised either so he is not a good accomplice to have if you want to keep something like this on the down low. Just leave well enough alone and keep him out of the loop if you want the greatest chance of keeping that secret under wraps.

We humans are not the only ones who keep secrets though. God himself began the practice of choosing to reveal certain information from his creation while at the same time withholding other details. He is the original secret keeper and let me tell you, his lips are sealed. No amount of begging or pleading or bribing will get him to reveal the things he chooses to conceal. What sort of things does God keep secret from us? Here are just a few things that quickly come to mind: the purpose of tragedy and suffering, the details about creation and the origin of our universe, the timetable for the future and what tomorrow holds. These are some of the most common things I believe people grapple with and stumble over as they sometimes question God and wish he would let us in on his secrets.

Why does he do this you might ask? Why does God choose to keep us in the dark about important things that impact our mortal lives and leave us with more questions than answers? The answer is faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Deuteronomy says this: The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. So God intentionally reveals enough truth to us to point us to himself and the rest he conceals so that we come to him in faith and trust him even when we do not possess all the details. God clearly operates on a need to know basis and whether we agree with his system or not, there are clearly some things about this life that he simply does not feel we need to know.

I am a simple person. I donít demand all the answers; though there are times I have asked some hard questions such as why now? And why him? The answers are closely guarded secrets because I still donít know. But the things I do know without a doubt include the fact that God is good, God is faithful, God is patient and God is merciful. God has revealed his character to me even in difficult moments so that is what I am holding on to. His secrets are safe with him. I will simply follow and trust.