Adam Tisdale

September 11, 2023

“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

Why? A familiar question. It may come from a three-year-old trying to make sense of their gradually enlarging world or a thirty-six-year old diagnosed with cancer.

Humanity’s quest for answers to the whys of the universe has spurred us on to exploration and innovation. But it can also be a thin veneer over our desire to master our own domains and be gods unto ourselves, trying to throw off what we think are the shackles of our Creator.

Strange Comfort
When I do not understand the world and the whys have piled up within my soul, Deuteronomy 29:29 often springs to mind. There is a strange comfort in knowing that I won’t know everything. I can’t know everything—including why I was that thirty-six-year old who suffered tremendously with a completely unexpected and aggressive cancer diagnosis. I won’t know everything.

There is a strange comfort when I hear the exasperation of church members, or others in the community, as they seek to make sense of what is often inexplicable. Yes, I have a host of answers in scripture to turn to, and that is often appropriate. We are not without a multitude of answers and still we find ourselves flummoxed by any number of circumstances we do not and cannot understand—the meanings of which are hidden from us within the sovereignty of our LORD.

I trust there are reasons we will not be able to understand—maybe never—because they belong to the LORD our God. And this is a strange comfort.

Sweet Comfort
But what sweet comfort there is in knowing the Lord, who has revealed Himself to His people. He owes us nothing. And yet, he has revealed Himself to us. A comfort that is for generation to generation and was not revealed because we have been good or bright enough or even followed well enough. But because He wants us to know Him and promised that we would.

The Lord has provided a tapestry of His grace in the Bible. Our most urgent needs are addressed, especially as they relate to sin and death and all that we most need to know or have in order to follow Him faithfully in this world of danger and trouble. We are not left groping in darkness trying to figure out what it means to follow the Lord. He has revealed this to us in His Word.

The PCA’s Comfort
This is our comfort too as a denomination walking into an unknown future; we rejoice in the comfort that our Lord knows all things—that He is God and we are not. We also rejoice in how much He has graciously revealed to us. We find that grace is the fire we need to maintain our commitment to being a denomination that is faithful to the Scriptures.

TE Adam Tisdale is the Pastor of North Hills Presbyterian Church in Meridianville, AL and the Stated Clerk of Providence Presbytery.