Tag Archives: faith


Being an A student has its advantages. School was never that difficult. A college degree was attainable. I can usually learn new things fairly easily.

The disadvantage is the frustration when something isn’t easy to grasp. My intellect throws accusations at me. “What’s wrong?” “I should be smart enough to get this!” “Why can’t I understand?”

This arrogant path has led me to some dark alleys and dead ends spiritually. My pride in intelligence has been a stumbling block when I have attempted to rely on my own ability to comprehend the things of God. This list has included such simple matters as why God made everything in the universe work the way it does, including why He made the plan for our salvation that He did, what eternity will be like, how exactly the Trinity works, what things may we have misinterpreted and been doing wrong for centuries – and my brain spins on…

Surely, if I study more, ponder more deeply, and make use of my entire mental capacity, I can get it. If I can just get the right synapses to fire, it will all fall into place.

What arrogance!

Trying to comprehend the infinite with a finite mind. How frustrating. It’s beyond difficult. It’s impossible. It wasn’t even meant to be:

  • Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Romans 11:33
  • As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Ecclesiastes 11:5
  • How great is God – beyond our understanding! Job 36:26
  • God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. Job 37:5
  • A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way? Proverbs 20:24

God does reveal many things to us through His Word and His Spirit. He can increase our faith to help us accept those things which we cannot see. He can help us know Him and His will for us.

  • By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3
  • But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. Job 32:8
  • We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true – even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20

God has also given me what cognitive abilities I have, and can use those to help me understand Him and His ways.

  • I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Psalm 119:104
  • The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130

My part:

  • Accept that I cannot do this in my own strength
  • Accept that not all things are mine to know

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Leap of Faith

I was working out in my basement, which is equipped with two very large windows, complete with very large window wells. As I was jumping up and down from my stepper, I realized I had company. Someone was jumping along with me. A frog had hopped right into my window well, and now could not get out. It’s at least five feet deep, so I knew his little hops, no matter how mighty, were not going to cut it. Thus, unless I wanted him to end his days there, I would have to help him.

Out came the bucket. The well is large, but not big enough, I felt, for me to climb down there with him, within hopping distance of landing on me. I wanted to help him, not be his friend.

My solution: The bucket. Tie string to bucket. Lower bucket. Scoop up frog. Dump frog in pond 200 feet away.

Problem: Frog doesn’t like bucket. Frog hops away from bucket. I plop bucket around the well after him. He hops away.

This continued for a while. Sigh.

New solution: Shovel. Scoop up frog with shovel. Dump frog in pond 200 feet away.

Problem: Frog doesn’t like shovel. Space is barely wide enough to get a good angle for scooping.

Are my neighbors seeing this?

After many, many, MANY attempts, I finally climbed down the ladder to get a better angle. My fear was reaching shoulder level with the frog-filled shovel and receiving a face full of webbed feet.

After a few miss-scoops, it finally worked. I alley-ooped him up out of the well, then followed him up. I scooped him up again from the grass, quickly walked him over to the pond, and slid him off the shovel at the bank.

Have a nice life, little guy. And don’t come back!

Now, I’m left thinking. I’m sure the frog wanted out of there. He must have realized there was no food or water, and he would die, right? Or maybe not. He obviously couldn’t tell I was trying to help him, or he wouldn’t have fought me so.

Can you see where I’m going with this? Yep, I’m the frog. You’re the frog. We’re all frogs, at least at one time or another. Ribbit.

We don’t realize we’re in trouble. Or, we are sure our “mighty” hops are going to get us out, if we just – keep – jumping!

God extends the bucket. God reaches in with a shovel. He even goes so far as to climb down into the world with us to save us. But, like the frog with the fly-sized brain, we don’t see it. We see threat instead of rescue, or help we don’t want. Why? Wasn’t the frog much better off after I was finally able to help him? Of course. But he did not realize this from his vantage point. His automatic response was to flee. We can be so stubborn, blind, rebellious, and more. If we realize that God is trying to help us, we’ll end up much better off too. We have to trust.

At one point, I was tempted to just forget it. He could stay there. If he didn’t want out, he would suffer his fate. But, I decided to keep trying. I finally succeeded by forcing my will on him.

God won’t. He wants to save us. He doesn’t want to leave anyone in the well. He will continue to extend the bucket and shovel, but we have to hop on.