Sent: February 28, 2002
Subject: God is Not An Elephant
Good Morning Ethan & Emily:
Yesterday I was reminded in my morning study time about the well-known fable about six blind men that determine to learn about elephants by touching the elephant’s body. One touched the elephant’s leg and exclaimed: “It’s like a tree.” Another man touched the broad side of the elephant and countered: “No, it’s like a huge blank wall.” Another touched the tail and said: “No, you’re all wrong, an elephant is like a rope.” And touching the trunk of the elephant, another dogmatically declared: “No, no…it’s like a snake!” This continued until all six gave their descriptions. Each dogmatically stood by their description…not understanding at all that they were all partly right…and yet all wrong in their understanding of what an elephant looked like.
I’m afraid that so often this is how many people form their opinion of God and how they view Him. They limit God in size and description because they apply “blinders” and limit God with their prejudices, doubts, opinion, and limitations.
We serve a great God…a God without limitation and size. In fact, our minds cannot fully comprehend all that God is…but we can be assured He will be as big in our lives as we make Him.
As opposed to these blind men in the fable, let us not limit God by trying to “feel” Him, but let us trust His Word, step back, and take in the full view. With a clear understanding of the majesty of God, Paul confidently declared: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). And who would know God better and know what He was like better than the angel Gabriel who told Mary not to worry or doubt…”For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)
God is not an elephant that can be described by looking at any one aspect of His character or by evaluating any of His actions. He is limitless, and He wants to accomplish more than we could ever imagine in our lives.
Your mother’s and my prayer for you reflects the words of Paul who in speaking to the Colossian and Thessalonian believers said: “…we have continued praying for you…We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what He wants to do in your lives, and we ask Him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom.” (Col. 1:9) “May the Lord bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and the endurance that comes from Christ.” (2 Thess. 3:5)
Don’t limit God. Don’t try to envision or understand Him by “touching,” “feeling”…or by any sensory evaluation. When you do, you are acting like one of the blind men in the fable and reducing God, in a very real sense, to the form and limitations of an elephant!
May this never be so in your life! Live each day in the “all things” and “nothing is impossible” potentials of what…and who God is!
Have a great day.
I love you,