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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expand (07/18/13)

TITLE: See the Whole Elephant
By Ron Barnes


The Bible tells us that God created man in His image. Unfortunately, we keep trying to create God in our image. For example, we humans cannot move backwards or forward in time. Many religions preach that God has the same limitation. He has to wait and see what we will do before deciding what He will do. But God does not play by our rules. We do not get to decide what God can or cannot do.

There is a very famous poem called “The Six Blind Men and the Elephant”. In the poem, six blind men try to describe an elephant by touching certain parts of it. The one who touches the elephant’s side says it is like a wall. The one who feels the leg says it is like a tree trunk. The one who touches the tusk says it is like a spear. The one who grabs the tail says it is like a rope. The one who feels trunk says it is like a snake. And the one who feels the ear says it is like a palm leaf.

1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known”. We are like the six blind men. We grasp a part of God and claim we know all of Him. But God is bigger than our understanding of Him. To truly understand God, we would have to be able to see through his eyes, which can see beyond our limited concept of space and time. We would have to have a mind with all the wisdom in the universe. Obviously, this is not going to happen in our lifetime.

The good news is we may be getting there. As we expand our understanding of God’s universe, we expand our understanding of God’s true majesty. The people of Biblical times saw the universe as a flat disk covered by a dome. We now know that God’s universe is much bigger than that. The people of Biblical times thought that everything was made of earth, wind, fire and water. We are now able to know the many different molecules and atoms which make up our world and even the smaller parts which make up these atoms.

As we expand our knowledge of God’s universe, we can also expand our appreciation of how God’s Spirit is present in every part of that universe. As we learn more about the wonders of the heavens, we can appreciate the power which created those wonders. As we learn more about the matter and energy which make up everything in our world, we can feel the presence of God in every particle. Although we still have a long way to go, I believe we are growing toward what our Father intended when He created us.

And hopefully, some day we will be able to expand our vision and understanding to see the whole elephant.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 261 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Larry Whittington07/25/13
Your first two sentences are a good opening and points to the direction you want to go.

When out vision of God is not clear to us we may expect different that what God knows is best for us.

Good thoughts that should help direct our thinking when we don't receive what we though we would get.
Jan Ackerson 07/25/13
This article has a great title that will draw readers in.

The devotional itself could benefit from a more personal touch; as it is, it reads as somewhat dry and academic.

Your writing skills are strong and show great promise.
Brenda Rice 07/29/13
The lines from the poem are a great illustration for all of us. We certainly can't go by what we feel.

Your knowledge of the Bible is obvious and you have a strong style. I agree with the comment from another reviewer, but all that mean is...relax. Relax your style and have fun creatively with the topic each week.

Thanks for sharing and keep on writing.
Jody Day 07/30/13
Great treatment of the topic and a wonderful devotional. Good job.
Virgil Youngblood 07/30/13
A title that invites the reader in and a devotional that did not disappoint. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/30/13
This is quite interesting. I've never heard of that poem (make sure you cite the author in a footnote) but you do a nice job of explaining it. I found myself nodding my head in agreement as I read on. You made some excellent points and covered the topic nicely.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/01/13
Congratulations for ranking 9th in your level!! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards) I'm glad you ranked in the top half of level one, I enjoyed this story.