In The Wizard of Oz then the Scarecrow wanted a brain. He wanted a brain so badly that he was willing to risk life and limb and follow the yellow brick road all the way to the Emerald City in the Land of Oz to ask the Wizard for one. And if you know the story, then you know that in the end, after Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodsman, and the Scarecrow brought the Wizard the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West, that the Wizard granted them their wishes. Well sort of. The Wizard, with all his wizardly wisdom told the Scarecrow that he didn’t need a brain. The Wizard said that brains are “mediocre commodities,” so instead of a brain the Wizard conferred upon the Scarecrow what he really needed, the honorary degree of ThD, known better as a Doctor of Thinkology.
So just what is the brain? The is the part of our central nervous system that controls functions, movements, sensations, and thoughts, as well as our ability to think and reason. Your brain is what helps you know that 2+2=4 or that the stove burner is hot when glowing orange. It controls your arms and hands and allows you to clap after watching a good play. It helps you sense danger or tells you when you are falling in love. In general, your brain is the engine behind everything you do and say.
And sometimes, since we are rational and logical by nature, we tend to only want to believe things that we can see, touch, smell, taste or hear. You have probably said it yourself, “I will believe it when I see it.” Our rational and logical thinking processes works well for most things in life, but in one area of life we are called to believe before we see. The area we are referring to is faith in God. We can’t see faith, or touch faith, or smell faith, nor can we taste it or hear it, yet the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 that, “For we live by faith, not by sight.”
Think of it like this. Every time you step out of your car you trust in something you cannot see. You cannot see gravity but you trust that the force that keeps your feet on the ground works so that you don’t end up floating in outer space. Or that when you jump off the diving board that you will end up splashing into the water not dangling from a tree.
God calls us to trust Him and to have faith in Him. He calls us to believe Him and His promises, even when from our point of view it just doesn’t add up. We only see to the horizon. We can only “see” as far as our rational and logical brains allow us to see. But God, He knows yesterday, today, tomorrow, and yes, even the day after tomorrow. Faith is believing that God has a plan, that you are in that plan, and that He is in control of all situations and circumstances.
When we try to overthink God and God’s Ways it often causes doubt and skepticism because God and His ways do not always make sense to us, it usually runs counter to our logical ways of thinking. Faith in God comes not from seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing or touching but rather, from the confidence that God knows you and cares for you. Hebrews 11:1 puts it this way, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (NLT).”
Martin Luther King, Jr. said this, “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
So as you look to 2016, ask God to grow your faith so you can trust Him in all things. You don’t need the Scarecrow’s ThD to grow in faith.
New Bern, North Carolina