By My Own Understanding

By Sally Ann McLean

There are a number of concepts I do not understand; and, as long as those concepts are things I can do nothing about, I try not to worry about them. For example, the concept of man-made flight seems improbable to me.

Computer drawing of an airliner. Induced drag coefficient equals lift coefficient squared divided by pi times aspect ratio times efficiency factor.

The dynamics of flight have been explained to me several times over, but that doesn’t mean that a level of understanding on my part was ever reached. A simple formula is at work here, I’m told: F = m x a, Force equals mass times acceleration. Norm, a former pilot, tried another tack: the power of thrust and lift overcomes the problem of weight and drag.

I still do not understand how airplanes can get off the ground, but I believe it is true that they can. Not only have I seen airplanes in flight, I have even flown in them. Even if I did not have those experiences behind my belief, I would still believe Norm – he is trustworthy, he is as good as his word. It is enough that Norm and his fellow pilots (and aeronautical engineers and mechanics, of course) understand how and why airplanes fly.
I do not need to understand, only to trust.

There are many concepts in the Bible that are beyond my comprehension, as well. We are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. Our Lord was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus the Christ died for our sins. We are justified by grace through faith. My lack of comprehension has no bearing on their believability, however; the truth of these concepts is not a matter of question or of worry for me. I believe the apostles to have been credible and trustworthy witnesses. Jesus himself spoke to these issues.
It is his Word that allows me to believe.

So, by grace, the combination of faith and trust overcomes the lack of knowledge and understanding. Martin Luther put it so well when he wrote his explanation of the third article of the Apostle’s Creed.
And that is enough for me.

I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort
believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him.
But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel,
enlightened me with his gifts,
and sanctified and kept me in true faith.


  1. juanita bond says

    Truth is Truth….it will not change whether we believe it or not. Some how this is comforting to think…..ok don’t trust…..the Truth will still be there…..and it will still be the same….what truth sustains me??
    ” Be still and KNOW that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
    cut out the mind chatter, still your thoughts and just be……knowing that the Holy Spirit is at work in and through you.
    and remember to be grateful…..thank you Father God!!

  2. Elaine says

    I believe, Lord help my unbelief. God has proved himself to me over and over and I know I can trust Him.

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