Do gnats expect to drink in the ocean?


As well might a gnat seek drink in the ocean, as a finite creature to comprehend the Eternal God. A God whom we could understand would be no God. If we could grasp Him, He could not be infinite. If we could understand Him, He could not be divine.

C.H. Spurgeon

I don’t think gnats wallow in self-pity because they can’t drink in the ocean. I don’t think they sulk or shake their gnat-fists toward heaven because they’re too small to wrestle with the vastness of ocean waves.

We could learn from gnats.

When we reach moments of understanding-deficit and comprehension-neediness, we can thrash about in anger and disbelief, or we can refuse to shake our fist. When we realize we’re too small to drink from parts of God’s ocean of wisdom, we can instead:

  • humbly pray
  • gladly bow
  • thankfully worship
  • intentionally trust
  • and honor God by just plain submitting.

We can remind ourselves that He sets protective limits, all for our good. Knowing what we really need, and the limits of our finite minds and hearts, He withholds from His child what His child could not understand or control or grasp. He only withholds because He loves with forever love, divine love, infinite and incomprehensible love.

Gnat logic

If I were a gnat merrily on my way to take a drink in the ocean, I hope I’d appreciate the One who cared enough to snatch me from its crushing waves. If I were a wise gnat, I’d not resent my Rescuer. I’d instead, in humility and amazement, find my heart brimming with thanks. I’d burst with joy that One so incomprehensibly larger than myself had shown up in my life.

I’d hopefully spend the rest of my little gnat life committed to following my Rescuer. I’d listen to all of His words I could comprehend and I’d try to obey, for I’d know that One who was incomprehensible, yet still deemed to open windows of understanding for me, was the One to give my life to.

I’d be glad I couldn’t understand all, because if I could understand all, then He’d not be God. And if He wasn’t God, He’d have let me drink in the ocean. And if He’d let me try to drink in the ocean, one thing would have happened.

I’d have drowned.



About Jill

I'm a wife, mom to three beautiful children, and work as children's ministry director at Redeemer PCA in Athens, GA, a place our family treasures as our church home. It's been thirty years since the Lord saved me, and to this day I'm astounded at His steadfast love shed upon unfaithful me. My hope would be that I might speak and write in ways God would use to soften hearts toward Him, that we would together be enamored by the glorious beauty of Jesus and awakened to His love unimagined. Thanks so much for reading!
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2 Responses to Do gnats expect to drink in the ocean?

  1. Laura says:

    “Shake their gnat fists” – joy in your wisdom. How real!!! I needed that reminder that I do not need to drink the ocean:) Love you.

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