We have been talking about risks over the past few post and we have been looking at it from the view of Luke 8:43-48 which is the woman with the issue of blood. We looked at an illustration of a pumpkin in a jug in the first post which you can read here. We looked at in the last post the various fears we have which keep us from risking it all and you can read those here.
Today I want to share another illustration with you – one you might of heard before but one that is effective and showing how why we fail to take risks sometimes.
Elephants are pretty powerful creatures. They weigh in at as much as 24,000 pounds, and stand as high as thirteen feet tall. Their trunks are agile enough to pick up a single blade of grass, and strong enough to rip branches off of a tree.
Despite their enormous power, elephants can be chained. It doesn’t seem to make sense – what chain is strong enough to hold an elephant who could easily pull it apart? The answer is a small one: a small chain fastened to a metal collar around the elephant’s foot is attached to a wooden peg nailed into the ground. This holds the elephant so strongly that it doesn’t ever struggle to break free. How does this happen?
Chaining an elephant isn’t as simple as just putting a chain around its leg – an adult elephant would snap that chain without even noticing the effort. The way to chain an elephant is to start when it’s a baby. You don’t even need a chain – a strong rope will do. The baby elephant will struggle, but eventually it will realize that it can’t break the rope, and even worse, continuing to struggle creates a painful burn on its leg. The baby elephant learns not to struggle – it accepts that the limit imposed by the rope or chain and it becomes is permanent, and there is no use struggling against it the elephant thinks.
The elephant grows up, and becomes the most powerful land mammal on the face of the earth. Here is the thing – elephants are chained to something that they could easily break but the elephants will not ever try to pull away – they simply believe they cannot do it.
The elephant is like pumpkin in the jug – bound by limits that needs to be broken. We are like the elephant and the pumpkin – we need to break free and live in the freedom and maturity that comes when we go above the limits of what we think, to reach what and who God says we are. Too often we just believe what we have been told to us by someone else or we have given up. That is why it is so important to reach beyond that to be who and what God says we are! How does this happen? It happens when we become positive risk takers who live in faith and not live in the fear. It happens when we listen to God’s voice of truth and not to the voices of those around us. To me, these are the only way the jug break and elephant knows it’s true power – is when the limits are pushed and positive faith risks are taken that we break free and know the true power of God in our lives.
We will talk about some practical things that the woman who touched the hem of the garment did next time but for now let me ask you this:
What is one risk you have not taken because you are chained like the elephant that you need to start pushing for right now?