by David Sisler

In an open field, or in a track of woodlands, you may never notice the daily activities of the creatures who live there. The ordinary events are rarely observed, but let a couple of inches of snow cover the ground and no activity can be hidden. In the snow, everything leaves its mark.

The Algonquin Indians called their neighbors "Eskimos," meaning "eaters of raw meat." The language of the Eskimo people is called "Inuktitut." The word comes from "Inuit," meaning "real people," their own name for themselves.

Because of their great isolation from the rest of the world, they have a very restricted vocabulary in comparison to many other languages of the world. For instance, they have no word for sheep, or lamb, but they have 30 different words for snow. When the Bible calls Jesus, "the lamb of God," the Eskimo phrase becomes "God's special thing that looks like a caribou calf." Those limitations make translating the Bible into their language a difficult task. It is often difficult to render a precise meaning.

Those who read and understand English have a different problem. It is not that we cannot get a precise meaning, because the Bible has dozens of English versions. Many other languages, Chinese, French, German, Russian, also have very accurate, very reliable translations of Scripture. Our problem is believing that the Bible means what it says. It would be like looking at a field, covered with newly fallen snow, seeing a set of footprints made by a hunter and then debating whether they really belonged to a man or to an animal!

So many of our disappointments, where Christianity is concerned, is not that we do not understand what the Bible says. Our problems arise when we understand exactly what God means, but to do what He wants is completely contrary to our own plans and desires.

Jesus was in the last few weeks of His public ministry. Multitudes were following Him as He made His way toward Jerusalem for the last time. They were convinced that He was about to set up a fabulous kingdom and that He would give rulership in that kingdom to His followers.

At that point Jesus turned to the multitude and said, "Let me caution you. If you are going to follow me, you will have to carry your own, personal, cross. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. If you are going to follow me, the love you have for members of your family must seem like hatred when compared to your love for me. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple."

Disappointment is one of the greatest enemies of the Christian Church. Do you know that disappointment comes when we know exactly what God means and we ignore Him? Unlike the Bible translators working with the Eskimo language who have to struggle with concepts that have no reference points, we disobey His clear Word. We see the footprints in the snow and try not to follow their distinct direction.

If, at this moment, you are disappointed in your walk with the Lord, examine the source of that disappointment.

When you said you would follow Him, did you specify a time limit? Did you mean you would only follow Him if He went in the direction you chose? Did you mean you would follow Him only when it was convenient for you? Could it be then, that the disappointment is not with Jesus, but with yourself?

Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly." He lived the abundant life right out in the open. If He was a phony, if He said one thing and lived another, it could have immediately been seen.

Like the tracks in the snow, His path is clearly and easily seen. There are times when His path is not easily followed. Unless you understand that, you may become disappointed. Your disappointment will be in yourself, because Jesus will never disappoint anyone who chooses, with their eyes wide open, to follow Him.


Published in the Augusta Chronicle 7/2/94

Copyright 1994 by David Sisler

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