“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him…” Ephesians 1:17


My dad decided the time had come for him to get a canoe. He’d always wanted one, and so began the search. We looked at sporting goods stores: too big, and too expensive. He looked at the inflatable option: right price, but too small. I found one on Craigslist, and we nabbed my brother to go look at it. It was just right! We loaded up the Goldilocks of canoes, and went to breakfast, which my brother and I had hoped would happen. Does one ever outgrow wanting to be taken out for a meal by one’s parents?

Daddy was too excited to wait to go canoeing, so after breakfast we went to a large man-made pond and got the canoe into the water. Daddy positioned himself, and off he went. Quite suddenly the canoe flipped, and I watched in horror as my 75-year old father plunged into the water, his feet caught under the seat. “DADDY!”I felt myself scream, as my brother rushed in without a moment’s hesitation. I was right on his heels and held the canoe steady while he got Daddy untangled and out of the water. He was unharmed, thankfully!

After, when Daddy recounted this event, he always dissolved into peals of laughter. What’s so funny about it, you say? Well, when he flipped his canoe, he was in less than two feet of water, but my brother and I had charged in like he was going down with the Titanic. We now giggle over it ourselves, but in the moment, we were acting purely on instinct. One definition for instinct is, “Behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level” (Merriam-Webster).

My greatest instinct is my God-given faith. Yes, I was taught to believe in Him, and as far back as I can remember, I have talked to Him all day in my mind. But doubt, that sneakiest of worms, wiggles its way in. Tragedies happen, and you doubt. You hear “evidence” that is contrary to the Word, and here comes doubt, anxious to crowd your thoughts and try your faith. But I’m thankful that when it reallycomes down to it, my inherent faith doesn’t waver. My spirit knows what my mind sometimes doubts. I have been so frightened that the only word that will instinctively come out of my mouth is “Jesus.” He is not threatened by our doubt, and is always ready to meet us when we struggle.

By the way, after that incident, my dad decided that canoeing wasn’t for him. So he sold it—and bought a shiny red motor scooter! Ugh! Parents!

“Lord, thank You for instilling Yourself so deeply within us. Thank You for giving us the gift of knowledge through instinct, and through Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”