Thimble vs. Truckload Faith

August 14, 2015

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress..” (Psalm 4:1)

While I was learning that God is there, real and personal I met with one of my mentors after experiencing the divine presence of God in a mighty way.  I told Paris Reidhead, “My cup is just running over, Paris!” His response was: “How big is your cup, Dick?  It doesn’t take much to run over a thimble.  Why don’t you ask God to turn your thimble into a cup, your cup into a bucket, and your bucket into a truckload?”

I did pray that prayer, fervently.  At that time I did not know that according to verse above God’s vehicle for that kind of growth is distress.  If you want to know what distress is, just drop the first two letters:  God uses stress to grow us spiritually, just as putting stress on our muscles grows us physically.

Over the next few years I found myself going through deep waters and fiery trials.  When we had three toddlers and two in diapers my wife was hospitalized four times in one year in a hospital 100 miles away from our home.  During that crisis, as I juggled pastoring a church and mothering our five children the Lord enlarged me, big time!

Years later I lost my health and became a bed fast quadriplegic. That is when I really learned the “Four Spiritual Secrets” which have enabled me to minister beyond anything I could have imagined.

When you want to grow spiritually I dare you to ask God to turn your thimble into a cup, your cup into a bucket, and your bucket into a truckload.

Dick Woodward, 08 March 2013

Editors Note: A reminder, the Four Spiritual Secrets are:

I’m not, but He is.
And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I can’t, but He can.

And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I don’t want to, but He wants to.

And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I didn’t, but He did.
Because I was in Him and He was in me.


What Does It Mean to Conserve?

October 4, 2012
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.”
(Psalm 139: 23, 24)

Applying the compass of a jet pilot to our personal compass of life we next need to ask what it means to conserve when we think we may have lost our way.  The familiar prayer of David in Psalm 139 is one answer to that question.  We can assume that David is facing challenging decisions about the way he needs to go.  We might also assume that he is aware of what this translation lists as his  ‘anxieties.’

He is asking God to take the lid off his mind, heart, thoughts and motives along with his anxieties and show him what should not be there because he wants to walk with God in the everlasting way.  By example and precept David is teaching that we should be conservative when our anxiety is letting us know that we have lost our way.

We should not make big decisions when we are down or on an emotional high.  We should move ahead steadily when what God shows us under the lid of our heart and mind is in alignment with His will and the way He wants us to go with Him.

My  friend, the  squadron commander, told me about a rookie pilot who radioed his carrier: “I’m lost somewhere over the South West Pacific Ocean but I’m making excellent time!” When we know we are lost that’s not when we are to be making excellent time.  That is the time for us to be conservative and pray this prayer of David.