Why Squirrels Can’t Do Math

I’m not a big fan of magic shows.

No, it’s not that the magicians are usually kind of creepy looking or that their assistants don’t wear enough clothes. It’s that I can’t stand not knowing how they do that stuff.

I get frustrated because I can’t make sense of what they do, or how they do it. I have so many questions that can’t be answered. It’s all a mystery and I don’t like mystery. I like to be able to understand.


Isn’t it often that same need to understand and inability to accept things as a mystery that keeps us from growing in our faith? Faith is all about not being able to intellectually makes sense of things, being OK with mystery. That can be a real stumbling block.

But consider this, maybe our brains weren’t made to be able to figure out God. Kind of like why squirrels can’t do math. Yes, you heard me right. They don’t have the capacity in their brains to add or subtract.

We don’t have the capacity in our brains to understand how God works. So we have to stop trying and let go of the need to make sense.

Embrace the mystery. Let go and believe. That’s no magic act.

That’s faith.

Scripture Verses:

Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts.
nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Luke 10:21
At that very moment he rejoiced in the holy Spirit, and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for though you have hidden these things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, thus has been your gracious will.

1 Corinthians 2:6-7
Yet we do speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away. Rather, we speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew, for, if they had known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How easily do you accept things you can’t prove or reason out?
  2. What mystery of the faith is hardest for you to just believe?
  3. When has God worked in a mysterious way in your life?
  4. Why do you think it’s so hard to accept things on blind faith?
  5. How could you become more childlike in your acceptance of the mysteries of the faith?


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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