Some of the folklore surrounding one of the more “delicate” circumstances during NASA flights is that Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space. The supposed theory was that beans cause “gas,” and passing wind in a space suit would damage the suit.
Although many find this idea humorous, it’s entirely untrue. Although astronauts are put on a “low residue diet” three days before their flight, they are not prohibited from eating beans. And passing wind will not damage space suits.
“If gas could damage a space suit,” one source said, “there’s be a lot more astronaut fatalities.” *
So if YOU believed that – you don’t know beans!
I wondered where that phrase came from, and discovered the phrase apparently originated in a riddle told in old country stores. The question was asked, “How many blue beans does it take to make seven white beans?” Those who didn’t know the answer were told, “You don’t know beans!” (The answer is, seven blue make seven white, because when you peel the blue beans, you get white beans.) **
Today, the phrase “you don’t know beans” refers to people who don’t know something that should be common knowledge or common sense.
There was a time I “didn’t know beans” about God’s true nature. Sometimes I thought He was an old grandfatherly figure, loving but basically powerless. Other times, I considered Him an angry tyrant.
It took me years to understand God is great, good, loving, everywhere present, all-knowing, all-powerful, kind, involved, just, sovereign, purposeful, wise …. in short, He was nothing like I imagined.
The reason I didn’t know “beans” about God’s nature for so long was simple. I didn’t know God’s Word. I allowed the imaginations of my own heart and the weaknesses of my own thinking – plus the philosophies of this world – to corrupt my perception of the true nature of God.
It’s crucial we study the scriptures, because the Word of God – as well as His creation – reveal much about Him.
No, we can’t know everything about Him. As many have noted, He is God and we are not. In ourselves, we cannot think or act like Him (Isaiah 55:8). But there’s no excuse to be ignorant about His basic nature and how He deals with humanity.
The truth is:
- Our thinking must be transformed through the Word (Romans 12:1-2).
- God tells us our only reason for boasting must be that we “understand” and “know” Him (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
- Jesus wants us to know His Father (John 17:1), and His love in us allows us to know God (1 John 4:6-7).
- Jesus’ disciple, Peter, tells us to grow in the knowledge of Jesus, God’s Son (2 Peter 3:18).
So there might be a lot of things we “don’t know beans” about – but knowing God doesn’t have to be one of them! He is ready and eager to reveal Himself to us, but we need to seek Him! (Psalm 119:10a).
What has God shown you about Himself this week?