Our Bible study this past week explained how we all tend to put God in a box. What we learned from our parents or didn’t, how they viewed God, our particular denominations, our past disappointments, our personal views on miracles, our certainty of God’s sovereignty, or lack thereof.
When we consider how different each one of these are for each one of us, we can see how our boxes would all look differently too.
I imagine a drive-thru…People with orders that sound something like “Can I get a Baptist with a side of hard to please and just moved here?” Next car, “I’d like two Catholics with lots of questions and fear of letting their family down”…Cars keep coming.
“One child of divorce with two sides of scared and extra hope.”
“Two previous churchgoers with a childhood of abuse, add a side of adultery and not sure God’s even real by the way they’ve been treated.”
“One I survived a brain tumor only for my baby sister to die in a car wreck with three little girls to raise and I don’t know why.”
“One divorcee who swore it would never happen to her, topped with the loss of a child and a sadness she can’t explain.”
“Five pregnancies with still no baby to hold, add a whopping struggle of misplaced blame.”
“A Sabbath keeper who felt the Holy Spirit for the first time ever in a Sunday church down the road.”
“Three shots of still single and wondering why…extra hot.”
Each one is given a box. And the options are endless.
Broken hearts. Questions. Assumptions. Teachings. Personal experiences. Each one a different story to share.
Testimonies come from these stories and boxes turned upside down.
God is hoping that one day we see how confining that box is. If we don’t in this life, we all will when He returns.
He’s not a genie in a bottle. He’s not carried around easily or quietly. He’s all holy. All loving. All-powerful. His character is the only thing predictable about God Himself. His activities and answers are anything but.
When I asked my husband what he thinks his God box looks like, he agreed we all have one. He also bravely shared that his particular God box would be that He is a far off God. That’s He’s so far away, He might not hear or see him. That his prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling at times. Or off into some prayer hole. I loved his honesty in sharing. God wants my husband to know He’s close.
A peak inside his box made me consider mine…
If I have a God box, it would be that I KNOW He’s capable of all things. I KNOW He is able, but I also tend to think that He probably won’t…for me. Others, yes, because I’ve seen it. But for me? Probably not. Which is strange because He’s also already given me so much. Maybe it’s because He answered differently than I’d hoped for in a past situation.
Still, He wants to bust open my box as much as my husband’s. As much as yours. He wants me to know that He not only can, but will. When it’s in line with His will and plan. His bigger picture. He will, for me too.
God wants to turn our boxes upside down through the circumstances that we face. He’s bigger than our questions and doesn’t expect us not to have them. We’re human. He’s God. Only He knows it all.
He’s bigger than what we’ve been told or how we feel. He’s bigger than a political persuasion, the thorn in our flesh, that thing we can’t seem to get over, that conversation we wish had gone differently, that character or physical flaw we wish we didn’t have.
When our lives are shaken up, He is shaking up that box. He’s hoping we see how much bigger He is. Because only then can we realize, He’s not something we just carry around and stow away. He’s not under the tree or stacked up in a corner. He’s not limited by what we think His limits are. He’s just waiting for us to see how small we’ve made Him. Because of our box.
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is TOO GREAT to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish INFINITELY MORE than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:19-20 (NLT)
TOO great to understand fully. MORE than we might ask or think.
Let’s look down into our own boxes and then look up to the One who sacrificed His Son to make us His own. The One who has always been and will always be. The One who is close, can, and will one day bust them wide open.