“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 NLT
The Christmas tree decorations have carefully been packed away until next year. The stockings and wreaths have been placed in storage. All of the beautifully wrapped gifts have been opened and my home is slowly starting to recover from the extra goodies left behind from the holidays. There’s just one last load of boxes to haul upstairs to store for next year’s wrapping.
As I sit at the kitchen table, gazing upon the pile of leftover gift boxes, one particular box catches my eye. It is then that I realize my life is a lot like the white box sitting in front of me. It is just cardboard, nothing special at all. However, its crisp white edges meet together in perfect formation of the cube, crafting the imaginary representation of my life. But what have I filled my box of life with? If someone were to ask me to decorate my box or fill it with items that represented my life, what would I choose?
Surely, I would find pictures of my family, especially my children, to add to the tiny box. I could put a cross in there to represent my faith. I might add a pen to the collection to portray my love of writing. I might even jot down some of my patient’s names from physical therapy to stand for my occupation. There would be other things I could add for hobbies and my character traits. No doubt, by the time I was done, my little box would be filled to the brim!
But as I think about the box a little longer, I realize that maybe God has more in store for me than I realize. Maybe, just maybe, He has bigger plans than what I have put inside the little box of my life. Am I limiting the One who created me and all the universe by trying to make Him small enough to fit inside my cube, my tiny world, inside the plans I have for myself?
I think back just a few years over my life and am in awe of how God has worked and made His presence known. He has taken this shy, introverted lady and turned me into one who writes for the glory of God. It takes guts to put yourself out there for all to read your heart and soul, your innermost thoughts and feelings, but God has given me strength to do just that. He has proven that the limits I had put on my box earlier in life were nothing for Him to overcome.
For a long while, I struggled with feeling that God was calling me to head up a community women’s ministry. I wrestled with the idea. Surely many others were more qualified than me. I put boundaries on myself and what I thought God could do through me. But finally, I gave in and the ministry is active and thriving now. It has been a blessing in my life and an even bigger blessing as an outreach into our community. Leading a group like this is totally out of character for me but it is in character for God- it is 100% God. He is bigger than my box.
I have a friend that has gone on several international mission trips to Honduras and is involved intimately with a specific orphanage there. If you would have asked her a few years ago if this was in her plans, she would have said no. She had other plans for her box and wouldn’t have thought she could be used effectively in this way. But God had something else in mind and expanded her sphere of love all the way to Honduras! Incredible!
What about you, my friend? What does your life box look like? What are you filling it with? As we start a new year, we have a chance for a new beginning, a fresh start. We have a chance to look at this year with a new perspective, God’s perspective. Will you join me in praying that God will show us ways to make ourselves small but keep Him BIG, all while serving and honoring Him? How might God use us this year, if we don’t put limitations on what He can do with our life boxes? What will happen if we stop trying to fit God into the expectations of our lives and realize that with Him, anything and everything is possible if we only make ourselves available?
In 2017, I challenge you to live outside the limits of your box. Pray about what God is calling you to do and then do it. You will be blessed and others will too. And what’s more, as you trust in God to push you outside your limits, your faith will continue to grow and you will be encouraged to do other things God is calling you to do.
I am excited for the challenges and adventures that 2017 holds for me and my family and for each of you!
May we each stop trying to fit our BIG God into our small boxes this year!
“Heavenly Father, Help me always remember that You are in control of everything, even when I am not. Guide me in realizing that the plans I have for my life may not be the plans that You have for me and that ultimately, You know what’s best me and love me unconditionally. Guide me in following Your will for my life and give me courage to pursue the challenges You set in my path. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”