Boxes. Great for old clothes, pictures, books, and all the things we want to save. They come in all different sizes and weights. By design, boxes were created to “contain” things. Sometimes boxes hold dreams, fears, and how we view ourselves. Sometimes they seem like the appropriate place to put God too.
“As awe of Jesus expands, fears in life diminsh. A big God translates into big courage. A small view of God generates no courage. A limp, puny, fireless Jesus has no power over cancer cells, corruption, identity theft, stock-market crashes, or global clamity. A packageable, portable Jesus might fit well in a purse or on a shelf, but he does nothing for your fears.” (pg. 169)
In this chapter, Max talks about the Matthew chapter 17; 1-8. He tells us about Peter, James, and John going to the mountain top with Jesus. He reminds of the encounter these men had with Jesus as he transfigured before them. “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes as white as the light”. In this moment, as Peter, James, and John “fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” As I think about this encounter, I can’t help but wonder WHY the men were so afraid. Did they not know Jesus? Did they simply not understand who he was? Had they spent all this time with him and not given him all their fear? Lost dreams, and hurts? Had they put him in box?
I struggle with boxes. The weight and size of the boxes I’ve created in my life often catch me off gaurd when I go to get them. Just like Peter, James, & John, I get comfortable and don’t want to know what’s beyond where I’m at. I have a God Box, A Husband Box, a Riding Box, a box for each child, and a Me Box. Each box holds thoughts, dreams, and fears for each of these areas of my life. It’s easy to get afraid, pull down a box, place my fear and hurt inside, and then stack the box back with the others. As long as my thoughts, feelings, and fears are in a box, I don’t have to deal with them. If I have boxes, I can stay where it’s comfortable because I put the uncomfortable in a box. Matthew 17:4 tells us that Peter wanted to make “boxes” for what he saw on the mountain top. He was afraid and uncomfortable.
As a Clinician, I’ve come across many folks that deeply desire to move forward with their horses. I’m constantly trying to help them “out of their box” while encouraging them through their fear of the unknown. If we never get out of our boxes, we will never grow. God wants us to grow with him. Not just get comfortable.
What boxes have you created in your life? How have you put God in a box?