putting God in a box (again)


I’m putting God in a box again.

It’s actually something I’m exceptionally good at. I stick him in the cardboard box, seal it tight, and wipe my hands on my pants, feeling confident that I’m in control once again. 

I coax myself into keeping this control. I pick it up gently, weighing it carefully in my hands. It feels heavier than it was before. It’s also more slippery than it used to be, and I feel it trying to slide through my fingers, so I tighten the hold I have on it. 

My fingers start to hurt from holding onto it so tightly. I can feel it slipping, and I clench my fists firmer, desperately trying to secure it inside of my hands. 

Sweat beads on my forehead, and my muscles are cramped, my fingers silently screaming from the throbbing ache of holding on so tightly. 

I tilt my head back, almost feeling dizzy from the pain, and shout, “God, where are you when I need you the most? Where are you when it feels my control is slipping through my fingertips? Where are you when I’m hurting? Where are you?” 

I’m angry now. Angry because I can’t seem to hold onto anything anymore. Angry because in my time of need God is nowhere to be found. I’m angry. And I’m tired. I’m so, so tired. 

It shatters into a million pieces. I don’t even realize that my fingers have let it slip, and I look down on the floor and see my control fragmented. Scattered. Shattered.

I start to cry. My body is weary from holding onto it for so long, and I feel betrayed that God didn’t come and help me. 

I rub my joints, trying to loosen out the ache. The tears are frustration. I sit on the floor. Alone.

And then I see it. The box. The stupid, stupid box. The box I put God into when I assumed control. 

Of course he didn't come when I called. I had pushed him away. And though I know he's bigger than a box, I also know he gives me the choice whether to hand over the control, or try to do it all by myself.

I want to open it. And I don’t want to open it. Because I know I was wrong. And I was foolish. And I was scared. And I’m ashamed I didn’t trust him with all that I am. 

I slowly walk over to the box. I carefully take off the tape, and lift the lid. I close my eyes, because I can’t bear to see his holy face. 

“I’m hurting.” I say. “I’m hurting. And I’m scared if I give you the control, things won’t happen the way I want them to.”

I breathe long. 

“And I’m ashamed.” I whisper, biting my lip so hard I almost draw blood. “I’m ashamed I don’t trust you as much as I should. As much as I want.” 

I gradually open my eyes. He’s there. Palms spread wide, my broken pieces in his hands. 

He shows me the shattered remains as if to say, is this what you wanted?

I shake my head. Smile sadly. “I know. How is my control working any better?” 

I hear him --

If you let it go, I’ll be the One to hold it together. 

If you let yourself go, I’ll be the One to hold you together.

If you let Me go, who will hold anything together? 

Tears pool in my eyes - because this dying to self is not easy - but I close his fingers around the pieces and he holds my broken self in his hands. 

“You can have it.” I tell him. “You can have me.” I say. “You can have it all.”

(This is a figurative story I have created. I cannot physically put God into a box, but when I refuse to give him control over my life, it’s as though I have made him small and hidden him away from me. This is simply a metaphor for how I want to hand my life over fully to Christ.)