Thinking Inside the Box

Do you remember when you were very young and you found an empty cardboard box? There was nothing more exciting than jumping in and flying through space in your rocket, or floating down a raging river in your boat, or, if it was big enough, turning it into your own private house where you could do anything you wanted because you made the rules. A simple cardboard box fueled by your childlike sense of wonder could be anything, do everything, and go anywhere. It was four-sided cardboard freedom.

Then, on no particular day, you got a little older and only saw a box. The question stopped being what can this become and started being how much can we put in here? Did you label it with what’s inside? Why isn’t this thrown out yet? It’s never an active decision. No one comes out and says, “it’s the year 20XX and boxes are no longer fun and only to be used practically.” Numerous studies have shown the creativity inherent in children; they can see endless opportunities.

Adults however stop seeing opportunities and start seeing impossibilities. I can’t do that, I have bills. I can’t do that, I have kids. I can’t do that, I have a job. I can’t do that, I am too old/young. The greatest limiting factor we have is ourselves. If you could see yourself the way God sees you, then you would feel invincible. If God could show you a picture of what it will look like when you get there, you'd have no concerns about trying. But He won't, so you'll just have to trust. There’s a phrase that has been said so often that we wave it away as a cliché, but that doesn’t make it any less true: God loves you just the way you are but he loves you too much to let you stay that way.

Psalm 139:13-16 says,

For you[God] formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (ESV)

The way you saw that cardboard box as a child is the way God sees you now. You are filled with endless possibilities. You can have bills, kids, a job, or be old/young and still do great things for God. If we can put our excuses away and echo the words of Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I. Send me,” then God could do amazing things.

God’s not done with you yet.