What if we let God out of the box?

{image: apostrophe / 123RF Stock Photo}

{image: apostrophe / 123RF Stock Photo}

If you read Scripture or devotionals, you know there are days when words float over your head, and days when they slam into your soul. This one was the second kind. The verse I read was familiar and it could have dissolved into “yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that one before.” But it didn’t this time.

“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” – Jeremiah 32:27

Maybe it stuck because I was listening to the words instead of reading. Maybe all those times people quoted it to me finally sank it into this hard-headed girl’s brain. Whatever the reason, it grabbed me and hasn’t let go.

I am the Lord.

Is he really? I found myself thinking. What does that mean, anyway? And do I really believe he IS the Lord… instead of being that in the past, when life was simpler, choices felt more straightforward and less high-stakes?

Because if God is Lord, that changes things. It means that when he promises that he loves us and has a plan for our lives, that love and plan stand undisturbed, no matter what today looks, feels or sounds like. It means that what we know in our souls to be our strengths and callings will unfold no matter what. It means that when he says not to worry because he will provide our daily bread—the sustenance of our homes, hearts, hopes, dreams, relationships—we can take him to the bank on that one.

If God really is Lord, what could that change for us today?

The God of all the peoples.

All. The. Peoples. The ones who look, talk, eat and worship like us, and those who don’t. Those who love us and those who don’t (or can’t). The ones who understand some of who God is and the ones who wander misguided in the spiritual landscape.

God is still God. He’s God over the murderers in ISIS. He is God over the men who seduce young girls into sexual trafficking. God is God over the panhandler on the street corner who we’re not sure if we should feed, talk to or even look at.

These may not recognize God as God. They may do horrendous things or seem so other, so broken, so evil. But at their souls’ core, they are still God’s; God still knows their names. He knows their loneliness, pain, and what drives the destructiveness.

In moments when I rage at a God who seems blind and deaf to the wretchedness of this world—and the ways it hurts people I love—I read Jeremiah 32:27 and am convicted.

Am I praying as though God is God over them too? As though he can still reach them and effect goodness in this devastated world?

How could this truth change the way we think about current events or hard-to-love people?

Is anything too hard for me?

The Sunday school answer: No. The in-the-moment answer when the checkbook doesn’t line up with the bills: Um….. is this a trick question?

Because the hard things in life seem either to flow from God’s inability or his indifference. Either way, if we’re honest, we think: Yeah, it must be too hard for God. Or he’d be acting how I want loving me or doing what I want fixing this.

Let’s imagine God is sitting across from our tired too-much-coffee selves right now and asking us this question: “Is anything really too hard for me?”

If we’d listen close, it might sound a little more like this: “What if you let me out of the box you’ve got me in?”

What could today be like if we let ourselves face that question for real? What could that mean for the habits we want to change, the people we struggle to love, the dreams we long to follow?

Imagine how much power—how much peace—could begin to radiate in our lives, if only we looked God full in the face and let the reality of Jeremiah 32:27 soak into our weary places.

Leaning into trust and truth with you,

Laurie

Mary DeMuth Frank Viola Day I Met JesusP.S. If this sparked something in you, may I recommend a resource that can come alongside you in letting God out of the box in your every-moment life? It’s Mary DeMuth and Frank Viola’s The Day I Met Jesus: The Revealing Diaries of Five Women from the Gospels. Be blessed in the fresh tellings of these women’s stories, in how they discovered life, love, hope and help in the instant they encountered Jesus as Lord.