|Ready to get out of the box? photo courtesy of Nemo via Pixabay.com
Once in a while, I found myself fortunate enough to be like a pretty gift packed carefully in a perfect pink box with lovely, twirly, flirty ribbons. Sometimes careful, loving hands lifted me ever so gently out of a box I shouldn’t have been inside no matter how carefully decorated the box was on the outside. Other times I used every way imaginable to flail and fight off and ward off and do anything and everything to get away the hands that tried to help me out of yet another box. Some boxes I created myself. They were handmade, haphazardly, boxes of my own making. Others were old boxes handed down through generations.
Sometimes I lived out of other people’s boxes left behind by strangers, or loved ones, or anyone at all that knew enough to get out of them and leave them behind. Sometimes I gathered my boxes from the dumpster that sits oh so lonely behind a restaurant filled with laughing people toasting over tables full of steamed broccoli and steamed this and steamed that and hot, roasted, whatever. Laughing, they were. As I laboriously, grudgingly, or maybe desperately climbed my way into another box.
My address may have changed along the way, but it was always the same. Box this. Box that. Box, box, more and more boxes. Boxed in. Confined. Limited. Restricted. Imprisoned, yes, in boxes. Hard to breathe. Hard to move. Impossible to get out; it seemed that way anyway. Impossible it seemed to ever live outside of the box – unless it was merely, and sadly, just a move to the tight space and confines of just another box. So many boxes to choose from. So many boxes to land in. So many boxes to escape into. So many boxes needing escaping out of. A boxed-in life. Just plain old boxed.
Today, I draw a breath, a breath of fresh air, and sigh, a deep heartfelt sigh, with a thankful heart, that I am learning to live my life outside of the box. Outside of boxes, to be precise. For I have not been a woman of a single box. I have been a woman of boxes.
When somebody moves to a new house, the big day comes when all the boxes have been unpacked and are carried off to the dump. I look all around me and realize I am finally moving into this new life I have been given through my faith in Jesus Christ. I no longer wake in the morning to find myself at the bottom of a mountain of boxes.
Just yesterday, as this writing poured from my heart, I realized yet another box was gone. What are the boxes then? They are different in each person’s life, aren’t they? But some of them, of course, are the same or at the very least similar.
Words spoken over us long ago, or even just yesterday, that limit our belief in what we can do with our lives. Abuse. Neglect. Rejection. Abandonment. Loss. Grief. Homelessness. Poverty. Addictions. The world’s view of us instead of God’s. The media’s take on things instead of His. Past failures. Flops, too. Failures and flops, yes. Self-condemnation. The judgment of others. The judgment of ourselves, of others, and of us. Our track records, our histories, and even the history of others that plague us as we can’t stop thinking of other people’s lives instead of our own as we should, shouldn’t we?
Boxes. Boxes. Boxes. Like these. Fear of intimacy. Oh, yes, fear. So many fears. Worry. Sin that hasn’t been confessed. Past transgressions. Looking to the world instead of to the Lord. A father violating his daughter sexually. Obesity. Anorexia. False religion. Idols, idols, boxes of idols. How endless these boxes can be, can’t they? Bound in boxes. Bound by boxes. Endless. Everlasting boxes?
But how eternal, and loving, and redemptive, and liberating is our God, whose Word never comes back void (Isaiah 55:11). Freedom from a life inside the boxes is the deliverance found through faith in Christ. Only some people, like myself, are slow in realizing I don’t have to live my life in boxes anymore. Not that hard stuff doesn’t happen; sure it does. But even in hard places, God reaches out His everlasting arms and whispers at me that He didn’t create me – or you – to live in boxes.
He created us to love and worship Him, and to love others. He created us to proclaim the good news of freedom in Christ. He created us to live outside the boxes of this world, and to be of good cheer. Because though hard stuff comes, and it most assuredly does, He has overcome it all. All the boxes. For He has overcome the world. Yes, even the boxes. Every single one of them.
And in Him alone is the rest, and the peace, and the hope of living a life without boxes. In Him, in Christ, is the promise of eternity. And here, and now, on this earth, is the freedom to live outside the box. Outside the boxes. To live in Him. For Him. Box-free. Jesus did not go to the cross, and rise from the cross, for the world to live in boxes. He gave up His life for our freedom. Free from boxes.
What would your life look like without all the boxes? What about the box you’re standing in right now? What about the box you keep stuffing yourself back into? Are you ready to get out of the boxes? Ready for freedom?
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33 KJV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10 ESV