My God Box

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I have put God in a box; I put limits on Him, on His power and His goodness.

But I think everyone has God in a box. It’s not necessarily on purpose or out of pride, but because our human minds cannot even begin to contemplate the unfathomable existence of God.

It bothers me a little when people say their reason for not believing in God is because He seems contradictory to them. The argument that God can’t be good and allow suffering at the same time is backed up with the statement, “I just can’t reconcile these two traits in my mind.”

Another argument is how a loving God can send people to hell. I know this pain acutely; three of my favorite people in the world do not know the Lord, as well as many of my own flesh and blood family members.

Does that mean God isn’t real? Does that make Him a liar and a hypocrite? Of course not! To say so would be to judge God and claim I know better than Him.

When we use these arguments, we are basically saying since we don’t fully understand the nature of God, then He cannot possibly exist, or that He exists but is not as powerful and/or loving as He claims. But I believe that if we did fully understand His nature, then He could not exist. At least, the God of the Bible couldn’t exist.

I do not serve a God who can be understood by men. I do not want to serve a God that can be understood by men. God is meant to be unfathomable, otherwise He would not be God. We could study the Bible all our lives and still not know all there is to know about Him. We still could not understand Him completely.

The very definition of the word ‘unfathomable’ means the human brain is incapable of comprehending it. If we could, then we wouldn’t need God; we would be gods.

It is foolish to say that because we don’t understand what He is up to, that means He doesn’t exist. It is equally foolish for me to say that any situation is hopeless, that anyone is ‘too far gone,’ or that nothing can be done.

Furthermore, it’s prideful and sinful. I’m making a claim that I know more than God and that God is lying to me and saying He is all powerful and loving when He is not.

God is great and He is good. All the time. How do I know this? Because He said so. That probably sounds simplistic and naïve, and people can disagree with me if they want. It’s not on me to convince others of God’s existence. Their disbelief does not negate reality. He will work in their hearts if He so chooses.

Rom. 9 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible because of verses like 9:15 where God says:

“I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

Because He is all powerful, He does not need to explain Himself or His actions to me or anyone else. He can do whatever He wants. Even when I’m in pain and don’t understand, God is still God. And I’m still not.

We all have God-boxes, whether we know it or not. Many people have convinced themselves that their box is empty. It isn’t. God is real, and He is everywhere, and He is so much more infinitely huge than you can possibly believe. He is more powerful and more good than you can ever know. And His love for you is unfathomable.

I would encourage you today to examine your own understanding of God and realize and accept that it is and always will be incomplete. Rather than discouraging you, this fact should inspire you to find out as much as you can about this awesome and immeasurable God. Because He is there, He is good, and He is in control, whether we understand it or not. 

(Originally published 9/19/13)

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About Leah Ness

I am a self-professed story addict. Ever since I was little, I've had an overactive imagination and a passion for a well-spun yarn. When I grew up, I was blessed with a passion for God as well. It was then that I noticed a relative shortage of unique Christian fiction, the kind that can both captivate you and glorify God. So, despite the hurdles of things like commas and homonyms, I am endeavoring to write some of my own. Check out my Books page for updates on current and future books. View all posts by Leah Ness

15 responses to “My God Box

  • Desiray

    AMEN! I believe we all from time to time had God in a box. Over the last ten years of my life I no longer but my God in a box. even my relationship is outside the box. Never put stipulations on the Lord.

  • Judy

    Awesome post. I totally agree with you that I would not want to serve a God who can be understood by men. That God wouldn’t be nearly big enough! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Sue C.

    Hi Leah: This is like a follow up to my post, “What size Box do you have God in?” (Jan 20, 2015) that I posted on my blog, We all tend to put Him in some size box, consciously or not. Some of those boxes are really small, too. Thanks for adding a little more information. I hope you don’t mind if I reblog.

    • Leah Ness

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my article and I’m very honored by the reblog =) Thank you! I found your post fascinating; thank you for sharing it. And thank you for your encouragement to let God rip open our boxes! That’s exactly what I’m going to endeavor to do (with His help, of course) God bless!

  • Sue C.

    Reblogged this on Sue's pen2paperblog and commented:
    This goes along with my previous post, “What Size Box do you Have God in?” (Jan 20, 2015)

  • joseph elon lillie

    Amen we all have boxes into which we put God. It is the very definition of being finite beings.

    • Leah Ness

      Yes it is. I love trying to riddle through some of His mysteries, but I reach the limits of my mental capacity real soon. I can’t wait to finally reach heaven and get the answers my brain isn’t currently big enough for =) thanks for reading!

  • Karen

    I think we all have those ‘God boxes’ but funny how even when we try to keep Him there, He keeps breaking out! and Thank goodness for it. I’m like you, I don’t want a God who exists within my limits. I want Him to constantly push me beyond what I think are mine. Thanks for the post!

  • 4 to Read-April 20 - Everyday Servant

    […] Read her post about her own God Box  … […]

  • lastmanse

    At the memorial service for the Oklahoma City bombing victims, Billy Graham reported that many people asked him how God could let this happen and Mr. Graham’s reply is that God does not know evil because he is 100% good. He also gave us free will to love Him or not to Love him – after all, if we did not have free will would it truly be love? God does not send people to hell – people condemn themselves to hell by rejecting Him.

    And I have to agree with you, just when I think I’ve gotten a tiny corner of God figured out – He shows me that what I understand is infinitesimal. He is unfathomable in that His infinite nature is too vast to comprehend – so I’ll settle for basking in his outrageous grace – and at times even the depth of that grace is beyond me.

    • Leah Ness

      Thank you for sharing that word from Billy Graham; I’m definitely in agreement with him on that. And with you on the depth of His grace being beyond me. Though for me, that happens pretty much everyday. I’m so grateful for the limitlessness of God and His attributes! Thank you very much for reading and taking the time to share your thoughts =) God bless!

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