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Thinking Outside the Box

See this drawing?” my husband asked our daughter, holding up a two-dimensional rendering of an imaginary animal she’d drawn. He was trying to explain to her God’s omniscience in light of our limited human understanding. “Even if you tried to describe our three-dimensional world, it wouldn’t translate because it’s stuck in two dimensions,” he said. “That’s how it is with God and us. We’ll never totally understand everything about God’s kingdom from Earth, even if we think we have a good explanation, because we have yet to experience it.

She nodded blankly, but I found myself both laughing and cringing internally at the analogy.

My lack of understanding has always been a stumbling block for me.

It’s not that I feel the need to know it all; it’s that, in my limited understanding, I assume God’s infinite ways should conform to my finite human ideas.

Like Miriam and Aaron, like Peter sinking in the waves, like the Pharisees clinging to their rules, I expect God’s workings to fit nicely in the tiny box of what I consider “normal.” Never mind that—literally throughout all of salvation history—God has continually shown that He thinks outside the box.

Still, I let my opinions of what is “right” or “should be” crowd out the love that could soften my heart enough to hear God’s actual word of direction on any given matter. Often, I remain closed to a possibility if it doesn’t look like my prescriptive, preconceived notion of what acceptable looks like. I let my lack of faith, my fear of trusting, limit His ability to work wonders in me and through me.

Today He gently reminds us that there’s so much more to the bigger picture than any one of us can see or understand. He’s not calling us to try and figure it out anyway. He’s calling us to humbly acknowledge our lack of understanding, and courageously say yes to Him anyway.

Yes to His always unconventional ways of teaching, of healing, of leading us along the path of human suffering to Sainthood.

Yes to trusting that no matter how crazy His methods may seem, no matter how far outside the comfort zone of our own small limits, He’s adding to the beauty of the big picture.

We need only give Him the pencil, surrender the two-dimensional paper of our life, and allow Him to transform us in the hands of His limitless creativity.

What’s holding you back from saying YES to Him today?

Megan Hjelmstad is a wife, mom, writer and sometimes soldier whose real passion is equal parts faith and chocolate. You can find out more about her here.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Kim T.
    August 8, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Ye, I lack the understanding of all Jesus had to say. I have to reach deep inside myself for understanding, but most of the time I let my faith carry me. I can ask him for transformation of my spirit.

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