Sometimes I look back on what has happened and I wonder how I ever survived. As a Christian, I know in my head that God is in control and that He can take any situation and work it together for my good (Romans 8:28). I’ve witnessed Him do it, yet in my heart, I still struggle sometimes to comprehend how big God is. I mean, Who else could have healed me, restored my marriage, and helped me walk in forgiveness, not to mention helped me let go of all the bitterness, anger, and pain I felt? Who else could have comforted me and given me such deep peace in the midst of such dark circumstances? Who else could have given me the strength to carry on and not give up? Only God can do what was done in my life and in my marriage. I make no apologies for that.
Yet, here I am, 8 years after the fact and I still struggle with keeping God in a box when He wants to totally bust through it. You would think I would never doubt how powerful and awesome God is; I would never question His ability to act on my behalf nor His ability to work miracles, but I do. I too frequently get my eyes off of God and put them on my circumstances, and then I start feeling anxious or worried. I know sometimes God must be shaking His head at me, wondering what it will take for me to trust Him in everything. I know this struggle is not unique to me, though.
I did have a revelation of sorts several weeks ago. I was talking to friend after church one Sunday and we were talking about Romans 8:28. For those of you who do not know that verse, it says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT). As I quoted this verse, I realized that God not only used that dark situation for my good, He also used it for the good of others, and He keeps using it. The purpose for the circumstances I walked through go far beyond me and my life. God always has a bigger picture in mind. He is always thinking of eternity. I had boxed God in–I realized that He worked all things together for my good, but I had not realized that He was using my trials and struggles to bless others and to help others; to work things together for the good of others. I also boxed God in on how he was using the struggle in my life. To this day, I am still discovering little bits of truth that God deposited in me in those two horrendously long years, and I know I have only begun to scratch the surface. God is telling me that He is so much bigger than I can possibly comprehend. I cannot contain His vastness.
He is the same God that spoke into nothing to create something. He spoke into the darkness and created light. He spoke the universe and everything in it into existence. The same God I often put in a neat little box is the same God that parted the Red Sea for His people to cross; the same God that appeared in fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; the same God who shut the mouths of the lions when Daniel was in the lions’ den; the same God who spoke to Moses from a burning bush. I could go on…
The apostle Paul in Colossians 1:15-17 explains the sovereignty and power of God this way: “Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see—such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together” (NLT).
In John 1, the apostle John writes: “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:1-5, NLT).
I say God is a big God, but I ask myself if I really believe that. If I believe that, my life should show it. Am I expecting big things of God? Do I believe He can do the impossible? Do I seek Him and believe He will do all He has promised? Do I expect Him to do miracles? I must ask myself these kinds of questions from time to time; they serve as a reality check. Inevitably, every time I consider these questions, God takes me back to those dark, lonely, painful nights when my husband was with another woman. He reminds me of how He spoke to me, carried me, strengthened me, and answered me. He reminds me that He is just as powerful and able now as He was then. He reminds me of the miracles He did then, of how He did things everyone else (myself included) thought impossible. I once again hear His still, small voice calling out to me, beckoning me to trust Him, to seek Him, to let Him out of the box I have put Him in. It is as if He is telling me to unleash Him, to let Him loose, so He can blow my mind with how awesome He is once again. He is limitless, yet I limit Him far too often. I need to get rid of the box…