Jesus in a Box
“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” -John 1:3
Kelly Nelson. That is what the man I was working alongside of called me. He couldn’t remember my name, but he got close. Instead of Callie Newton, to him I was Kelly Nelson. No matter how many times I corrected him, or other people corrected him, this is how I was known and this is how he introduced me. I was known in part but not the whole.
We do this to Jesus.
We think we know Him as something, introduce Him as something, but in reality it is very possible that we have it wrong.
I am a high school teacher and basketball coach. My students and players tend to see me as this and only this. How do I know? The grocery store phenomenon. Let me explain. Let’s say that I happen to be out on a Saturday afternoon at my local Price Cutter, buying a few groceries, picking up some milk and cereal and lunch meat and I run into one of my students with their parents.
This is the normal reaction: “Oh my gosh! Coach Newton! What are YOU doing here?” All of this is said with an expression of complete amazement plastered all over their faces and a giant gasp at the end of the sentence as if an alien life form is also riding in the basket of my cart. My normal response has become: “Well, they let me out of my cage at school on Saturdays.” I wave to the parent of the amazed student and move on.
I can remember this phenomenon standing on the other side, however. When I was a student seeing one of my teachers outside of school was always a thrill. It was hard for me to picture them anywhere but the classroom. I had put them in a box…as my students have with me. I am known as Coach Newton or Ms. Newton to them.
To see me as a person outside of those two labels has the tendency to send their little brains into orbit. But there are so many more parts to me. I’m not just Coach Newton. I am also a friend, a daughter, a writer. Those close to me call me Callie, those closer Callie Ann or Cal. But what happens instead is “Callie in a box.”
This is our relationship with Jesus. We know Him in part, but not the whole.
Just as the man who thought my name was Kelly Nelson had it wrong and just as my students who only see me as fulfilling a certain role or being a certain person, we have this same small minded concept of the person of Jesus Christ. Could our little finite minds actually contain the fullness of who Jesus is without exploding? I think not. I have learned in the last couple of years that if I want my relationship with Jesus Christ to be all that it can be I cannot put Him in a box. I cannot simply know Him as Savior and not explore the other aspects of who He is and who He can be to me.
There are so many pieces to Him that I can miss if I am not looking. I can know Him as Father and Friend, but not know Him as my Peace and Counselor. Or perhaps I know Him as my Hope and my Rock, but I have not explored who He is as Lord and Master. Maybe I know Him as Creator, but not as Lover of my soul.
For me, the last two years have been a journey of finding out the depth of who Jesus is and how I limit Him in my life. As a single woman there was a giant hole in my heart. I was experiencing great loneliness and heartache, wanting to be wanted and needed and held. Jesus asked me one day, will you not let me fill this spot for you? Will you not let me be your husband and lover of your soul? I didn’t know what to say or how to answer.
For all my life I had seen Jesus as a certain way, fitting in a certain box, filling certain roles in my life.
Now here He was, asking me to see Him in a different light. I had a choice. I didn’t have to allow Him out of the boundary line I had created. I could have kept Him there for the entirety of my lifetime, but I choose to say yes and dig into another facet of the character of Christ. What I found within Him was boundless and endless and I now know, even with the growth and intimacy of our relationship the last few years, there is still more of Him to be had. More of Christ to be had!
Oh friends, if we would but take Him out of the box we have Him stuffed in to realize that there is more of Jesus to be had! He can fill every single part of our lives with His character and love.This is the God who, according to the apostle John, made everything. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”
How then can we put this God, this Jesus, in a box?
About Jennifer O. White
I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.