Have you ever fallen in a box? Head first?
I fell in a box. There. The words are out! It was a beautiful day in December. My children were young and we were headed to a local skating rink for a birthday party. And we didn’t have a gift for the birthday child. This was the story of my life in those days. Running on all cylinders, going nowhere, and always unprepared.
I also want to add that during this time in my life, I was not walking with God. I did not have Jesus in my life and we were always living in a state of chaos. We were that family who arrived late for everything. And when we arrived we were a whirlwind of chaos so everyone knew we were there. Not good.
Here is what leads up to this embarrassing moment.
It was a beautiful day in December and my husband took our three small children out to the van to start getting them buckled in various car seats and booster seats while I was looking for something that we could give to the birthday child. Yes, last minute gift planning. Not good.
We had been hiding Christmas gifts for our kids in a large appliance box in our basement (will be referred to as “The Box” for the rest of the story). I knew we bought a newly released Disney movie and I knew it was in The Box.
So down I went.
The basement in this house we were living in at this time was very dark and dank. It had a low ceiling and you had to walk stooped. I hated going down there. I had to grab a bucket and turn it upside down to use as a step stool so that I could even reach in The Box because The Box was that tall. Remember the low ceiling. I had to stoop in this basement not standing on a stool so when I stood on the stool, the stooping was greatly increased. As I started reaching in The Box to grab a bag, that’s when it happened.
I lost my footing and tumbled head first into THE BOX.
If you can picture the type of box that a stove comes in, you know it is VERY STURDY cardboard. It does not bend or move with the weight of an adult leaning on the edge. It doesn’t give an inch.
So in I tumbled. Did I say it was head first? Well, it was.
For a moment, I panicked thinking this was how I would die. I would suffocate among the plastic bags holding all of my children’s dear Christmas gifts. I would be found with my feet sticking up in the air. My kids would find out their mom died and there is no Santa Claus all in the same moment. Not good.
I yelled for my husband but of course he’s in the car with 3 small children. Also, who could hear my muffled cry in this old dark basement when my head is stuck in plastic bags? Not good.
Thoughts jumbled through my mind in a blur. If I tried to turn myself around in the box, I might crush some very precious Christmas gifts. But eventually, somehow, I made it out of the box. My hair was disheveled. My clothing was disheveled. I was disheveled. Not good.
I go outside to get in the van with my family and by this time I’m angry. How could my husband not come to my rescue? How dare he not save my life? Of course, none of this is rational. It is pure insanity. But that’s how we were living.
Why do I share this embarrassing story?
I’m sharing this story because it taught me some lessons that I’d like to share with you.
1) Who are we trying to impress? People or God?
Who was I trying to impress with really nice gifts? Every party we went to, I had to have a nice gift. It was never enough to stick some money in a card. No, I had to embroider a sweatshirt, make a craft or something that took time that I did not have. I was a people pleaser. I never said no to anyone. And it wore me out. Today I have no problem saying no if it’s not God’s good for my life. We each need to reach this place in life. We are given only so many minutes in our lifetime. How do you want to spend your minutes? Pleasing people or pleasing God?
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
2) Do we order the steps of our day or do we allow our day to happen?
I learned this the hard way as well. When we allow our day to just happen, before we know it it’s bedtime and we didn’t get anything accomplished. Do you know what I mean? However, if we are intentional about our day first thing in the morning, it’s easier to get things done. I’m a list girl. I love my to-do lists and they keep me on task.
Another thing that I try to do intentionally each and every day is to ask God to order my steps for that given day. When we invite God into our day, it’s amazing how much more we can accomplish! And His Word tells us He delights in the details of our lives. Wow! God delights in us.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
3) What is the foundation we are on today?
Are we standing on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ or are we turned upside down in a box not able to even find our foundation? At one time in my life, my foundation was unstable and shifting all around me – depending on any given moment. Once I invited Jesus into my life, my foundation became stable and firm. I am on solid ground no matter the circumstances. In Christ, we do not have to fear anything! Not even death.
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11
4) Where is our help coming from?
Is our help sitting in a van unable to hear or see us in our time of need? Or is our help ever present and always able to help? All too often, I expected my husband to step into the shoes that only Jesus could fill. This was not fair to him and it wasn’t fair to me either. Only Jesus can be our Savior and our Lord. Only Jesus can be our Rock. When I learned the God-given role my husband has in my life and stopped expecting him to be Jesus, my married life drastically improved.
I cannot rely on my husband to give me peace and joy. It’s simply not his role. Only Jesus can give us that peace and joy that we crave deep in our being. I urge you today to stand back and take a look at your marriage. Are you asking things of your spouse that only Jesus can give?
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
5) When we do get saved, are we grateful or are we still angry?
When I finally made my way out of The Box, I was angry. I should have been grateful, relieved even. But I wasn’t. I was angry. And I projected that anger at my husband. I can see now how totally irrational that was but at that moment, I was angry. He didn’t come to my rescue. He didn’t even know I was in trouble.
But isn’t this true with each of us in life? We can be in trouble and no one knows. Not even those closest to us. So what do we do? We turn to Jesus. He is ALWAYS with us. His word promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. He ALWAYS knows when we are in trouble and He is always close to help.
God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
When Jesus saves us, we need to be sure to lay down all the ugliness that is linked to our past – bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, insecurities, regret, guilt, shame. Holding onto these things will prevent us from being able to reach out and grab the new life that He desires to give us. Drop it all at the foot of the Cross. Our past – ALL of it – was taken care of the day that Christ died. Jesus purchased our past with His Blood and to look at our past accurately, we must look at it ONLY through the Blood. Looking at it any other way simply distorts and twists it.
Friends, if you are not walking with Jesus today, what’s holding you back?
If you need someone to talk to, reach out to your minister or someone close that you trust and know is walking with God. You can even reach out to me.
I can speak firsthand of the difference walking with Christ made in my life. It is the difference between day and night. Light and dark. It’s available for you just as it is for me. Reach out and grab it.
This is all that we need to know and believe for eternal salvation:
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,