A Tale of Hallways and Boxes

Luke 15:11-32

For a long time Rob Bell has taught directly to my soul. If you are unfamiliar with Rob Bell I suggest picking up Drops like Stars, every person at one point in their lives will go through what Bell teaches in this. Two images that Bell reverts back to; one a story of a family going down the same hospital hallway, once for a birth and the other for a miscarriage, and the other is the concept of the normal in life are your “box” and sometimes that box gets smashed in good ways or bad. Both of these images are there to give us an easy to grasp example of the fact that part of life is pain and disappointment.

One of the stories that Rob Bell uses to try and convey this is the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). All the boxes of normalcy are smashed when the son leaves his father and takes his inheritance, basically saying “I wish you were dead”. Bell talks about how sometimes the son doesn’t come home. Sometimes the father doesn’t accept the son back and throw a party. Sometimes we don’t get a happy ending. When that happy ending doesn’t happen, when the hallway isn’t the one of joy, when all our boxes are smashed and we are on our knees asking “Father why have you forsaken me?” Is when God enters in and starts to rebuild those boxes and restore normalcy to even stronger before.

Towards the end of the spring semester this year I had my boxes smashed. The hallway that my life was in took a sudden turn for pain. In a single 24 hour period I had my relationship ended and I attended the funeral of a coach whom I both loved and feared unconditionally. I was hurting, my normalcy was shattered. It was one of those times where I really wished that people would stop telling me “Everything happens for a reason”. Bell agrees with me here, I can’t stand that phrase, why would God plan for me to be in pain? Instead Bell proposes that we should focus on why it happened but what now. That’s where Pastor Dave and now I get our new consoling phrase. “God wastes nothing” those three words comforted me beyond belief. Knowing that in my shattered normalcy and my hallway of pain that God will move in me and waste none of my pain but bring me out of it and use it to create a stronger disciple and a better person.

Next time there is suffering in your life, your spouses, your best friend, or a random person that reaches out to you for help. Remember not everything happens for a reason, but no matter what God will enter to the situation and will not waste anything.

Sam Jacobs

No comments (Add your own)

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.