What to Do When You’ve Done All You Can: Put It In the God Box

What do you do when you have a problem you just can’t solve? You’ve tried and you’ve tried and you’ve tried, but nothing seems to be working.

Sometimes it’s not a big problem even, but daily life. What do you do when you’re not feeling so connected to your Higher Power? When you’re feeling underwater with your daily responsibilities and you feel like your own Divine Spirit is just an idea, a hope you have, rather than a real, living energy that can help you and guide you?

Sometimes when I pray, it feels like I’m tossing a message in a bottle into a stream. At those times, I don’t feel super connected. Instead, I feel tired. That’s how disconnection from God shows up for me: I realize, Oh my God, I’m exhausted.

That’s when I use my God Box.

You can make a God Box out of anything.

A God Box is just a box or a bin or a jar, a physical container, where you put little scraps of paper with notes of things you need God to handle.

My God Box is just an old tissue box that I covered with scraps of pink and orange construction paper. And it’s stuffed now with corners of notebook paper scrawled with things like “my son’s school” and “our tenants” and “my weight” and “my friendship with X.”

The God Box keeps me honest.

I sit down to write “the sink in our Oak Park townhouse” (meaning, please, God, please help me get the plumbing fixed at our rental property) and within seconds I’ve written five more things – that friendship with X, our finances, my son’s teacher, my weight, my husband’s job stress.

I realize as I write down all these things and shove them into the God Box -- oh, I’m a little stressed.

And then I just hand it all to God.

That doesn’t mean I don’t take action. If I need to pay a bill, I pay it. If I need to call my friend, I call them. If I need to research plumbers, I go to Google. But usually issues end up in the God Box after I’ve done all I can, or after I’ve TRIED to do something but found that, for whatever reason, I CAN’T.

Sometimes this includes my own behavior. When we find ourselves doing YET AGAIN the thing we don’t want to do, we can pray about it. We can hand it to our Higher Power in whatever way works for us. God, help me with this. Take this from me. Help me change. Please. I can put the issue in my God box and know that God will work on it if it needs to be worked on.

The God Box helps me define what my role is in the problem at hand. By using my God Box, I am assessing what my actual work is in any given situation and can see how much is really beyond the scope of my own influence.

So often the things I’m worried about are other people’s behaviors, choices and decisions. I can’t do much about those things.

Putting a problem in the God Box reminds me: Oh, THIS? This is out of my hands.  

When I use the God Box I am essentially taking the posture with God that my son takes with me. My son reports a problem to me and then he considers it handled. Mom, my shoes don’t fit. Mom, I’m done with this library book. Mom, we’re out of ketchup. He knows he’s told me the problem and that I’ll take it from here.

And that’s how I am with God lately. I put it in the God Box and then, for the most part, I put it out of my mind. I know God’s handling it. It’s not like I’m ordering God around, but now, I know I’ve put it in God’s court. It was always there anyway, but I know I’ve done all I can do.

Putting my problem in the God Box is my way of saying, Here, God, you get this. I can’t do it, but you can. And I know whatever the outcome, I will deal with that next.

But I know for now the issue is in God’s hands.

And that’s a good place for an issue to be.